All around the globe, charcoals are substitutes for natural or propane gas. They burn hotter than propane gas and produce less smoke than wood. Summer is one of the best times to grill and spend time with your loved ones.
You will hardly find anyone who doesn’t love grilled food with a wood-fired aroma. Preparing your meal in either a closed or open flame using charcoal adds a wood-fired taste that stays on your palate for long. Professional pitmasters carefully select the charcoal they use in grilling to not ruin the taste of their meals.
Lump charcoal is a traditional method of enriching the flavor of your food. It doesn’t only fuel your grill but also induces flavor into your food. Although it is pretty pricey, it is one of the best charcoal. Without further ado, let’s review our top 5 best lump charcoal products.
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Top 5 Best Lump Charcoal 2023 Reviews
1. Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal – 35LB
Whether you love to cook on high and fast heat or slow and low heat, Jealous Devil is one of the best coal on the market. You don’t have to worry about the coal sparking or popping unexpectedly. It releases less ash and smoke, providing you with the perfect heat for your BBQ or steak.
Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal is crafted using modern innovations and traditional techniques. It is packed in a resealable bag that is both dust-proof and water-resistant. The bag has a zip at the top for closure and a carry handle for convenient lifting. This product is well suited for a charcoal smoker, cooker, grills, and kamados.
This 35lb lump charcoal is made from 100% natural hardwood from South America. It has zero fillers and chemicals. The charcoal has a natural flavor that allows you to have the real taste of your meal. This all-natural lump charcoal is the same coal that is used to fuel most high-end kitchens, grill joints, and steak houses.
What did we like?
- Water-resistant bag
- Heats up faster
- Produces minimal ash
- Consistent coal size
- Releases incredible heat
What we disliked?
- Quite expensive
- It takes longer to ignite
2. Kamado Joe KJ-CHAR30LB Big Block XL Lump Charcoal
Kamado Joe KJ-CHAR30LB Big Block XL Lump Charcoal is crafted from various hardwood from Argentina, including Guayaibi, Guayacan, White Quebracho, and Mistal. The different blend of woods adds a smoky flavor to your food as it cooks. Due to the hardness and heavy nature of these four kinds of wood, they are collectively referred to as axe breakers.
The whole 30lb lump charcoal can be recycled up to three times. It can generate heat up to 975 degrees Fahrenheit that can last you for up to 27 hours. This fuel is 100% pure and burns longer without adding any bitter taste to your steak. The pack in which the coal is sold can be reusable to store the remaining pieces after cooking.
This lump charcoal from Kamado is well suited for ceramic grills and is perfect for grilling on a slow heat. However, one of the downsides is that, although it is named big block, the blocks of coals in the pack are smaller than other brands. But, even with the size, it ignites faster and burns hotter.
What did we like?
- Induces a wood-fired flavor in food
- Easy to store
- Suitable for a ceramic grill
- Made from all-natural hardwoods
What we disliked?
- The coal size is inconsistent
3. Jealous Devil LUMP Charcoal
For every pitmaster who wants precise control over their grill’s temperature and the flavor of their brisket, this brand is the best pick. It is compatible with charcoal grill brands like Weber, Put Barrel, Big Green Egg, PK, and more. This wood smokes less, sparkless, and doesn’t pop. It is prepackaged in a resealable bag and keeps the lump charcoal dry at all times.
Jealous Devil Lump Charcoal is popular with professional pitmasters, Smokehouses, restaurants, and grillers. The charcoal is made from a unique South American hardwood that looks exactly like oak wood. It is free from all forms of chemicals, scrap material, and fillers. This wood is hand-selected and hand-fired for coal making. It is safe to use and doesn’t release any toxic taste or flavor into your food.
Due to its incredible density, this product from Jealous Devil burns longer, faster, and hotter even with less charcoal. The coal size is consistent and chunky enough. Each lump can burn for up to an hour, providing you with enough coal for family grilling.
What did we like?
- Heats consistently
- Free from chemicals
- Generates less ash
- Burns longer than other coal
- Produces zero sparks
What we disliked?
4. Fogo Super Premium Oak Restaurant All-Natural Smoked Hardwood Large Lump Charcoal
If you are tired of spending so much on small pieces of lump charcoal that produce more ash than heat, you would love Fogo Super Premium Large Lump Charcoal. The coal is about 4 inches long and has an oak wood flavor. It is perfect for long slow smoking sessions. The wood burns incredibly hot and generates minimal sparks for safe searing.
With its 35lb capacity, you can grill for a large gathering or party without running out of coal. Right from your outdoor kitchen, you grill restaurant-quality steaks for your family and friends as often as you want. This wood enhances the taste of your grills, providing you with the same flavor as any South American steak restaurant.
This lump charcoal is better suited for reverse searing and smoking. It is suitable with ceramic kamado grills like Primo, Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe, PK, and other smokers that use charcoal. This pack is filled with large chunks of coals that offer consistent heat. Small chunks of coal restrict the smoker’s airflow, which makes it difficult to control the temperature.
What did we like?
- Uniform chunks
- Perfect for searing and smoking
- Burns fast and hot
- Suitable for ceramic Kamado and conventional grills
- Made from pure hardwood
What we disliked?
5. Prime 6 Premium Grilling Charcoal – Propack – 22lb.
Prime 6 Premium Grilling Charcoal is an excellent option for fueling your grill. This charcoal is not directly made from hardwood but repurposed sawdust. It is economical, sustainable, and eco-friendly. The lump charcoal undergoes a carbonization process that lasts for over two weeks. This is to ensure that all the wood is 90% pure carbon without any chemicals being added.
Using this product provides you enough time to bond with your family as you prepare their steaks for dinner. You don’t have to spend time replenishing the grill as it produces zero ash. The coal consumes itself and burns for a long time. It is reusable up to 7 times. The bar’s dense nature ensures the heat is consistent and evenly distributed across the grill.
The coal produces zero smoke and has no artificial additives that are toxic to the environment. It distributes even heat and produces no spark. Although Prime 6 Premium Grilling Charcoal is challenging to ignite, it burns longer than most other fuels. The burning capacity is approximately 8 hours.
What did we like?
- Eco friendly
- Distributes heat evenly
- Spark free
- Free from chemicals
- Generates zero smoke and ash
What we disliked?
- Difficult to light
Lump Charcoal Vs. Briquettes
Many debatable subjects in the barbecue world are mostly answered from an individual standpoint rather than a general view. Such controversial topics engaged in by pitmasters and BBQ enthusiasts during cookout are the right cooking fuel issue.
You might be wondering why some grill masters choose a particular type of cooking fuel over the other. Or which of the coal suits your grilling needs.
Well, when it comes to grilling and smoking, every grill master has their preferred choice of charcoal. And nothing beats the taste of a smoky barbecue or a flavored roasted chicken prepared in a conventional grill.
If you are having difficulty selecting between Lump charcoal vs. briquettes as a newbie in the grilling game, in this article, you will find a helpful guide. All coals are gotten from wood but are processed or treated differently. Let’s get started with how they are processed.
What is Lump Charcoal?
Lump charcoal is one of the purest types of fuel gotten from 100% natural hardwood such as cherry, maple, Apple, oak, and hickory.
These woods are free of toxic chemicals that add a weird taste to food when used as fuel. When making lump charcoal, the wood has to be burnt slowly to remove moisture, methane, other harmful substances, and its sap content.
The wood undergoes a carbonization process for it to become pure, eco-friendly, and nontoxic. During this process, the wood burns out, takes shape and size.
It contains zero additives and is not coated in any lighter fluid. All lump coal doesn’t burn at the same rate because it is gotten from different trees.
However, a bag of lump charcoal can have a mixture of different types of woods to improve the burn time and create a distinctive flavor.
This type of fuel is perfect for hot and fast cooking methods due to how hot it gets within minutes. It doesn’t only burns cleaner but enhances the flavor of your dish and burns down rapidly.
Also, it produces fewer sparks depending on the wood type and is well suited for smoking.
What is Briquettes?
Henry Ford popularized briquettes when he produced them in mass in the 1920s. He wanted to get rid of the wood scraps gotten from the production of the bodies of the Model-T assembly line.
Briquette is a type of cooking fuel that is gotten from sawdust and other compressed by-products of woods.
The sawdust is gotten from scrap wood, then mixed with additives before being formed into different shapes and sizes. It comprises additives such as starch, sodium nitrate, borax, and limestone, which are sometimes toxic to the environment.
Although these additives have a drastic effect on the aroma and flavor of the food, they also enhance the burn time and make ignition easier. However, there are pure briquettes without them as well.
The shapes of this kind of fuel affect the burning time. It varies from a complex hexagonal shape to a popular pillow shape. Briquettes are naturally lightweight and burn longer than other coals. Although it takes longer to kindle, it is a suitable option for low and slow cooking.
The Differences Between Lump Charcoal Vs. Briquettes
Lump charcoal and briquettes are two different kinds of cooking fuel that are popularly used in grilling. We will be comparing both sources of fuel to find out their differences.
Size And Shape
Most lump charcoal bags are filled with inconsistent chunks of coal. This often occurs when the bags of lump charcoals are mauled during shipping.
Besides, most manufacturers of lump charcoal sell different bags of lump with various sizes. For example, the bags are labeled XL, large, and small. Some have bigger chunks, while others have smaller pieces.
However, briquettes, on the other hand, are consistent in both shape and size. The uniformity in the size of chunks makes it easier to arrange in the grill.
The heat generated when using lump charcoal is inconsistent but high and will require some mastery to get excellent results. For a char-like steak, grilling on high heat with lump coal is the best option.
Although Lump charcoal is hotter than briquettes, it burns out faster. It will require you to refill the grill at intervals to ensure consistent heating.
Briquettes, on the other hand, burn at a slower pace and retain their temperature longer. It heats consistently but lower and is suitable for direct heating of food.
The burn time of each coal is dependent on the size and how they are placed in the grill. Larger chunks last longer than smaller chunks. Besides, smaller pieces turn into dust or ash quickly, blocking airflow into the grill.
Lump charcoal is made to last for over an hour, depending on the chunk size. It burns faster and is perfect for direct grilling of steaks. Lump charcoal goes as high as 1400 degrees Fahrenheit, resulting in a shorter burn time.
The maximum temperature a briquette can generate is 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, and this prolongs the burn time. It is molded to burn for longer periods and is perfect for smoking.
Type of Grill
The type of grill in your backyard kitchen is one of the determining factors of cooking fuel to use. Almost all Kamado smokers are designed with limited ash space than other smokers.
And most of its users prefer to make use of lump charcoal because of this factor. That being said, charcoal grills with ample ash space are perfect options for briquettes. In contrast, ceramic grills are compatible with lump charcoal.
Cleaning up the grill after each grilling session can be tedious, especially if you use briquettes because they produce more ashes than lump charcoal.
Lump charcoal generates more smoke and produces less ash when grilling. It burns cleaner and requires less clean up after cooking.
Since briquettes are made from compressed wood, it generates more ash and less smoke.
Even though the price of both fuels varies from brand to brand, lump charcoal cost more. Due to the whole manufacturing process of lump charcoal, it comes at a higher price point when compared to briquettes.
It is also scarce in some regions. Briquettes, on the other hand, are budget-friendly and cost-effective to produce. It is popular and easily accessible in stores.
Lump charcoal is made from pure wood, which has zero additives aside from the hardwood flavor.
The different woods used in making lump charcoal have their unique flavors. Briquettes have their flavor, which tastes bitter except it is without additives.
Without adding additives to briquettes or coating them in lighter fluid, it takes longer to ignite. The different chemicals added to the sawdust during its formation improves its ability to ignite faster.
Once the starch binder on the briquettes goes off, they are not reusable. Lump charcoal ignites faster and is reusable up to five times, depending on the brand.
Lump Charcoal VS. Charcoal Briquettes
Lump charcoal is commonly used as fuel in most BBQ competitions, and most home grillers prefer briquettes.
To a novice, the world of BBQ with its different cooking techniques and fueling tools can be difficult to grasp until after several attempts or through thorough research and intensive grilling classes.
We hope you were able to find answers to the differences between Lump charcoal vs. briquettes.
Factors to Look for When Buying A Lump Charcoal
Most home cooks take out time to select the best food items, but how many take time to choose the best charcoal. Finding the perfect charcoal for your outdoor grill is not so easy. The brand of lump charcoal you settle for is dependent on your personal preference.
However, some people prefer to use small pieces of charcoal because it is easy to ignite, while others prefer to use large chunks because it burns longer. If you are finding it hard to choose a particular lump of charcoal, we have put together the factors to look for when buying one for your kitchen.
Type of Wood
All lump charcoal bags may look alike, but the wood used in producing them differs from one another. Not all charcoal ignites easily. Moreover, various woods have different burning temperatures and burning times. Some take longer to ignite, and others come on within seconds.
There are different types of wood, of which some are harmful. Lump charcoal is said to be all-natural and free from harmful substances. However, not all products are of quality. Some still emit toxic chemicals that alter the food taste, so ensure to buy an all-natural product.
You won’t have to refill the smoker when grilling for hours because lump charcoal burns longer, faster and hotter. However, you have to look out for charcoal that ignites faster, smokes less, and leaves minimal ash after burning out.
Type of Flavor
Most BBQ enthusiasts love to enhance the flavor of their barbecue using coal. Lump charcoal comes in different flavor options ranging from hickory to apple maple and more. However, not all charcoal is flavored.
There are bags with mixed flavors and others with a neutral flavor.
Although lump charcoal costs more than any other type of coal, the price varies from brand to brand. So also, the quality of coal varies. When buying any of the products, ensure it is within your budget.
The size of the bag you buy is dependent on how often you grill or make use of your charcoal cooker. Lump charcoal is prepackaged in a bag and comes in different sizes, ranging from 10 pounds and above.
The size of chunks in the bag also matters. Some bags are labeled XL or large to indicate that the charcoals are big. Smaller pieces can quickly turn to dust and block the smoker vents. So it’s best to buy a large size. They are reusable and burn longer.
Which Lump Hardwood Charcoal Burns the Best? – What’s in Each Bag?? – 6 Way Test!
The use of charcoal is a traditional cooking method that has stayed even before the invention of gas grills. Your source of fuel makes a real difference to the food on your table.
The best lump charcoal can transform the taste of your food into a savory, mouth-watering meal. Our top 5 best lump charcoal products are selected based on their exceptional burn time and non-addictive property.