Lump charcoal may not seem like the most interesting thing to review, but if you are a grill connoisseur, and let’s be honest, a lot of us are, lump charcoal may help make the difference between an excellent steak and a terrific steak.
Lump charcoal is created from pure wood and burns at high temperatures with minimum waste, unlike briquettes, which might include composite woods as well as chemicals to bond the wood into briquettes. In this review, we will look not only at some of the finest lump charcoal now available, but also at what lump charcoal has to offer, as well as some of the concerns in charcoal manufacture and how charcoal and grilling may effect our health.
Our top option for a sustainable Central American hardwood charcoal producing full mellow oak smoke in 15 minutes is the Fogo FHWC35LB ultra premium lump charcoal.
Being a hand cut, hand chosen charcoal manufactured from sustainable South American hardwood, the Jealous Devil hardwood lump charcoal is our budget selection.
- Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Lump Charcoal
- 1. Fogo FHWC35LB Super Premium Lump Charcoal
- 2. Jealous Devil Hardwood Lump Charcoal
- 3. KamadoJoe KJCHAR KJ-CHARBOX Hardwood Extra Large Lump Charcoal
- 4. Original Natural Charcoal Hardwood Lump Charcoal
- 5. Fogo Hardwood Charcoal
- 6. Royal Oak 195228071 Lump Charcoal
- 7. Big Green Egg 100% Natural Oak and Hickory Lump Charcoal
- 8. B&B Better Burning Oak Lump Charcoal
- 9. Rockwood Lump Charcoal
- 10. Char-Broil Center Cut Lump Charcoal
- Things to Consider Before Buying Lump Charcoal
- Which lump charcoal has the best flavor?
- Which lump charcoal burns the hottest?
- What is the best charcoal in the world?
- What is the longest burning lump charcoal?
- What charcoal do the pros use?
- Which is the best charcoal to buy?
- How do I choose lump charcoal?
- Is large lump charcoal better?
- What is the shelf life of lump charcoal?
- What charcoal is better than Kingsford?
Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Lump Charcoal
|Fogo FHWC35LB Super Premium Lump Charcoal||A+|
|Jealous Devil Hardwood Lump Charcoal||A|
|KamadoJoe KJCHAR KJ-CHARBOX Hardwood Extra Large Lump Charcoal||A|
|Original Natural Charcoal Hardwood Lump Charcoal||A|
|Fogo Hardwood Charcoal||B+|
|Royal Oak 195228071 Lump Charcoal||B+|
|Big Green Egg 100% Natural Oak and Hickory Lump Charcoal||A|
|B&B Better Burning Oak Lump Charcoal||A|
|Rockwood Lump Charcoal||B+|
|Char-Broil Center Cut Lump Charcoal||A|
1. Fogo FHWC35LB Super Premium Lump Charcoal
- A hot-burning charcoal that is great for searing.
- Designed to fire quickly and burn for a long time
- Larger chunks handpicked in a 35lb bag
- Charcoal made from Central American oak, with a rich, mellow oak smoke taste.
The 35lb Fogo FHWC35LB ultra quality lump charcoal ignites rapidly and burns hotter for a longer period of time. It has a deep mellow oak smoke taste and is made responsibly from Central American hardwood oak trimmings. Its bigger lumps are carefully picked and ready to burn in 15 minutes.
Some users may discover that starting with bigger lumps takes longer, and some of them may be too huge, necessitating breaking them up before burning. This is a high-quality hardwood charcoal that is great for searing.
- Burning hot
- Made with sustainable Central American hardwood
- After 15 minutes, it will be ready to burn.
- Flavor of oak smoke
- 35-pound sack
- Some lumps may be too large for your grill and may need to be broken down before usage.
- Larger lumps may take longer to ignite.
- Some users may find it more stimulating than similar items.
2. Jealous Devil Hardwood Lump Charcoal
- Hand-cut and hand-picked charcoal from South American hardwood trees that are renewable.
- Provides a milder taste that may be enhanced by the addition of wood pellets.
- It comes in a huge 35-pound sack.
The Jealous Devil hardwood lump charcoal is hand chopped and chosen for bigger chunks from 100% renewable solid South American hardwood. Some people may not appreciate the softer taste of this, since flavor is highly personal with grilling.
It seems to burn colder than other charcoals, therefore it may not be as ideal if you want high grill temperatures for searing. The packaging on this has been changed since some types of bags were more prone to breaking and leaking.
- Sustainable South American hardwood
- Larger pieces were selected.
- The taste is milder.
- 35-pound sack
- Some consumers may find the taste to be too light.
- It is possible that this lump charcoal will not become as hot as other lump charcoals on the grill.
- Packaging may be less durable than it might be.
3. KamadoJoe KJCHAR KJ-CHARBOX Hardwood Extra Large Lump Charcoal
- Guayacan, Guayaibi, Mistal, and White Quebracho hardwoods from Argentina
- Big lump charcoal may last up to 18 hours.
- It has a distinct taste and is more enjoyable to smoke.
The Guayacan, Guayaibi, Mistal, and White Quebracho hardwoods are combined in the KamadoJoe huge block XL lump charcoal. This mix generates huge lumps that burn for an extended period of time, up to 18 hours, with more taste and smoke.
The lump sizes may vary, and some of the bigger pieces may need manual breaking before usage. Since this is a more distinct combination of hardwoods, the flavor may not be to everyone’s liking.
- Bigger lumps
- Argentine hardwood blend
- A distinct taste
- It burns fiercely and cleanly.
- It may last up to 18 hours.
- This charcoal’s flavor may not be to everyone’s liking.
- Inconsistent lump sizes
- Some of the lumps may need further cracking before usage.
4. Original Natural Charcoal Hardwood Lump Charcoal
- A hardwood charcoal created from environmentally friendly apple, cherry, and oak trees.
- Gives pork, beef, game birds, and poultry a sweet and fruity taste.
- It burns quickly and may be lighted using paper.
- It comes with a 100% Sizzling Guarantee and a full refund if you are dissatisfied.
The Original Natural Charcoal hardwood lump charcoal is a unique combination of apple, cherry, and oak trees. This imparts a fruity and sweet taste that complements pork, poultry, beef, and game birds. A sustainable, low spark and low ash charcoal that can be lit just with paper and comes with a 100% Sizzling Promise.
Since this charcoal burns hotter and quicker than regular charcoals, your cooking times may need to be adjusted.
- Fruity and sweet taste
- 100% natural hardwood
- Paper lighting for quick lighting
- Burning hotter and quicker
- There is a guarantee included.
- More expensive than comparable low spark charcoals
- Little lumps in the bag may fall through the grate.
- Despite the fact that this is a no-spark charcoal, certain people may encounter sparking.
- It has the ability to burn hotter and quicker than ordinary lump charcoal.
5. Fogo Hardwood Charcoal
- The smoke produced by Central American hardwood lump charcoal is somewhat oaky.
- It is ready to use in 15 minutes and burns quickly and fiercely.
- It weighs about 8.8 pounds and is simple to store.
The Fogo hardwood charcoal has a mellow oaky smoke and is created from Central American hardwood trimmings and chosen trees. While it is ready to grill in 15 minutes, since it burns hot and quickly, extended burns may need additional replenishing.
While it is good for all sorts of barbecues and smokers, the manufacturer suggests that it be used with certain grills and smokers. The 8.8lb bag may have smaller lumps than some people like.
- a light oaky smoke
- The wood is from Central America.
- Burning hot and quickly
- After 15 minutes, you’ll be ready to grill.
- Longer burns may need more replenishing.
- It may arrive in smaller chunks than anticipated.
- Certain kinds of smokers and grills are recommended.
6. Royal Oak 195228071 Lump Charcoal
- Lump charcoal made from renewable American oak, maple, hickory, and walnut.
- Burning hot and leisurely for up to 18 hours with little ash waste
- There is an 8.8lb bag available.
Royal Oak 195228071 lump charcoal is created from renewable American oak, maple, hickory, and walnut. It can cook for up to 18 hours and is ready in 15 minutes. It comes in a smaller 8.8lb bag and produces very little ash.
- Burning hot and slowly
- Combination of oak, maple, hickory, and walnut
- Crafted from American hardwoods that are renewable.
- Cooking time is 15 minutes.
- The size of the lump charcoal in the bag might vary quite a bit.
- Tiny chunks may fall through the grate during the first burning.
- You may want a starting chimney to get it going.
- 8.8 pound sack
7. Big Green Egg 100% Natural Oak and Hickory Lump Charcoal
- Handcrafted in the United States of natural quality oak and hickory.
- Meets EPA environmental criteria and produces little trash.
- It readily lights and is ready to use in approximately 10 minutes.
The Great Green Egg 100% natural oak and hickory lump charcoal is created in the United States from finest cuttings of American oak and hickory. It is simple to light and ready to use in about 10 minutes. It is a low waste charcoal that comes in a 20lb bag and complies with EPA environmental regulations.
- Natural oak and hickory from the United States
- Simple to light
- After 10 minutes, you’ll be able to utilize it.
- Waste minimization
- Meets EPA standards
- The sizes of lumps may vary significantly.
- The size of the charcoal chunks may vary.
8. B&B Better Burning Oak Lump Charcoal
- Texas-style oak charcoal that is 100% natural and has a little oak taste.
- A 20lb bag of environmentally friendly lump charcoal
The B&B Better Burning Charcoal is made entirely of genuine oak lump charcoal with a little oak taste. This product is ecologically friendly and comes in a 20lb bag. Some consumers may discover that it may ignite and produces more ash than similar items.
- Charcoal in the manner of Texas
- 100% pure oak
- Environmentally conscious
- Oak taste is mild.
- Charcoal lumps may be rather tiny.
- When lighted, it is prone to sparking.
- More waste than other lump charcoals
9. Rockwood Lump Charcoal
- Manufactured in the United States from 100% Missouri hardwood waste
- A charcoal blend of oak, hickory, maple, and pecan.
- Perfect for all barbecues and smokers, especially kamado-style grills
The three-pack of Rockwood lump charcoal is created in the United States from 100% discarded Missouri hardwoods, including oak, hickory, pecan, and maple. It works well in all barbecues and smokers, but notably in kamado-style grills. Since it is natural charcoal, it comes in a variety of sizes, which might result in some loss due to tiny lumps dropping through the grate.
Since it may not burn as effectively at high temperatures, it may be better suited to slower and cooler burns. There is also the possibility that consumers may come across stones or other trash in this charcoal. This is frequent with lump charcoal, so always do a brief visual inspection before putting any charcoal on the grill.
- Crafted from Missouri hardwoods in a sustainable manner.
- A combination of oak and hickory, with a touch of maple and pecan.
- Manufactured in the United States
- All barbecues and smokers are compatible.
- Low waste and slow burn
- Bags may include additional trash on occasion.
- Natural charcoal lumps range in size and may consist of tiny bits.
- It may not reach as high a temperature as similar items.
10. Char-Broil Center Cut Lump Charcoal
- Just the center-cuts of organic hardwood trees are used, with no bark or branches.
- A quality, clean-burning charcoal with a maximum ash waste of 3%.
- A more uniform size of around three lumps
- In an 11lb package, a lighter weight charcoal
The premium Char-Broil center cut lump charcoal is made from organic center-cut hardwood trees and is free of branches and bark. While some users report substantially smaller chunks than those in the box, the lumps are more consistent in size about 3 than other lump charcoal. This charcoal burns more quickly.
This charcoal, which comes in an 11lb box, is burnt longer to make it lighter weight and create less than 3% waste.
- High-quality, clean-burning charcoal
- More consistent average size 3 lumps
- Crafted from hardwood trees that have been center-cut
- It burns faster, making it great for grilling.
- 3 lumps may be smaller than typical.
- It may not be as ideal for smoking as rapidly burning charcoal.
Things to Consider Before Buying Lump Charcoal
The Difference Between Lump Charcoal and Briquettes
Lump charcoal or charwood is created by slowly burning chunks of wood without oxygen until all of the moisture, sap, and natural compounds are removed from the wood. This just leaves carbon. Lump charcoal responds well to varied levels of oxygen, so when you open your grill or stove vents during cooking, the temperature will change. When burned, lump charcoal may reach temperatures of roughly 1400F and generates minimal waste ash.
Briquettes are produced in the same manner as lump charcoal, but are often formed from residual soft, hard, or composite timbers and sawdust, with the addition of chemicals such as cornstarch to keep the briquettes together in regular shapes.
Briquettes may also include chemicals to assist them start quicker, and some users claim that you can taste these chemicals in lighter meals like fish or poultry, however there is little scientific evidence to back this up. Briquettes, although burning longer than lump charcoal, create more waste ash and air pollutants.
One downside of lump charcoal is that it comes in varied sizes, which may make grilling more difficult. As lump charcoal reaches its peak temperature, it begins to cool swiftly and may go from high to medium heat in less than 30 minutes. This means you must keep an eye on it and add additional charcoal as needed to keep the temperature stable.
Since briquettes are of the same size and composition, you can count on 45 briquettes to provide constant heat for around an hour. Briquettes burn between 800 and 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, which is colder than lump charcoal.
Lump charcoal is more costly than briquettes and burns hotter and quicker, but it does ignite easier. Lump charcoal may be useful if you want meats that are medium-rare on the inside but thoroughly seared on the exterior, and you may need to utilize a two-zone cooking system with lump charcoal to shift seared dishes to a cooler region of the grill to complete cooking.
Several recipes call for briquettes, therefore make some changes when determining the quantity of lump charcoal needed for a good cook.
Grill Cooking Times
Always use a thermometer to verify that food cooks correctly and to a safe minimum internal temperature. You may, however, use your palm as a crude temperature gauge while prepping the grill for usage! The recommendations below will give you an accurate temperature reading if you hold your palm about a foot above the grill.
Holding your palm over the grill for five to seven seconds indicates a medium low heat of roughly 325F to 350F; three to four seconds indicates a medium heat of 350F to 375F.
A hot grill is 400F to 500F in one to two seconds, and a very hot grill is 600F and higher when your hand can remain in position for less than a second.
Lighting Lump Charcoal
Lump charcoal may be lit in a variety of ways. The most simple method is to use paper, kindling, and charcoal, although this may be unreliable and difficult in the rain. Add a few of firestarters to the charcoal for the next basic procedure.
Another option is a charcoal chimney. a simple tube that keeps the charcoal in place while you fire from the bottom, an electronic starter, or some bold souls may grab for the blowtorch.
While it may be tempting to use lighter fluid or similar items, you should always avoid them since they may leave an unpleasant or chemically aftertaste in your meal.
The Human and Environmental Costs of Charcoal Manufacturing
Charcoal production may take place in some of the world’s poorest and sometimes conflict-ridden nations, where it is simultaneously the primary energy source and a commercial export concern.
Charcoal workers are often exploited since there is no alternative job available, and they are paid based on the quantity of charcoal they produce rather than the lengthy labor-intensive hours they work.
Charcoal manufacturing also leads to widespread deforestation, while organizations such as the United Nations are currently working in these nations to assist production continue in a sustainable manner.
While purchasing charcoal, you may opt to seek for ethically produced charcoal, such as that made from tree trimmings or virgin trees classed for removal, such as when constructing a new home complex. You may also want to consider where it is manufactured, such as the United States, since this will ensure you of acceptable working conditions and salaries.
Charcoal Grills and Air Pollution
Charcoal grills contribute to air pollution by emitting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, however the amounts of pollution are far lower than those produced by motor cars, industry, or power production.
Numerous US states are increasingly pushing down on grills, such as California, where restaurant owners are being requested to register their charbroilers or, in certain circumstances, are being provided incentives to utilize greener technology.
Carbon Monoxide Safety and Charcoal Grills
When we’re grilling and a storm approaches, it’s all too tempting to wheel the grill into the garage to keep cooking. Sadly, this raises our danger of carbon monoxide poisoning, which is why we should always barbecue or smoke outside.
Carbon monoxide kills over 400 individuals in the United States each year and sends over 20,000 to the emergency department. Since carbon monoxide has no flavor, taste, or color and enters our bloodstream more easily than oxygen, we may not realize we’ve been breathing it in until it’s too late.
By keeping a charcoal grill or burner at least 20 feet away from our doors, windows, and vents, we may help lessen the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. Since other equipment such as gas ranges, fireplaces, and woodburning stoves may also emit carbon monoxide, installing carbon monoxide detectors in the house can help lower the risk of sickness or even death from this dangerous chemical.
Health Considerations of Grilling Food
When meats or fish are cooked over an open flame (or pan fried), compounds known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and heterocyclic amines are produced (HCAs). According to research, these PAHs and HCAs are mutagenic, which means they may alter our DNA and raise our risk of cancer.
When the sugars, amino acids, and creatinine or creatine in meats react at high temperatures, HCAs form. PAHs are formed when animal fat or juice falls into a fire, and the smoke produced includes PAHs, which subsequently adhere to the surface of the meat. PAHs are also found in smoked meat, other smoked foods, automobile exhaust fumes, and tobacco smoke.
The amount of PAHs or HCAs present varies on the kind of meat, how it is cooked, and how well it is cooked. Well-done grilled or BBQ meats often include higher HCAs, and if exposed to smoke, they may contain more PAHs.
It is difficult to determine how much PAHs and HCAs we are exposed to, our capacity to digest these compounds, and our lifestyle variances, as with any mutagen. There are presently no government standards for consuming foods containing PAHs or HCAs, while research into meat consumption, cooking techniques, and cancer risk is ongoing.
Grilling smaller pieces and leaner cuts, avoiding longer cooking periods at higher temperatures, microwaving meat before completing it over high heat, and flipping meat over continuously are some methods to help decrease the formation of PAHs and HCAs. Removing burnt meat and avoiding preparing gravy from drippings may also help decrease exposure.
While there are some drawbacks to lump charcoal, such as increased pricing and irregular size, it is currently the fuel of choice for many of us when we fire up the grill. Lump charcoal, which is made from hardwoods, may provide different smoky tastes while also burning at greater temperatures, cleanly, and with minimum ash, all of which are benefits over standard BBQ briquettes.
We hope that our lump charcoal review has given you the knowledge you need to choose the finest lump charcoal for your grill, cooker, or smoker, ensuring that the next time the grill is fired up, your steaks will really be a cut above the rest.
Which lump charcoal has the best flavor?
If you want to add the maximum flavor to your steaks, ribs, and other grilled meals, the FOGO Premium Lump Charcoal is highly recommended. This lump charcoal is created from hardwood oak trimmings with no other ingredients added, and the difference in the flavor of your meal is noticeable.
Which lump charcoal burns the hottest?
Harder Charcoal is manufactured entirely of quebracho wood, sometimes known as the “axe breaker” in South America. Because of its high hardness, Harder Charcoal is one of the hottest burning lump charcoals available.
What is the best charcoal in the world?
Binchotan charcoal is commonly regarded as the finest in the world among chefs, owing to its outstanding long-burning, odorless, and smokeless properties.
What is the longest burning lump charcoal?
This is a product of Kamado Joe Large Block Argentine XL Quality Charcoal. You immediately recognize what you’re receiving. According to Kamado Joe, this is the world’s biggest lump charcoal and can be used three times, each time burning for up to 18 hours.
What charcoal do the pros use?
Since lump charcoal is charcoal in its most natural form, it’s no surprise that purists nearly always favor it. Apart from that, lump charcoal has a number of appealing properties; it ignites quicker, burns hotter, and produces less ash than briquettes.
Which is the best charcoal to buy?
Finest Charcoal from Hardwood Lump. The Evil Jealousy Charcoal made entirely of natural hardwood lumber. 4.8 stars for Best Splurge Charcoal. IPPINKA Kishu Binchotan BBQ Charcoal…. Recommended for Ceramic Grills. … Finest Binch-tan FOGO Super Premium Lump Charcoal. The Evil Jealousy ONYX Binchotan Charcoal…. Briquettes at the Greatest Price. Authentic Charcoal Briquettes from Kingsford.
Oct 13, 2022
How do I choose lump charcoal?
The finest Lump charcoal should be 100% pure, all-natural hardwood, devoid of chemicals, fillers, binders, and other additions. A good lump contains similar-sized bits and a little amount of dust at the bottom of the bag. Excellent grade features huge chunks, burns longer, and emits very little ash.
Is large lump charcoal better?
All charcoal is formed of the same thing: wood that has been burnt with minimal oxygen, leaving just carbon. Yet, manufacturers of lump charcoal argue that it is preferable due to its purity – it includes no additives like normal briquettes or lighter fluid like instant-light briquettes.
What is the shelf life of lump charcoal?
Charcoal has an endless shelf life if kept properly in a cold, dry area. This means that it should be maintained free from moisture and temperature fluctuations.
What charcoal is better than Kingsford?
Manufacture of Ash
According on the results of this test, Royal Oak Classic briquettes create about 50% more ash than Kingsford.