In 2023, the Top 9 Lump Charcoal Brands for Smoking & Grilling

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Charcoal is charcoal, right?

No, not exactly. The kind of charcoal you use, as well as the wood from which it was manufactured, may have a big influence on the flavor and cooking time of your meal.

The first difficulty is distinguishing between lump charcoal and charcoal briquettes.

  • Lump charcoal is created by burning chunks of pure wood in an oxygen-deficient atmosphere until they are nothing more than carbon fragments.
  • Charcoal briquettes are created in a similar manner, but they are formed of sawdust and scrap wood that is clumped together in tidy tiny squares with the help of a variety of chemicals. Some pitmasters believe that they can detect these additions during cooking and that they taste lighter meals such as chicken and fish.

If you want to learn more about the distinctions between lump charcoal and charcoal briquettes, read our article about it. For the time being, we’ll stick with the cleaner-burning lump charcoal and give you an overview of the charcoal brands we like.

Our top 9 choices for best lump charcoal in 2023

The 9 Best Lump Charcoal Brands for Smoking & Grilling in 2023

1. Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal

Jealous Devil produces all of their charcoal utilizing an all-natural carbonization procedure from South American hardwood. So, if you’re worried about what’s in your burn, Jealous Devil is a great option for a no-additional charcoal.

Another advantage of utilizing just thick South American hardwood is that it burns longer and hotter than standard charcoal. This is due to the fact that it is about 30% denser than oak or hickory.

The wood you choose also imparts a faint smoky taste to your meal, which provides a delightful undertone to more substantial steaks like brisket but does not overpower lighter items like chicken or white fish.

Jealous Devil is rightly proud of their charcoal bags. Instead of the thin paper we’ve all been used to, their bags are:

  • waterproof
  • dustproof
  • UV-resistant
  • resealable

Because you won’t use as much Jealous Devil charcoal each cooking session, finding a means to properly store this high-quality product is important.

2. Fogo Premium Oak Restaurant All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal

Fogos all-natural restaurant-quality charcoal is composed completely of high-quality hardwood and works nicely with ceramic-style grills such as the Kamado Joe or the Big Green Egg.

White oak is the primary wood in the mix used by Fogo; it is combined with other woods to generate charcoal that is easy to ignite, burns for a longer period of time, and creates enough heat to sear a steak.

Fogo is well-known for include huge pieces of charcoal in their bags, eliminating the need to purchase a bag of charcoal chips, and its size and homogeneity make it simpler to achieve a steady temperature while cooking.

3. Cowboy Lump Charcoal

Cowboy logo Lump charcoal includes no coal or chemical additions and is comprised of a variety of hardwoods for a long, clean burn.

One advantage of utilizing Cowboy charcoal is that the mixture of woods used in its production does not give much taste to the dish being cooked.

So, if you’re the kind of pitmaster who likes that their BBQ fuel not interfere with their meticulously made rubs and marinades, this is the charcoal for you.

4. B&B Charcoal Oak Lump Charcoal, Flavor Oak

Unlike Cowboy Lump Charcoal, B&B Charcoal Oak Lump Charcoal is rich in oaky taste, and the density of the hardwood utilized in its production makes it perfect for lengthy burns without the need for bag after bag of more charcoal.

B&B uses no additives in their charcoal production method, so the only taste you’ll receive is from the wood, and their 100% natural charcoal production technique is as ecologically sustainable as possible.

5. Kamado Joe All Natural Big Block Argentinian XL Premium Charcoal

You may have heard us sing Kamado Joe’s praises in our evaluation of the best kamado grills for 2020, and you’ll be pleased to know that their charcoal is just as fantastic as their ceramic grills.

Their all-natural blend is created from Argentinian hardwood trees, which are so thick that the locals call them “Axe Breakers.”

The resultant charcoal burns longer and may achieve the high temperatures needed to sear a steak properly. The bigger pieces in the Kamado Joe bags also burn slower and hence last longer than normal lump charcoal.

The Argentinian hardwood, like the Jealous Devil charcoal, imparts a subtle but discernible smoky flavor to the food cooked over it. It’s not overbearing, but it adds a little something special to your standard BBQ rub flavor profile.

6. Royal Oak All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal

When it comes to grill fuel, Royal Oak charcoal has become synonymous with excellence. Although it contains no chemicals, its clean-burning charcoal ignites fast and swiftly heats up to cooking temperature.

The charcoal itself is created from an eco-friendly blend of oak, hickory, maple, and walnut wood sourced from sustainable forestry programs.

This blend burns smoothly, produces minimal ash, and delivers steady heat. The bigger chunks may be reused, and Royal Oak promises burn periods of up to 16 to 18 hours. Perfect for slow-cooked brisket.

7. IPPINKA Kishu Binchotan BBQ Charcoal

IPPINKA Kishu Binchotan is a form of charcoal that was imported from Japan. Binch-tan charcoal, also known as white charcoal, is a traditional fuel for Japanese kamado-style cooking pots constructed from Japanese white oak.

Binch-tan charcoal, which was initially used to cook excellent Wagyu beef, is regarded by some as the best grade charcoal in the world.

Kish binch-tan signifies that the charcoal was produced in Wakayama region, and, much as Kobe beef is the pinnacle of Wagyu cattle, Kish binch-tan is regarded as the greatest charcoal produced in Japan.

Kish binch-tan is very thick, burns for an extremely long period, and half burnt lumps may be reused by cooling them in water and then drying them out for a day before burning them again.

8. Primo Natural Lump Charcoal 

Primo Natural Lump Charcoal has no toxic chemicals or tars and has an incredibly extended burn life. Primo claims that a single bag may power up to 35 cookers for up to 36 hours since loads can be drenched and reused.

So, if you’re seeking for the ideal fuel for some low and slow cooking, Primo is a great option.

9. Rockwood All-Natural Hardwood Lump

The wood used in the production of Rockwoods all-natural hardwood lump charcoal is sourced entirely from sustainable sources in Missouri. The oak, hickory, maple, and pecan utilized to manufacture the charcoal are all leftover hardwood from timber milling, and no trees are specifically cut to make charcoal.

Furthermore, the bags and soy-based inks used to carry the charcoal are recyclable, landfill-safe, and will not emit toxic gases when burnt.

Rockwood is the fuel for you if you want a sustainable, ecologically friendly charcoal that is still created from high-quality wood and burns clean and hot.

Wrapping it up

That’s all there is to it. Our selection of the finest charcoal manufacturers on the market. All of these manufacturers make charcoal that is additive-free and manufactured from high-quality wood. Long burn periods, high and steady temps, and little ash to clean up are all to be expected.

With woods ranging from Argentine ax-breaker trees to sustainable Missouri pecan, there is certain to be a smoky wood flavor that meets your taste on this list.

Is there a charcoal brand that you believe we overlooked? Do you have any tips for lighting the incredibly thick Kish binch-tan? We’d appreciate it if you could let us know in the comments section below.


The 9 Best Lump Charcoal Brands for Smoking & Grilling in 2023

What is the best type of charcoal for smoking?

Briquettes are an excellent alternative for your smoker if you get the cleanest versions available. A large portion of charcoal sold is crushed sawdust shaped into briquettes. These are often made with a natural, sugar-based binding agent that burns cleanly. Many less expensive kinds include anthracite or coal in the mix for better, hotter burning.

What charcoal do professional smokers use?

Natural hardwood lump charcoal is often used by professional smokers for their smoking requirements. This charcoal is created from hardwood that has been burnt down to its purest form without the addition of any additives. As a consequence, the charcoal burns cleanly and consistently, producing great heat and a constant smoke taste.

Which lump charcoal has less smoke flavor?

Hardwood chunk burns for a longer period of time and generates less ash and smoke, making it excellent. Some lump charcoal has been fully carbonized, which means it emits little or no smoke. Fully carbonized wood imparts little to no smoke taste to your meal, allowing you to enhance the flavor of your meat using rubs and sauces.

Which lump charcoal burns longest?

“This charcoal, made from dense Central American hardwood, delivers consistently high heat and burns longer than many other lump charcoals on the market, allowing for better temperature control when grilling,” says Fogo.

Does lump charcoal add smoke flavor?

Lump charcoal generates purer smoke, which penetrates the meat, tenderizing it and imparting a smoky taste. That is why it is said that lump charcoal adds taste to dishes. After burning, lump charcoal produces relatively little ash. This means less cleanup when you’ve finished cooking.

What is the best charcoal that lasts the longest?

Purchasing Alternatives. Royal Oak Classic Briquets are our recommendation for all-purpose briquets that may be used in almost any culinary environment. Ridge Briquets are briquets that burn almost as hot as and last longer than some of the greatest briquets we tested.

Is Kingsford Professional charcoal good for smoking?

They provide a hotter burn, which is ideal for searing flavor into your favorite foods. They also have the lowest ash composition from Kingsford, making them ideal for ceramic grills and smokers. They’re ready to grill in approximately 10 minutes and consistently produce strong heat and a consistent burn duration.

What is the best Kingsford for smoking?

For smokers and charcoal grills, we recommend the Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes. If you had one of these at home, the ideal usage for it would be some low and slow smoking. When cooked in this manner, meat has a distinct smoky taste as well as a firm smoky crust known as the smoke ring.

Is lump charcoal good for a smoker?

Lump charcoal is fantastic for both grilling and smoking since it burns very hot, enabling you to sear your tomahawk steaks to perfection. However, it can be programmed to burn gently at low temperatures for delicious brisket.

Which lump charcoal burns the hottest?

XL Restaurant Style Barbecue Grilling Lump Charcoal Harder Charcoal 100 Percent Natural. Harder Charcoal is manufactured entirely of quebracho wood, sometimes known as the “axe breaker” in South America. That thick hardness is what makes Harder Charcoal one of the hottest burning lump charcoals on the market, and it does so consistently.


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