The Best Lump Charcoal for Smoking & Grilling

Best Lump Charcoal

The best lump charcoal for your grilling needs is just around the corner, and we’re here to help you find it! Dive into the world of delicious smoky flavors, tender meats, and perfect sear lines that only the highest quality lump charcoal can provide.

Grilling is more than a cooking method – it’s an art. And like any artist, you need the right tools to create your masterpiece. The lump charcoal you choose can make all the difference between an ordinary BBQ and an extraordinary one.

So let’s embark on this flavor-filled journey to find the best lump charcoal that will elevate your grilling game to a whole new level!

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Quick Facts About Lump Charcoal

  • Lump charcoal is made from real pieces of wood, charred down to create chunks of burnable fuel, providing a natural and flavor-enhancing option for grilling.
  • Lump charcoal produces minimal ash compared to charcoal briquettes, making clean-up after grilling easier and quicker.
  • Lump charcoal can be reused; if you shut off the oxygen supply (close the grill lid and vents), the charcoal will stop burning and can be relit for your next cookout.
  • When buying lump charcoal, look for brands that specify the type of wood used, ensure it’s free of chemicals, and check reviews for consistency in lump size and quality.

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Our Picks: The Best Lump Charcoal

Editors Choice for Best Lump Charcoal

Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal

Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal

  • 100% natural, dense hardwood charcoal.
  • Efficient, high-heat burning with flavor enhancement.
  • Minimized sparking and ash production.
Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal

The Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal is 100% natural hardwood lump charcoal made from ultra-dense South American hardwoods. It doesn’t have any chemicals, fillers, or scrap material, just the way we like it!

We love using Jealous Devil’s Charcoal because it burns so efficiently and produces a consistently high heat that sears our meat perfectly. Plus, its burn time is impressive, comfortably lasting through even our longest smoking sessions. We found that the aroma it produces is mild yet pleasing, adding a unique depth to the flavor of our grilled dishes.

We also noticed very little sparking and popping while grilling with this lump charcoal on our charcoal grill. This, along with the minimal ash produced makes it our number one choice for lump charcoal.

Best Overall Lump Charcoal

Kamado Joe Lump Charcoal

Kamado Joe Lump Charcoal

  • 100% natural, distinctive Argentinian hardwood blend.
  • Reusable, long burn time, with robust wood-fire flavor.
  • High-temperature burning for ideal searing and slow cooking.
Kamado Joe Lump Charcoal

The Kamado Joe Lump Charcoal is another great product that delivers a premium grilling experience. This charcoal is 100% natural, crafted from a distinctive blend of Guayacan, Guayaibi, Mistal, and White Quebracho hardwoods commissioned exclusively from Argentina.

The charcoal in this 20 lb bag is reusable up to three times and can burn for an impressive 18 hours. Because it’s made from genuine hardwood, it offers a robust wood-fire flavor that some other brands, made from scrap furniture or processed wood, simply can’t match.

Our experience with the Kamado Joe Lump Charcoal was great. Its high burning temperature allowed us to sear steaks perfectly, and the long burn time was ideal for slow cooking. What stood out to us was the authentic wood-fired flavor it gave to our food, enhancing the taste significantly.

Runner Up Best Lump Charcoal

FOGO Super Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal

FOGO Super Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal

  • All-natural hardwood charcoal, ideal for long Kamado-style grill sessions.
  • Contains large 4″+ pieces, easy to light and long-lasting.
  • Quality, consistency, and distinct flavor due to Inga wood blend.
Fogo Super Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal

Here comes the FOGO Super Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal, a truly exceptional fuel for your grilling adventures. This all-natural hardwood lump charcoal comes in a 17.6-pound bag, designed for long cooking sessions. This is an excellent choice for ceramic-style Kamado Grills like Big Green Egg, Primo, Kamado Joe, and more.

They claim that at least 80% of the bag is filled with large pieces of 4″ or more, and that’s exactly what we found in ours. We loved how easy this charcoal was to light and how long it stayed lit.

In comparison to other brands, FOGO stands out with its emphasis on quality and consistency. Its unique blend of Inga wood gives it a distinct flavor profile, and the large-sized charcoal pieces contribute to a longer burn time. Also, FOGO’s commitment to all-natural, chemical-free charcoal makes it a healthy and tasty choice!

All in all, FOGO Charcoal is an excellent choice for those who seek long-lasting, high-heat grilling and smoking sessions, and who appreciate the enhanced flavor that quality charcoal can impart to food.

Best Quick Lighting Lump Charcoal

Royal Oak Lump Charcoal

Royal Oak Lump Charcoal

  • Premium, 100% natural blend suitable for all grills.
  • Easy to light, quick readiness, and even burning.
  • Ideal for eco-conscious users valuing distinct hardwood flavors.
Royal Oak Lump Charcoal

The Royal Oak Lump Charcoal is a premium option made from 100% natural sources like oak, hickory, maple, and walnut. This Lump Charcoal is suitable for all grill types, including kamado and ceramic grills, and promises a clean, consistent burn, reaching the desired temperature in just 15 minutes.

Our time spent with the Royal Oak Lump Charcoal was both enjoyable and satisfying. The charcoal was easy to light and ready in about 15 minutes as promised. When comparing Royal Oak Hickory Lump Charcoal to its counterparts, the quick readiness time and even burning qualities stood out.

The target audience for Royal Oak Lump Charcoal would be eco-conscious grill enthusiasts who value quick readiness and consistent heating. The product will be particularly appreciated by those who wish to avoid chemical additives and enjoy the distinct flavors imparted by a unique blend of hardwoods.

Most Authentic Lump Charcoal

Cowboy Lump Charcoal

Cowboy Lump Charcoal

  • All-natural hardwood charcoal, ideal for long Kamado-style grill sessions.
  • Contains large 4″+ pieces, easy to light and long-lasting.
  • Quality, consistency, and distinct flavor due to Inga wood blend.
Cowboy Lump Charcoal

The Cowboy Lump Charcoal is deeply rooted in the authentic Western frontier culinary tradition. Made from a blend of oak, hickory, and maple hardwoods, this all-natural, 100% hardwood lump charcoal is an ode to the simplicity of old-school grilling.

The Cowboy Lump Charcoal is designed to burn both hot and fast, locking in the flavors of your food in record time. You can ignite it without the need for lighter fluid, making it a safer, more environmentally friendly option.

We got a chance to try out Cowboy Lump Charcoal, and we were highly impressed. It was easy to light and quickly reached high temperatures, searing our food beautifully and adding a distinctive hickory hardwood smoky flavor. The charcoal burns hot and fast, true to its promise, and the absence of lighter fluid or other additives left no unwanted flavors on our grilled meats.

This product will be a hit among grill enthusiasts who appreciate a traditional, natural grilling experience and are keen on getting their food on the table quickly. It’s ideal for those who prioritize natural products and are environmentally conscious.

Most Sustainable Lump Charcoal

The Good Charcoal Company Hardwood Lump Charcoal

The Good Charcoal Company Hardwood Lump Charcoal

  • All-natural hardwood charcoal, ideal for long Kamado-style grill sessions.
  • Contains large 4″+ pieces, easy to light and long-lasting.
  • Quality, consistency, and distinct flavor due to Inga wood blend.
The Good Charcoal Company Hardwood Lump Charcoal

For grill enthusiasts seeking an environmentally friendly, yet high-performance charcoal, the Premium Acacia Hardwood Lump Charcoal by the Good Charcoal Company could be your new favorite.

Originating from the intensely hot bushlands of Namibia in Africa, this lump charcoal is made from acacia wood, which is denser than the typically used oak and hickory. This feature allows it to burn hotter, cleaner, and more evenly than other charcoals.

Plus, it’s 100% chemical-free and sustainably harvested, making it a great choice for those who care about the planet. Remarkably, it’s the first and only FSC® certified charcoal sold in the US. Not every charcoal on the market is sustainably harvested or chemical-free, so this is definitely a standout feature.

Ideal for environmentally-conscious grill masters and BBQ enthusiasts who don’t want to compromise on quality, this lump charcoal brings high heat and durability, all while taking care of Mother Earth.

Our Picks: The Best Lump Charcoal

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Understanding Lump Charcoal

When it comes to buying lump charcoals, there are many factors to consider. Understanding these can help you make an informed decision, ensuring you get the most out of your grilling or barbecuing experience.

Best Lump Charcoal 2

The Importance of Burn Time

One critical factor to consider is the burn time. For longer cooking sessions, especially low and slow cooking, you want lump charcoal that can maintain heat for an extended period.

This is where hardwood charcoals come into play. They are denser than lighter woods, leading to longer burn times. Therefore, a brand offering high-quality hardwood lump charcoal would be an excellent choice.

Lump Charcoal Brands

Choosing from a variety of lump charcoal brands can seem daunting, but a few key points can help you make the right decision:

  • Quality of Wood: Hardwood charcoal generally provides longer burn time and less ash compared to lighter woods. Always look for brands that use 100% natural hardwood.
  • Size of Charcoal Pieces: Larger pieces tend to burn longer and maintain more consistent temperatures.
  • Consistency: A good lump charcoal brand will maintain consistency in their bags, meaning each bag you buy will perform similarly.

Comparing Lump Charcoal to Charcoal Briquettes

Lump charcoal and charcoal briquettes are the two primary types of charcoal you will find on the market. While both can be used for grilling, they have distinct differences:

  • Lump Charcoal: This is made from hardwood and is burned until it turns into charcoal pieces. It lights faster, burns hotter, and produces minimal ash. Lump charcoal is usually more expensive but offers better flavor and is considered more natural because it contains no binders or fillers.
  • Charcoal Briquettes: These are made by combining ground charcoal with other ingredients like cornstarch, sawdust, and other additives. They are uniform in size and burn more consistently but take longer to light. Briquettes also produce more ash than lump charcoal.

Minimal Ash for Easier Cleanup

Look for lump charcoal that produces very little ash. A major benefit of buying lump charcoal over briquettes is that it produces minimal ash. Very little ash not only means less mess to clean up but also allows for better airflow in your grill or smoker, providing more consistent temperatures.

Buying Lump Charcoal: A Few Final Tips

When buying lump charcoal, consider the following points:

  • Packaging: Good packaging should be sturdy, keeping the charcoal pieces intact. Avoid bags with too many crushed pieces or dust.
  • Sustainability: Look for brands that source their wood responsibly. Some brands even contribute to environmental causes, making them an even better choice for eco-conscious consumers.
  • Price vs. Quality: While lump charcoal can be more expensive than briquettes, the flavor difference and burn efficiency can make it worth the extra cost.

Armed with this information, you should be better prepared to make an informed decision when buying lump charcoal. Happy grilling!

Charcoal Grill Accessories: How To Use A Chimney Starter

A chimney starter is an efficient and reliable way to get your lump charcoal ready for cooking. It ensures your charcoal is evenly lit and ready to use, removing the need for lighter fluid and providing a quicker, more efficient start.

Chimney Starter For The Best Lump Charcoal

Let’s walk through the steps of using a chimney starter with lump charcoal.

  1. First, remove the cooking grate from your grill and place the chimney starter in the center.
  2. Next, stuff the lower section of the chimney with newspaper or a lighter cube.
  3. Fill the top section with your lump charcoal. Make sure the charcoal fills the chimney to the top, but don’t overfill it.
  4. Light the newspaper or lighter cube through the holes at the bottom of the chimney starter. The flame will rise and start to ignite the charcoal.
  5. Let the charcoal burn in the chimney until the lumps at the top are white-hot, usually around 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Carefully pour the hot charcoal into the grill, using grill gloves or tongs for safety, and spread them evenly.
  7. Replace the cooking grate and allow it to heat up before you start grilling.

How To Light Lump Charcoal Without A Chimney Starter

If you don’t have a chimney starter, don’t worry. You can still easily light your lump charcoal and achieve a great burn for your grilling session.

The trick to lighting lump charcoal without a chimney starter involves creating a sort of “pyramid” or “volcano” structure with charcoal to help spread the heat and fire naturally. This method also reduces the amount of smoke produced during ignition and eliminates the need for any chemical accelerants, which can adversely impact the flavor of your food.

Here’s how you can do it.

  1. Create a mound of lump charcoal in your grill or smoker, leaving a slight indentation at the top for a fire starter.
  2. Place a natural fire starter (like a paraffin wax cube or newspaper) into the indentation and light it.
  3. Let the fire starter burn for a few seconds, then carefully pile a few more pieces of lump charcoal on top and around it.
  4. Leave the grill lid open and let the charcoal catch fire. This process can take about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Once the charcoal pieces are white-hot and covered with gray ash, spread them out evenly using a grill tool.
  6. Allow the grill grate to heat up for a few minutes before you start cooking.

Lump Charcoal FAQs

What is lump charcoal?

Lump charcoal is a natural form of charcoal made from hardwood. It’s created by burning the wood in a low-oxygen environment, which removes water, sap, and other substances from the wood, leaving behind pure, high-carbon charcoal. Unlike charcoal briquettes, lump charcoal doesn’t contain any additives or fillers, making it a favorite choice for many grill masters.

How is lump charcoal different from charcoal briquettes?

Lump charcoal and charcoal briquettes are both types of charcoal used for grilling, but they’re made differently and have different characteristics. Lump charcoal is made from pure hardwood and tends to burn hotter and faster than briquettes. It also produces less ash, which makes cleanup easier. Charcoal briquettes, on the other hand, are made from a combination of wood char, coal, and other ingredients. They burn longer but at lower temperatures compared to lump charcoal.

Can lump charcoal be reused?

Yes, lump charcoal can be reused. After grilling, if you have remaining lump charcoal that hasn’t been fully burned, you can save it for your next grilling session. Simply close the lid and vents on your grill to cut off the oxygen supply and allow the charcoal to cool completely before storing it in a dry place.

How long does lump charcoal burn?

The burn time of lump charcoal can vary based on its size and the type of wood used. On average, you can expect lump charcoal to burn for about 1 to 2 hours. However, larger pieces of lump charcoal can burn for up to 4 hours. It’s always best to have extra on hand to add to the fire as needed.

How do I store lump charcoal?

To maintain the quality of lump charcoal, it should be stored in a dry, cool place. Make sure the charcoal is completely cool before storing it. You can keep the charcoal in its original bag, but be sure to seal it tightly to prevent moisture from getting in. If you live in a humid climate, consider storing the bag of charcoal in a sealed container for extra protection.

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