We all enjoy grilled food with a hint of charcoal flavor. One of the most conventional and effective ways to enhance the flavor of food is to use lump charcoal. But, hold on a second, are all lump charcoals on the market of the same quality?

And as always, the answer is a strong no. They’re not all the same. That’s why we’ve put up a list of the top lump charcoal reviews based on their unique features and usage.

On a portable grill, kamado grill, or other outside griddles, you can cook using lump charcoal. Furthermore, lump charcoal performs well at high temperatures of around 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Best lump charcoals reviewed

If you’re wondering which ones to try, check our list of best lump charcoals in the market today.

Jealous Devil All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal

Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal - 35LB
  • 100% NATURAL: Pure, ultra-dense South American hardwoods - no chemicals, fillers, or scrap material
  • PRO / RESTAURANT QUALITY: No sparking, no popping, and low ash - ideal for any grill, smoker, or kamado
  • SUPERIOR BURN: Twice the cook power (over 7000kcal/g), hotter temperatures (max over 1170F), and far longer burn time (4+ hours open grills / 20+ hours in smokers)

To maintain freshness, this Jealous Devil All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal is packaged in a waterproof, re-sealable bag with a zip top clasp. Without any additives or fillers, it comprises 100% pure and ultra-dense South American hardwood lump charcoal.

First, let’s talk about the bag’s quality. To prevent any breakage or spilling, it’s made of premium-quality kraft paper.

Furthermore, each bag weighs around 35 pounds, which is sufficient to support numerous grilling sessions. As a result, the bag provides additional moisture protection for the charcoal during transportation or delivery.

South American wood, comparable to oak, is used to make the final charcoal. Not only that, but the charcoal is made up of a variety of hardwoods, giving the cooked meal a mellow and pleasant flavor. This way, the original flavor of the meal is preserved.

This wood, by the way, is the safest alternative because it sparks less than the other coal options on the market. It can survive a continuous 20 hours of smoking or four hours of hard cooking at a higher temperature. The Jealous Devil lump charcoal can reach a maximum temperature of 1,170 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pros

  • Bag is waterproof and resealable
  • Dustproof container
  • Closure with a zip
  • 100% South American hardwood
  • No chemicals or fillers 
  • Reduces the amount of ash produced

Cons

  • Pricey

Fogo All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal for Smoking

Sale
Fogo Super Premium Oak Restaurant All-Natural Smoked Hardwood Large Lump Charcoal for Smoking...
  • PREMIUM BLEND: 35-pound bag of all-natural hardwood lump charcoal that's perfect for smoking sessions and reverse sear type cooks; Super Premium charcoal can be used for everyday cooking but recommended for smoking sessions and reverse sear type cooks
  • EXCELLENT FOR KAMADO GRILLS: Lump charcoal that's perfect for ceramic style Kamado Grills like Big Green Egg, Primo, Kamado Joe, and more
  • BIG PIECES: Large sized charcoal pieces 4 inches or longer; The large size gives more surface area and will ensure a long and slow burn and give better airflow for temperature control

Fogo’s All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal for Smoking is an all-natural hardwood lump charcoal that’s perfect for smoking and reverse sear cooking. It’s also a great match for kamado grills like the Green Egg, Kamado Joe, Primo, and many more. It gives your grilled meal a mellow, mild oak flavor.

A 35-pound bag of charcoal contains 11.1 pounds large, 18.6 pounds medium, and 3.5 pounds little lumps, as well as 1.6 pounds chips and dust. If you wish to put the larger pieces in a tiny grill, you may need to break them down with a hammer.

You’ll need five sheets of newspaper in the chimney to light the charcoal. The finest part is the lack of glitz and modest pops. Furthermore, the fire spreads slowly, resulting in moderate smoke from the charcoal.

The charcoal reaches a maximum temperature of 859 degrees Fahrenheit, which is typical when compared to other brands.

On the plus side, Fogo lump charcoal burns for a longer time and produces average ash. You can also use it for slow cooking for more than 20 hours at a reduced temperature. It just takes 15 minutes for the entire batch to reach its optimal fire rate, allowing you to begin grilling right away.

Pros

  • 100% natural
  • Charcoal chunks with a diameter of four inches
  • Quick lighting up

Cons

  • Hard and dense
  • Packaging can be improved

B&B Charcoal Oak Lump Charcoal

B&B Charcoal Oak Lump Charcoal, Flavor Oak, 20 lbs.
  • 100% natural
  • No additives or fillers
  • Environmentally friendly

B&B Charcoal Oak Lump Charcoal is made entirely of Texas-style oak charcoal with no additives or fillers. For over 50 years, B&B has been producing charcoal. During smoking or searing, this high-quality oak wood imparts an exquisite flavor.

The extensive process of burning oak wood into charcoal is a distinguishing feature of B&B charcoal. The procedure removes any undesired foreign matter from the wood, such as acids and resins. The final component is a natural fiber that imparts a natural, delicate flavor to the dish.

The charcoal burns hotter and rapidly reaches a high temperature. Furthermore, it lasts longer and produces less ash residue.

Pros

  • No additives or fillers 
  • Texas-style 
  • Eco-friendly
  • Made entirely of oak
  • Burns longer and more efficiently

Cons

  • Not easy to ignite

Kamado Joe All-Natural Big Block Argentinian XL Premium Charcoal 

The Guayacan, Mistal, Guayaibi, and White Quebracho hardwoods from Argentina are used to make the Kamado Joe All Natural Big Block Argentinian XL Premium Charcoal. To make lump charcoal, all of these woods, which are recognized for their hardness, are burned in outdoor ovens. As a result, you get a clean-burning wood with a pleasant scent.

By the way, these lump charcoals can be reused up to three times. Furthermore, a single batch can burn for 16 to 18 hours, making slow-smoking possible overnight. Unlike any other brand on the market, the charcoal provides a cleaner and longer burning experience.

A heavy-duty paper bag protects against moisture and spills. There are lumps of various sizes in the pack, including huge, medium, and small pieces. Large portions can be used for a protracted cooking session. Smaller pieces, on the other hand, light up faster and faster while grilling meals like steaks and burgers.

With a strong woody flavor, Kamado Joe lump charcoal enhances the flavor of the cuisine. It also contains oak in addition to the Argentenain hardwood. It may reach a maximum temperature of 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also cook your steak at a steady temperature of 750 degrees Fahrenheit.

These lump charcoals are ideal for use in a ceramic grill since they insulate and contain heat. Because they light up so quickly, you can reach the ideal cooking temperature in about 15 minutes.

Pros

  • Can be used up to three times
  • Lights up fast
  • 100% natural
  • A single batch can burn for 16-18 hours

Cons

  • Big lumps should be broken down first
  • Pricey

Rockwood All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal

Rockwood All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal - Missouri Oak, Hickory, Maple, and Pecan Wood Mix
  • 100% all-natural lump charcoal made from Missouri grown Oak, Hickory, Maple, & Pecan.
  • #1 consumer ranked charcoal and on The Naked Whiz' Lump Charcoal Database. "Highly recommended" by the professional reviewers at The Naked Whiz.
  • Our slow burning, ash minimizing coal lights easily, heats quickly, and burns boldly for juicier, more flavorful food and is great for any type of grill or smoker.

The Rockwood All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal is made of Hickory, Maple, Missouri grown oak, and Pecan, and is 100% natural. It adds a rich aroma and pleasant flavor into your foraged food in this manner. Furthermore, it burns slowly but swiftly, leaving little ash behind.

The best part is that instead of harvesting trees, the coal is generated from renewable natural resources. It denotes that the coal is made from wood scraps left over from the milling process. Chemicals, binders, fillers, and any other contaminants are also absent.

Furthermore, the paper bag and soy-based inks are both recyclable and landfill-friendly. It means that if the decaying bag is burned, it will not emit dangerous vapors.

Each 20-pound bag includes 3.8 pounds of large pieces, 12 pounds of medium pieces, 4.1 pounds of small bits, and one pound of chips or dust. These lump charcoals are the purest type of carbon, and when burned, they emit a high-pitched glass sound.

The maximum temperature that Rockwood lump charcoal can reach is 900 degrees Fahrenheit, which is higher than other brands. The fire, on the other hand, spread slowly to reach the necessary temperature.

Pros

  • CA Prop 65 compliant
  • Burns over a longer period of time and at a higher temperature
  • Reduces the amount of ash produced
  • Makes cleanup a breeze
  • No chemicals or fillers 
  • Eco-friendly

Cons

  • Unpredictable quality

Buyer’s guide

Briquette vs. lump charcoals

Lump and briquettes are both types of charcoal, which is one of the greatest fuels for grilling your favorite meat. Lump can be thought of as a basic form of charcoal, but briquettes contain additives like sawdust to keep them in excellent shape.

Lump charcoal

Lump charcoal is made from wood that has been burned for a long time in a low-oxygen atmosphere. This cleanses it and burns away any sap or water, resulting in something that is carbon-like. This is lump charcoal, which is charcoal in its purest form.

Lump charcoal may not appear to be much. In fact, it resembles burnt wood in its natural state. However, it is made up of around 89% carbon, which is what makes it such a good BBQ-burning ingredient.

Its creation is actually highly time-consuming and labor-intensive. What begins as 1.5 tons of wood is reduced down to barely a quarter-ton of charcoal, which is then used for cooking. What’s left is a natural, clean-burning fuel that’s perfectly safe to use for grilling or smoking meals.

Origin and quality

Make sure the lump charcoal is derived from responsibly harvested hardwood. Good lump charcoal is made entirely of hardwood, with no fillers, additions, or binders. There shouldn’t be many sparks either.

Flavor

Typically, lump charcoal is made up of a combination of hardwoods, generally oak, beech, and ash, rather than a single species. Different hardwood species, on the other hand, have varied flavor profiles. Lighter woods, such as maple, have a sweeter flavor, which is ideal for white meat cooking. 

Darker woods, such as oak and hickory, have a more robust flavor which is perfect for red meat. Remember that single-species lumps are rare to come by. They’re commonly found in the form of briquettes.

Burning temperature

The temperature at which hardwood lump charcoal burns varies depending on the species. Apple, for example, burns at 1190 degrees Fahrenheit, while maple burns at 1200. This means you’ll have to vent your fire differently depending on the type of charcoal you’re using, so keep that in mind.

Size

Large, consistent wood-shaped chunks make up the majority of high-quality lump charcoal bags—the larger they are, the longer and hotter they burn. Also, keep an eye out for the amount of charcoal dust at the bottom of the bag. It’s useless for grilling and can create a lot of sparks.

Availability

Lump charcoal is not readily available in every store. We like online-only businesses so that we may have the charcoal bag delivered to our door. After all, charcoal bags are cumbersome, and some of them are filthy. Have your charcoal brought to your door as a favor to yourself. Grilling charcoal is difficult to come by at petrol stations and small retailers.

Why is lump charcoal great for smoking?

To begin, what is lump charcoal and how does it compare to briquette? Isn’t it all going to burn away in the end? Yes, but the way it burns is the most crucial component.

Briquettes

Briquettes can be thought of as concentrated pucks of sawdust and other wood waste. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that they require a lot of additives to be effective.

Charcoal lump

Genuine chunks of wood are sealed in a vacuum until they’re fully dry, and then pure charcoal is produced.

In practice, this implies that switching to hardwood lump charcoal provides you with the following benefits:

  • Lighting time is reduced
  • Hotter temperature
  • A lot easier to change the temperature

Tips and tricks

Here are a few things to consider before buying and using lump charcoal. Continue reading to find out if your charcoal will have a smoky flavor and how to start a charcoal fire.

  • Look at the material content while buying lump charcoal. Hardwood chunk burns for a longer time and produces less ash and smoke, making it an excellent choice.
  • Some lump charcoal has been fully carbonized, which means it produces little or no smoke. Fully carbonized wood imparts little to no smoke taste to your food, allowing you to enhance the flavor of your meat using rubs and sauces. Look for lump charcoal that hasn’t gone through the carbonization process if you’re looking for smokey meat.
  • The type of heat produced by charcoal is largely determined by how it is lit. Lighting from the top down is ideal for low and slow cooking of meats like ribs and brisket, while lighting from the bottom is ideal for searing steaks and burgers at high temperatures.
  • Once the charcoal is lighted, use a tool to position it for the greatest effects. When there are spaces between the bits of lump charcoal, air can flow through and burn more efficiently. By properly distributing the charcoal under the grates, you can attain a consistent temperature across the entire grilling area, whereas banking lumps to one side create two temperature zones.
  • Because lump charcoal is pricey, make sure you use it wisely. Cover the grill and close all vents when you’re done grilling for the day to put out the flame and save the remaining charcoal for another time.

FAQs

Is lump charcoal superior to regular charcoal?

Briquettes require all of those chemicals in order to stay compacted, light easily, and smoke longer. That’s why, if you’ve ever used briquettes and noticed a chemical odor, it’s because of this. Lump charcoal is made entirely of natural materials. That implies it doesn’t require any of those chemicals to maintain the desirable properties of your fuel.

Furthermore, neither your grill nor your meal will have that chemical odor. Briquettes take a long time to light and reach the temperatures required for grilling the majority of dishes. When it’s all over, you’ll have a large pile of ash to clean up and remove from your grill.

Both of these problems can be avoided by using all-natural lump charcoal. It’s really simple to light, gets your grill to the desired temperatures quickly, and does so much faster than briquettes.

Furthermore, while you’ll still have to clean up afterward, the amount of ash produced by natural lump charcoal is substantially less than that produced by briquettes.

Here’s why lump charcoal is preferable to briquettes:

Let’s imagine you want to make a dish that benefits from the use of two distinct cooking temperatures. The “reverse sear” method of cooking steaks is a good example and popular alternative.

Reverse searing involves cooking the beef at a low temperature until it reaches the desired internal temperature, then increasing the heat to sear the outside and seal in all of the juicy goodness. 

Lump charcoal, as opposed to briquettes, will allow you to adjust temperatures more quickly and efficiently. You can quickly boost or drop the temperature by focusing on where they lie and how much charcoal you’re using.

What Is the best way to light lump charcoal?

Natural charcoal comes in large lumps, as the name implies, and is simple to work with once you’ve mastered the method. By the way, there are a variety of methods for lighting lump charcoal for the smoker, grill, or fire pit. However, we advocate lighting the lump charcoal with a chimney, which is one of the most natural ways to do it.

The first step is to crumble some old newspaper beneath the chimney, but not too much. Fill the chimney to the top with medium lump charcoal pieces. The final step is to set the newspapers on fire.

The lump charcoal, which is hot and gray, takes around 15 to 20 minutes to burn down. The coals from the chimney can now be transferred to the grill. To light the lump charcoals in the grill, use the turbo flame, a smoke torch. To start a fire, a turbo flame is essentially an extended lighter. 

To ensure that the fire grows, you must position the lighter’s nozzle inside the grill. Utilizing a turbo flame to burn lump charcoal is more manageable than using a chimney. However, you should spend money on a long-lasting turbo flame. You can also light the charcoal with chemical starters or floods.

What is the average time it takes for lump charcoal to burn?

Lump charcoal burns hotter and faster than charcoal briquettes, although the exact burn time depends on how you cook. With lump charcoal, you’ll get about 45 minutes to an hour of burn time on an open grill, but the fuel may last much longer in a closed smoker.

How do you utilize a lump charcoal chimney starter?

Chimney starters are a useful tool for igniting charcoal and are surprisingly simple to use. Simply add a few pieces of crumpled newspaper or lighter cubes beneath the chimney, then fill the metal tube with charcoal. 

With a lighter, start a fire in the newspaper, then let the chimney do its thing. Your charcoal will be lit in approximately ten minutes, and you can transfer it to your grill to cook with.

Is it possible to add lump charcoal to the mix while smoking?

There’s no reason why lump charcoal shouldn’t be used while smoking. If you think the amount of smoke produced is insufficient, feel free to add more lump charcoal to the smoker.

Is it possible to re-use lump charcoal?

Lump charcoal is one of the most expensive varieties of charcoal on the market. As a result, it’s logical that some people might desire to reuse lump charcoal to save money. This raises the question of whether lump charcoal can be reused.

So the quick answer is yes. To protect the quality of the coals, you must store the charcoal in a dry location. However, the efficiency of used lump charcoal cannot compare to that of new lump charcoal. 

For example, in aged coals, a reduction in airflow may result in a lower temperature yield. Old coals often only reach around 250 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas new coals can reach at least 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

What is the best way to store used lump charcoal?

You must first verify whether or not used charcoal can be reused before storing it for later use. Wait for the coals to cool before giving them a little push to see if they’re ready for the next grilling session.

If your coals do not disintegrate when put under pressure, you can re-use them. If they dissolve, however, it indicates that the coals are too ashy to be utilized again. You can simply leave lump charcoal in the smoker or on the charcoal grill to store it. 

If you aren’t planning on using the grill in the near future, you should store the charcoal in a metal bucket with a lid. In your shed or garage, keep the bucket in a shady, leak-free area.

To sum it up

During the summer, lump charcoal is an excellent choice for smoking and grilling your favorite foods. The above lump charcoal review’s main goal is to emphasize the product’s eco-friendliness, manufacturing process, and size quality.

The lump charcoals mentioned above can be used in a variety of barbecues. However, depending on the size of the grill, you may need to break down some sections. The parameters for choosing between distinct hardwood lump charcoals are determined by your preferences and taste. Last but not least, when it comes to high-temperature cooking or long periods of slow cooking, lump charcoal is the way to go.

Last update on 2022-05-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API