Best Lump Charcoal

Review & Comparison, Last Update August 5, 2019
Lump charcoal is the only way you'll be able to prepare delicious meat every single time with very little effort. The best lump charcoal quickly lights up, adds flavor, and produces very little ash and smoke. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2019
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Best for
Type of Wood
Piece Size
Safety
Package
Volume
 
PROS

The bag is waterproof, dustproof, UV-resistant, and resealable. You can always bring it outside without worrying about ruining the contents. The pieces here offer twice the cook power (around 7000kcal/g), hotter temperatures (over 1170°F), and considerably longer burn time (over 4 hours with open grills and over 20 hours with smokers).

CONS

Sometimes, the package includes smaller pieces that crumble into ashes. 

OUR VERDICT

Jealous Devil 20LB will be able to impress and/or fit professional pitmasters, grillers, restaurants, and smokehouses. The charcoal has a mild flavor-enhancing aroma to it, able to improve the flavor profiles without overpowering them. It will let you prepare more at a time, quicker, and easier.

detailed parameters
Best for

BBQs, kamados, smokers

Type of Wood

South American hardwoods

Piece Size

Medium (90% pieces)

Safety

No chemicals, fillers, or scrap material, no sparking, no popping

Package

Waterproof, dustproof, UV-resistant, resealable, with a side handle and zip-top closure

Volume

20 lbs

35 lbs, 2 x 35 lbs available too

PROS

The lump charcoal burns particularly hot, searing the meat and locking in the flavors. The large chunks do not spark and produce very little smoke, meaning they shouldn't smut the meat. The charcoal has a very mild, mellow flavor to it. It will be able to impart your food with the best flavor and taste without affecting it too much.

CONS

It takes the charcoal about 20 minutes to properly heat up. 

OUR VERDICT

Fogo Super Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal packs some of the best charcoal you'll be able to find. There are no added ingredients here. The paper bag that the large charcoal chunks come in is resealable and recyclable.

detailed parameters
Best for

Kamado-style cookers

Type of Wood

Central American oak hardwood

Piece Size

Large (80% of pieces bigger than 4 inches)

Safety

No sparking, no fillers, no chemicals

Package

Resealable and recyclable paper bag

Volume

17.6 lbs

35 lbs available too

PROS

You'll be able to reuse the extra-large chunks up to 3 times. The product is packing a nice mix of fast-starting small pieces and long-burning large pieces. The smaller pieces allow you to reach the desired temperature in a snap, while the larger chunks make it possible to cook low and slow for extended periods of time. 

CONS

The charcoal leaves lots of ash behind. 

OUR VERDICT

KamadoJoe 20LB Hardwood Extra Large Lump Charcoal is as great for people who like and know how to cook as it is for customers who don't necessarily spend too much time and effort preparing their meat all that often. The charcoal makes it all easy and pretty much effortless.

detailed parameters
Best for

Kamado-style cookers

Type of Wood

Argentinian three hardwoods blend

Piece Size

Extra-large 

Safety

No sparking, no fillers, no chemicals

Package

Resealable and recyclable paper bag, carton box 

Volume

20 lbs

PROS

The product is packing around 30% large pieces, 45% medium pieces, and 25% small-sized pieces. The smaller chunks allow the lump charcoal to light up quickly and heat up easier, making it possible for you to start cooking in minutes. The other pieces burn hotter for a juicier, bolder, and more flavorful meat. 

CONS

There's a slight chemical smell at first. 

OUR VERDICT

Rockwood 20LB Lump Charcoal is all about packing the right mixture. It is about mixing the right woods together and putting together the right pieces. Plus, they're made from timber milling leftovers, meaning that not a single tree has been chopped to make this lump charcoal product.

detailed parameters
Best for

Any type of grill or smoker 

Type of Wood

Missouri oak, hickory, maple, pecan wood mix

Piece Size

30% large, 45% medium, 25% small-sized pieces

Safety

No sparking, no fillers, no additives

Package

Resealable and recyclable paper bag and soy-based inks 

Volume

20 lbs

2 x 20 lbs, 3 x 20 lbs available too

PROS

The pieces incorporate no additives. There are no fillers, nitrates, harmful chemicals, anthracite coal, limestone, treated wood, or petroleum products here. The charcoal interacts perfectly fine with just about any grill cooker or smoker.

CONS

The pieces are flat, making them a little less convenient. 

OUR VERDICT

Big Green Egg CP Natural Lump Charcoal is pretty good. It doesn't necessarily have the best price-quality ratio but it's not like the charcoal is particularly expensive. Provided other options on the list aren't available one way or the other, this will do nicely.

detailed parameters
Best for

Any type of grill or smoker 

Type of Wood

American oak and hickory hardwoods

Piece Size

75% large, 25% medium

Safety

No additives

Package

Resealable and recyclable paper bag

Volume

20 lbs

Jealous Devil 20LB

A Better Package

Jealous Devil is probably the best overall product on this list. The difference here isn't just that the charcoal is superb but the package too.

The bag is waterproof, dustproof, UV-resistant, and resealable. You can always bring it outside without worrying about ruining the contents. It comes equipped with an ergonomic side handle and zip-top closure, making it easy to carry around as well as use the bag multiple times.

That being said, it is all about the charcoal first and foremost. We're dealing with pure, ultra-dense South American hardwoods here. They include no chemicals, fillers, or scrap materials. They do not spark, pop, and produce very little ash, making the charcoal perfect for pretty much any grill, smoker, or kamado.

Compared to your average lump charcoal, the pieces here offer twice the cook power (around 7000kcal/g), hotter temperatures (over 1170F), and considerably longer burn time (over 4 hours with open grills and over 20 hours with smokers).

Finally, the charcoal has a mild flavor-enhancing aroma to it, able to improve the flavor profiles without overpowering them.

All in all, Jealous Devil 20LB is probably the best lump charcoal for grilling. It will be able to impress and/or fit professional pitmasters, grillers, restaurants, and smokehouses. With this charcoal, your meat will taste better than ever. You'll also be able to prepare more at a time, quicker, and easier.

Review of Jealous Devil 20LB All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Fogo 17.6-pound

Hand-Selected Chunks

Fogo Super Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal doesn't fail to deliver on the "super premium" premise. We're not saying that it doesn't have its flaws though. Because the pieces here are particularly large, these hand-selected chunks are able to burn for over 4-5 hours in open grills and somewhere around 20 hours in smokers. However, with pieces like that, it isn't necessarily all too shocking that the charcoal can take up to 20 minutes to properly heat up.

Other than that though, we do not really have any complaints. The lump charcoal burns particularly hot, searing the meat and locking in the flavors. Again, more often than not, it is able to last longer than just about any other charcoal you'll find anywhere else.

As it is usually the case, this lump charcoal doesn't include fillers or chemicals. The large chunks do not spark and produce very little smoke, meaning they shouldn't smut the meat. The charcoal has a very mild, mellow flavor to it. It will be able to impart your food with the best flavor and taste without affecting it too much.

All things considered, Fogo Super Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal packs some of the best charcoal you'll be able to find. There are no added ingredients here. The paper bag that the large charcoal chunks come in is resealable and recyclable.

Review of Fogo 17.6-pound Super Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

KamadoJoe 20LB

The Right Mix

Charcoal is all about the wood behind it. The people at KamadoJoe understand that. The three hardwood blend from Argentina that they've been able to develop packs the densest woods you can find, dubbed "axe breakers" by locals for their remarkable density.

That's why their lump charcoal is able to burn cleaner and longer than the usual deal. You'll be able to reach that steak- searing temperature in no time at all.

What's more, it is perfectly possible to reuse the extra-large chunks up to 3 times. As you'd imagine, that makes the product particularly practical and cost-effective.

But the people at KamadoJoe aren't just packing the largest pieces. What you get is a nice mix of fast-starting small pieces and long-burning large pieces. The former is why you'll be able to reach the desired temperature in a snap, while the latter make it possible to cook low and slow for extended periods of time.

About the only issue we have with the charcoal here is that it leaves lots of ash behind, making cleanup a little more time-consuming.

Apart from that, KamadoJoe 20LB Hardwood Extra Large Lump Charcoal is as great for people who like and know how to cook as it is for customers who don't necessarily spend too much time and effort preparing their meat all that often. The charcoal makes it all easy and pretty much effortless.

Review of KamadoJoe 20LB Hardwood Extra Large Lump Charcoal

 

Rockwood 20LB

Bolder, Juicier, More Flavorful

With Rockwood 20LB Lump Charcoal, what we like most is probably how good the people behind at are at mixing the right pieces together. First off, the charcoal here is based off Missouri oak, hickory, maple, and pecan wood mix.

On top of that, these people make sure to pack somewhere around 30% large pieces, 45% medium pieces, and 25% small-sized pieces. The mixture is the biggest game changer and what really separates the product from its inferior counterparts.

The smaller pieces allow the lump charcoal to light up quickly and heat up easier, making it possible for you to start cooking in minutes. After that, the medium majority comes into play, supporting the grill/smoker and burning hotter for a juicier, bolder, and more flavorful meat. The larger pieces start acting somewhere around that time too. The difference is that you might be able to reuse these pieces another time or two afterward.

Though the chunks have a slight chemical at first, it is because of the package. There aren't any fillers or additives here. They do not spark and leave less ash for faster cleanup.

Again, Rockwood 20LB Lump Charcoal is all about packing the right mixture. It is about mixing the right woods together and putting together the right pieces. Plus, they're made from timber milling leftovers, meaning that not a single tree has been chopped to make this lump charcoal product.

Review of Rockwood 20LB All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Big Green Egg CP 20-pound

Nice and Dense

Big Green Egg with this particular product doesn't necessarily bring anything new to the table. There aren't too many problems we have with this lump charcoal package but there isn't much to highlight either. The pieces come in a resealable and recyclable paper bag, which is always a plus.

They incorporate no additives, another little detail that we like in our lump charcoal. There are no fillers, nitrates, harmful chemicals, anthracite coal, limestone, treated wood, or petroleum products here.

The charcoal interacts perfectly fine with just about any grill cooker or smoker. The American oak and hickory hardwoods that the charcoal is made from are nice and dense. They add a little flavor but not too much to make the food taste too differently.

As far as we're concerned, the only weak link here is the mix. The bag packs 75% large and 25% medium pieces. Without smaller pieces, it usually takes the charcoal more time to light up. What's more, all the pieces here are flat, making them a little less cost-effective and convenient because they burn down a little quicker too.

To sum it all up, Big Green Egg CP Natural Lump Charcoal is pretty good. It doesn't necessarily have the best price-quality ratio but it's not like the charcoal is particularly expensive. Provided other options on the list aren't available one way or the other, this will do nicely.

Review of Big Green Egg CP 20-pound Natural Lump Charcoal

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

What Is Lump Charcoal?

Lump charcoal versus briquettes is one of the biggest topics of discussion in the grilling community. As far as we're concerned, briquettes have their moments, but they are the inferior product. About the only objective advantage that they have is that briquettes are almost always cheaper. Sometimes, they burn longer and can make it easier to maintain a consistent temperature but that's really because of the additives you'll find there.

Lump charcoal is all natural. More often than not, there's no chemical smell to it. The charcoal is able to light up quicker, burn hotter, produce very little ash, and make it easier to adjust the temperature. All in all, lump charcoal is just better.

That being said, it's not like it is all the same. The quality very much depends on the wood behind the pieces. The pieces' size and shape matter too. Smaller chunks light up quicker, but they do not last all too long. Larger chunks, on the other hand, are nice long-term but they can take their time heating up.

Lump charcoal is great and all but the grill makes the world of difference too. Consider one of these charcoal grills or camping grills and you'll be able to prepare the most delicious meats.

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Publish Date: 2019-05-22 12:23:59