Who doesn’t love grilled food containing charcoal aroma and flavor? We don’t see any raised hands.
Using lump charcoal is one of the most traditional and effective ways to enhance the food flavors. But, wait, are all the lump charcoals available in the market of the same quality?
The answer is a direct no. That’s why we have compiled the 5 best lump charcoal reviews by Consumer Reports based on their distinct characteristics and usability.
You can enjoy cooking using lump charcoal on a portable grill, kamado grill, or other outside griddles. Moreover, lump charcoal delivers exceptional performance at a high temperature of around 1,000F degrees.
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- The 5 Best Lump Charcoals for 2021 Reviews
- How To Light Lump Charcoal?
The 5 Best Lump Charcoals for 2021 Reviews
Read along to learn about different lump charcoals and their respective flavors and aroma.
#1. Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal
The Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal comes in a waterproof and re-sealable bag with zip top closure to ensure freshness. It contains 100 percent pure and ultra-dense South American hardwood lump charcoal without any chemicals or fillers.
First, let’s discuss the quality of the bag. It’s made of premium-quality, kraft paper to prevent any breaking or spilling. Moreover, each bag weighs around 35 pounds, enough to support your multiple grilling cycles.
Subsequently, the bag provides added protection to the charcoal against moisture during transportation or shipping.
The final charcoal is made using South American wood, similar to oak. Not only that, but the charcoal is a mix of multiple hardwoods to give a mild and relatively sweet flavor to the cooked food. This way, it doesn’t suppress the food’s original flavor.
By the way, this wood is the safest selection since it sparks less than the other coal options available in the market.
It can withstand four hours of intense cooking time at a higher temperature or a continuous 20 hours of smoking. You can achieve a maximum temperature of 1,170F degrees using the Jealous Devil lump charcoal.
- Waterproof and re-sealable bag
- Dustproof packing
- Zip-top closure
- 100 percent, ultra-dense South American hardwood
- Doesn’t include chemicals or fillers
- Produces lower ash
#2. Fogo All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal for Smoking
The Fogo All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal for Smoking offers all-natural hardwood lump charcoal, ideal for smoking and reverse sear type cooking. Not only that, but it’s a perfect choice for kamado grills such as Green Egg, Kamado Joe, Primo, and many more. It infuses a mellow and mild oak flavor in your grilled food.
The charcoal comes in a sizable 35-pound bag consisting of 11.1 pounds large, 18.6 pounds medium, and 3.5 pounds small lumps along with 1.6 pounds chips and dust. You may need to break down the larger pieces using a hammer if you want to put them in a small grill.
To light the charcoal, you need five sheets of newspaper in the chimney. The best thing is the absence of sparkling with minimal pops. Moreover, the fire spreads slowly, causing the charcoal to burn with moderate smoke.
The charcoal burns at a maximum temperature of 859F degrees, average in comparison to other brands. On the bright side, Fogo lump charcoal burns for a longer time with average ash production. Moreover, you can use it at a lower temperature for slow cooking of more than 20 hours.
It takes only 15 minutes for the whole batch to attain an optimum fire rate so that you can start grilling right away.
- All-natural hardwood lump charcoal
- Large-sized charcoal pieces of four inches
- Lights up fast
- Dense and hard charcoal
- Not-so-great packaging
#3. B&B Charcoal Oak Lump Charcoal
The B&B Charcoal Oak Lump Charcoal features Texas-style, 100 percent oak charcoal with zero additives or fillers. B&B has been producing charcoal for more than 50 years. This premium-quality oak wood infuses an austral flavor during smoking or searing.
A distinct quality of B&B charcoal is its extensive process of burning oak wood into charcoal. The process eliminates the unwanted foreign material from the wood, including acids and resins. Subsequently, the remaining component is a natural fiber responsible for incorporating a natural, subtle flavor in the food.
The charcoal burns hotter and attains a high temperature relatively quickly. Moreover, it lasts longer and doesn’t produce much ash residue.
- No additives or fillers
- Environment friendly
- 100 percent oak
- Burns longer and cleaner
- Difficult ignition
#4. Kamado Joe All Natural Big Block Argentinian XL Premium Charcoal
The Kamado Joe All Natural Big Block Argentinian XL Premium Charcoal is made from Guayacan, Mistal, Guayaibi, and White Quebracho hardwood from Argentina. All these woods, known for their hardness, are roasted in outdoor ovens to form lump charcoal. Consequently, you achieve a clean-burning wood with a flavorful aroma.
By the way, you can use these lump charcoals up to three times. Moreover, a single batch can burn for 16 to 18 hours to facilitate overnight slow-smoking. The charcoal ensures cleaner and longer burning than any other brand available in the market.
A heavy-duty paper bag ensures security against humidity and spilling. The pack comprises all kinds of lumps, including larger, medium, and smaller pieces.
You can use large pieces for a long cooking session. However, smaller pieces light up faster and quicker to grill food, such as steaks and burgers.
The Kamado Joe lump charcoal enhances the flavor of the food with a strong woody flavor. Moreover, it also contains oak other than the Argentenain hardwood.
It can attain the highest temperature of 1,100F degrees. Additionally, you can grill your steak at a consistent temperature of 750F degrees.
These lump charcoals are perfect for a ceramic grill that insulates and contains heat. Since they light up extremely fast, you can achieve the desired cooking temperature within 15 minutes.
- Useable for up to three times
- Lights quickly
- All-natural lump charcoal
- 16-18 hours of burn from a single batch
- Big lumps should be broken down
#5. Rockwood All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal
The Rockwood All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal offers 100 percent natural lump charcoal, made of Hickory, Maple, Missouri grown oak, and Pecan. This way, it infuses a rich aroma and pleasant flavor into your food from the woods. Moreover, it burns slowly yet quickly, producing minimal ash.
The best thing is that the coal is made from renewable, natural resources instead of harvesting trees. It means that the coal is made from hardwood leftover from timber milling. Moreover, it’s free from chemicals, binders, fillers, and any other impurities.
Not only that, but the paper bag and soy-based inks both are recyclable and landfill-safe. It implies that the decomposing bag won’t produce harmful fumes if burned.
Each bag weighs 20 pounds, containing 3.8 pounds large pieces, 12 pounds medium pieces, 4.1 pounds small pieces, and one pound of chips or dust. These lump charcoals are the purest form of carbon, making a high-pitched glass sound while burning.
The Rockwood lump charcoal can attain a maximum temperature of 900F degrees, higher than other brands. However, the fire spread slowly to achieve the desired temperature.
- CA Prop 65 complaint
- Burns longer and hotter
- Produces less ash
- Ensures easy cleanup
- Doesn’t contain chemical or fillers
- Inconsistent quality
READ MORE: If you are a grilling enthusiast, you must have encountered a debate regarding lump charcoal vs briquettes.
How To Light Lump Charcoal?
As the name suggests, natural charcoal comes in big lumps, easy to work with, once you know the technique. By the way, there are multiple ways to light lump charcoal for the smoker or grill and the pit. However, we’ll recommend using a chimney, one of the most intuitive ways to light the lump charcoal.
The first step is to crumble up some old newspaper underneath the chimney without overfilling it. Now pour medium pieces of lump charcoal to fill the chimney to the top. The last step is to torch the newspapers.
It takes around 15 to 20 minutes to burn down the lump charcoal, hot and gray. Now you can transfer the coals from the chimney into the grill.
You can use the turbo flame, a smoke torch to light the lump charcoals in the grill. A turbo flame is essentially an extended lighter to start a fire. However, you must place the lighter’s nozzle inside the grill to ensure that the fire grows.
Burning lump charcoal using a turbo flame is relatively more manageable than the chimney. However, you need to invest in buying a durable turbo flame.
Moreover, you can use chemical starters or floods to light the charcoal.
Lump charcoal is a perfect go-to option to smoke and grill your favorite meat during summers. The main purpose of the above lump charcoal review is to highlight the eco-friendliness, production process, and size quality.
The lump charcoals discussed above work with all kinds of grills. However, you may need to break down certain pieces according to the grill’s size.
The selection criteria between different hardwood lump charcoals depend on your liking and taste. One last thing to keep in mind is to rightly choose the lump charcoal for higher temperature cooking or long hours of slow cooking.