Best Lump Charcoal to Use in 2021

We have to admit to being thrilled that summer has arrived! How about you? Maybe it was because of the pandemic or some other reason, but it seemed that this winter lasted for an eternity. So, when the sun finally started to bathe us and the temperatures went up, we used every opportunity to go outside and finally do some BBQ.

And yeah, we know that it is possible to fire up a grill any time of the year. But there is some special link between summer and BBQ.  And while, of course, we love burgers, hot dogs, etc., summer BBQ is amazing because there is a plethora of veggies and fruit we can cook. Have you tried grilled pineapple or bananas? If not, we strongly recommend you do it this summer!

Now, for a delicious BBQ, you need an experienced grill master, right? Indeed, but not only! You also need a quality grill and pellets, and charcoal, depending on the machine. And there are various grill types, such as electric, gas, etc. However, people mainly opt for either pellet or charcoal grill. These grills are a norm, as they are simple to use, and the food cooked on them is splendid. But, you have to know how to choose the right charcoal for your specific needs.

Some people think, “But why doesn’t it matter? Every charcoal is the same!” Not quite, we have to say! There are many differences between various types! In our opinion, it is best to use is lump charcoal.  Hence we prepared these lump charcoal reviews to express some of our insights and ideas about it.

Top 5 Best Lump Charcoal Products: Comparison Chart

Product Blend Volume
Fogo Super Premium Oak Large Lump Charcoal Predominantly an Evergreen Oak species 35 lbs
Cowboy Lump Charcoal Oak, hickory, maple 20 lbs
Kamado Joe KJ-Char Big Block XL Lump Charcoal Guayacan, guayaibi, mistal, white quebracho 20 lbs
Royal Oak Natural Lump Charcoal Oak, hickory, maple and walnut 15.4 lbs
B & B Charcoal Oak Lump Charcoal Oak species 20 lbs

Fogo Super Premium Oak Large Lump Charcoal

This Fogo lump charcoal is one of the best you will find on the market.  The package weighs 35 pounds. It lights up quickly and without any effort. The pieces are quite long, which is excellent because they burn more slowly. The length of the pieces also positively impacts the temperature control.

Pros

Cons

  • Great oaky taste
  • Easy to light
  • Slow-burning
  • You might find a lot of small pieces in the package

Cowboy Lump Charcoal

Are you looking for all-natural charcoal for your BBQ parties? Search no more because this cowboy lump charcoal is precisely what you need. It is made of hardwood, and it’s entirely natural. It burns fast and reaches high temperatures quickly.  More importantly, it remains hot for a long time. You can easily light it without the lighter fluid. Plus, it gives your food an excellent taste.

Pros

Cons

  • No ashes
  • Burns hot for a long time
  • Large pieces of wood
  • Can spark a lot

Kamado Joe KJ-Char Big Block XL Lump Charcoal

If you are into smoking meat, this Kamado Joe charcoal will be a phenomenal option for you. One bag of 20 pounds is perfectly enough for smoking steadily for 14 hours! Sounds amazing, right?  The lumps come in a pretty good size, and the flavor is fantastic. Besides that, you can light it easily, and it burns hot and long.  It is also excellent for maintaining consistently low temperatures. All and all, it is the best lump charcoal for kamado for the money.

Pros

Cons

  • Big pieces
  • Great for smoking
  • Fantastic taste
  • It can be slow to catch fire

Royal Oak Natural Lump Charcoal

We love the royal oak lump charcoal. It burns well and creates a small amount of ash. The great thing about it is that you get a large bag at an affordable price. The pieces come in a perfect size. It is also very easy to light.

Pros

Cons

  • Large package
  • Excellent for BBQ
  • Lights up quickly
  • Burns evenly
  • Some bags may contain rocks

B & B Charcoal Oak Lump Charcoal

After trying b &b charcoal, we can say that we know what it means to experience love at first sight. There are plenty of reasons to give it an excellent lump charcoal rating. The bag is full of ideally sized pieces.  It comes with a rich smoky flavor, just like the one you have in mind when you think about BBQ. It burns super hot and reaches a high temperature quickly. But better than that, it maintains the temperature for a long time.

Pros

Cons

  • Great smoky flavor
  • It stays hot for a long time
  • The ideal size of chunks
  • Expensive

What Exactly is Lump Charcoal

what is lump charcoalIn the grilling world, there is an ongoing debate about a better option between lump charcoal and briquettes. And, quite a fierce one, if we may add!  Considering that charcoal is critical for everything you grill, every grill master will defend their choice with everything they got! But what are briquettes, and what is the best lump charcoal?

Pitmasters and people who are competing on BBQ circuits favor lump charcoal. In recent years it is becoming more popular among backyard BBQers too. So charcoal in general, is made by burning wood in the absence of oxygen. And lump charcoal is the product of that. Real pieces of wood are left to burn until all the natural elements and moisture slowly evaporate. So, all you have left is pure charcoal in its most natural form, hence why so many people prefer it. Besides that, lump charcoal lights faster and burns hotter. It also makes very little ash. If you opt for it you will see that it is also much simpler to control the temperature because it is more responsive to oxygen.

Overall, if you think of charcoal as food, then briquettes would correspond to fast food. They are cheap, reliable, and easily accessible. However, it is best if you don’t know what is in them.  They are the byproducts of wood combined with various additives to help them burn. To prevent the food from absorbing the smell of chemicals, you should leave the briquettes burning until they are covered by white ash.

Why Should You Use Lump Charcoal for Grilling?

lump charcoal in a grillIt is really funny how many things related to grilling provoke a fight. One of the longest-lasting is, as we mentioned, is the one about what is better – lump charcoal or briquettes? So many of you asked us, “ But why do you keep insisting on the lump when it appears that both options are equally good?!”   You have a point to some extent. But as we already mentioned, premium lump charcoal is natural, which is a big plus.  Apart from that, it ignites faster, which is fantastic, especially when you don’t have plenty of time. It creates less ash and burns hotter than briquettes. It is also more reactive to oxygen, so it will be way easier to regulate the temperature. As it is natural, many people use it for smokers as well. That is also the reason that the food cooked with natural lump charcoal tastes much better whether grilled or smoked.

Why Lump Charcoal Flavors Are Important?

Most lump charcoal brands offer you a combination of different types of wood. The most common are oak, beech, and ash that are usually used for furniture as well. It is essential to know that every wood has its flavor profile, burning temperature, and time. Now, this is maybe not so apparent with combinations. But some people prefer to use single species charcoal, in which case the flavor is way more emphasized.  As we were making our lump charcoal reviews, we discovered that fruit trees like cherry and apple are usually lighter and have a sweeter aroma, which is suitable for poultry and fish.  Heavier woods, such as oak or hickory, come with a more robust flavor and, as such, is ideal for beef, lamb, and game. Single species are particularly significant for smoking.

  • Oak comes with a bitter taste. And this wood is good for almost all food, especially beef and fish.
  • Apple smoke is delicate and sweet, and this type of wood can be used for all foods. But it goes even better for chicken, veggies, and pork.
  • Chestnut comes with a mild, nutty flavor. It would be amazing for baked food, poultry, beef, and pork.
  • Cherry gives food a nice fruity taste, and it’s one of the most popular options among many top-rated lump charcoal brands. That’s because cherry wood is pretty universal, and you can add it to most types of meat and even baked goods.

What Are the Qualities of Quality Lump Charcoal?

how to pick quality lump charcoalAs we already mentioned, ideally, you should look for all-natural charcoal made of hardwood. While creating our lump charcoal reviews, we’ve determined that the best lump charcoal shouldn’t contain any chemicals or additives.  Plus, the pieces should be large and generally consistent in size.

One of the best features of hardwood lump charcoal is that it burns hot and slow and doesn’t produce plenty of ash. Another thing to remember is that a quality lump charcoal should not spark too much.

What to Avoid?

  • All pieces should be similar in size
  • Look for all-natural hardwood charcoal
  • The lumps should not look like nuggets
  • Don’t buy brands that have a lot of small pieces or dust

How to Store Lump Charcoal?

Some of you may wonder – does charcoal go bad? Well, in general, lump charcoal has an indefinite shelf life! However, it may absorb moisture which will affect its quality. Thus, it’s best to store it in a cool and dry place with good ventilation.

Conclusion

If you own a charcoal grill, then the best lump charcoal is the ideal option for you. Some people think that only grill purists say that! However, as you can see, there are plenty of reasons why lump charcoal has an advantage over briquettes, including that it burns slowly and thus for much longer.

And now that you know all the features, hopefully, you can choose only the best lump charcoal 2021!

So what kind of charcoal have you used before? What are your experiences?

 

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