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Top 5 Best Lump Charcoal For Smoking (Review)

by Lianne Jones April 05, 2022

Top 5 Best Lump Charcoal For Smoking (Review)

If you’re looking for the best lump charcoal to use for smoking, you’re in the right place!

No summer is complete without hosting at least one backyard BBQ party, but to impress your guests with the best-smoked meats you need to use the right fuel. When it comes to grilling, it wasn’t too long ago you only had the choice between gas or charcoal.

Many people love the convenience of using gas, but you’ll never beat the flavors produced from amazing burning charcoal. Despite the rise in popularity of gas grilling, charcoal is still very much loved and as tasty as ever.

However, with such an overwhelming amount of options on the market, choosing the right charcoal can be hard. 

That’s where we come in! If you want serious flavors from your smoking experience you need to use lump charcoal.

To help you find the best lump charcoal for your smoker, we’ve compiled a list of the best options on the market right now, looking at how they can take your smoking to the next level.

Let’s not waste any more time, let’s get stuck into the list!

Fogo Super Premium Oak Lump Charcoal

Fogo Super Premium Oak Lump Charcoal

The first lump charcoal on our list is the Fogo Super Premium Oak Lump Charcoal. Considered restaurant-quality, this lump charcoal is specially selected for its large-sized chunks.

This 17.6 lbs bag of lump charcoal is perfect for those long cookouts or everyday cooking making it a good choice if you need versatility from your charcoal.

Ideally aimed at ceramic grills, smokers, and larger kettle-style cookers, each bag of Fogo lump charcoal is approximately 80% filled with pieces at least 4 inches in size.

We found this to be extremely useful because the larger pieces have a surface area big enough for them to burn a lot longer.

Being able to maintain heat for longer without having to add more fuel is a great advantage, making each bag of this already affordable charcoal last even longer. 

In terms of taste, the natural, chemical-free blend of tropical hardwoods gives your meat a beautifully mild smokey flavor.

Pros

  • Fast lighting - This charcoal ignites quickly.
  • Restaurant quality - Fogo Super Premium charcoal brings restaurant quality to your backyard.
  • Large chunks hand-selected - Fogo hand-select large 4-inch chunks to put in every bag of their charcoal.

Cons

  • Extremely large chunks - Some users have reported opening their bag to find huge pieces of charcoal.

Also available at: Fogocharcoal.com

Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal

Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal

If you want a smooth and mild flavor from charcoal that lights almost immediately, the All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal from Jealous Devil is a very good option for you.

Though it will cost you more than some brands of lump charcoal, Jealous Devil has clearly put time and effort into developing charcoal that does the job and makes it to you in one piece.

We’ve all received a bag of charcoal to then find it has been battered about during transit, well, Jealous Devil has prevented this from happening.

One of the biggest selling points of this charcoal is that the re-designed bag protects the charcoal during shipping.

As a result, you receive a bag of lump charcoal with large pieces, less dust, and little residue. This makes a big difference when you then put the wood on the fire. 

The charcoal itself is made from South American hardwood. This hardwood is quite similar to oak but doesn’t have the ghastly bitter taste that can sometimes make an appearance.

When we used this wood we found that a smooth, mild flavor was produced even when cooking was long and slow.

Pros

  • Protected during transport - The protective bag keeps your charcoal in large chunks.
  • Brilliant flavor - The smooth, mild flavors given to the meat from this charcoal are delicious. 
  • 35 lbs bag - You receive a large quantity for your money.
  • Hand-selected large chunks - Jealous Devil only gives you the very best chunks of wood.

Cons

  • Pricey - This lump charcoal is expensive.

Cowboy All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal

Cowboy All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal

Made from a decent mix of oak, mesquite, and hickory, this hardwood lump charcoal is perfect for you if you’re a beginner starting out on your smoking journey.

While it isn’t the cheapest lump charcoal on the market, Cowboy’s All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal offers great value for money when it comes to finding charcoal that can also be used for everyday grilling.

Whether it be a roast, ribs, or burgers, this lump charcoal has your back covered.

With capabilities to burn fast and hot, we found this lump charcoal to be excellent at searing large pieces of meat or slow-cooking a rack of ribs. In terms of taste, we were very pleased with the results. The wood imparts a gorgeous smokey flavor to the meat. 

Another big advantage that comes with using this lump charcoal is its kindness to the environment. Each bag comes filled with 20 lbs of 100% natural wood.

The only downside to this lump charcoal is that a lot of users have reported finding mostly small chunks in their bags.

This isn’t good because it will reduce how long the wood burns, resulting in a need for more charcoal.

Pros

  • Versatile - This charcoal can be used for a variety of grilling scenarios.
  • Burns hot and fast - This Cowboy charcoal burns extremely well for a long period of time.
  • Renewable source of wood - The all-natural hardwood used to make this charcoal is much better for the environment.

Cons

  • Bags can contain small chunks - Some bags have been known to only contain small chunks of charcoal.

Kamado Joe Big Block XL Lump Charcoal

Kamado Joe Big Block XL Lump Charcoal

The next lump charcoal on our list is the Big Block XL Lump Charcoal from Kamado Joe. This lump charcoal is made from Mistal, White Quebracho, Guayaibi, and Guayacan hardwoods that come from Argentina.

To make the lump charcoal the wood is first roasted in an outdoor oven. The end result of this is a super clean burning charcoal with wonderful flavorful smoke.

Unlike the other lump charcoal on our list, Kamado Joe packs the charcoal into a box to protect it from damage during transportation. This was something we loved about this charcoal as when our bag arrived it had almost no dust and very little residue. 

Another thing we love about this charcoal, along with a lot of other users of the Kamado Joe Big Block is the variety of lump charcoal you receive. In your bag, you will find small and large chunks. This is perfect if you want to cook a variety of different meats. 

For the quick cooking of burgers and steaks, the small pieces are great. On the other hand, the larger pieces of charcoal are great for longer, slower cooking sessions, for example smoking a rack of ribs.

Pros

  • Long smoking time - This charcoal will stay alight for up to 18 hours.
  • Reusable - You can potentially use each piece of charcoal 3 times.
  • Easy-to-store box - Once you’ve used the lump charcoal, you can store the rest away easily.

Cons

  • Need to break some chunks - Some chunks are so large they will have to be broken down.

Also available at: Kamadojoe.com

Rockwood All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal

Rockwood All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal

Rockwood’s all-natural hardwood lump charcoal is highly rated by its users who appreciate how easy it is to light, how long it burns, and its excellent flavor.

Typically bought in bulk orders of three or four bags, this lump charcoal represents great value for grillers who love to barbecue chicken legs all summer long.

In fact, this charcoal is so popular amongst chicken lovers that it is often voted the best lump charcoal by various websites and chefs. It is even used in competition by professional barbecuing teams.

In regard to the hardwood used to make this charcoal, it is harvested in Missouri. This wood includes hickory, oak, cherry, pecan, and maple wood. The beautifully rich aroma from these woods provides a burst of that desirable smoky taste we all seek.

Interestingly the wood isn’t purposely cut to be used as charcoal but is instead leftover wood that was cut for other uses. This is great because it makes it much better for the environment and of course your grill.

Pros

  • Super easy to light - You can easily light and maintain a fire with this charcoal.
  • Lovely flavor - The smoky flavor produced from the Rockwood All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal is divine.
  • Environmentally friendly - This charcoal is made from leftover wood.

Cons

  • Inconsistent quality - Due to how this charcoal is produced, some bags can be quite inconsistent.

Also available at: Store.rockwoodcharcoal.com

Buyer’s Guide

Before making your lump charcoal purchase there are a few things you need to consider. Here are some of those things.

Flavor

Arguably the most important factor you need to consider when purchasing lump charcoal is what flavor you want. Different lump charcoal have different tastes, so it is essential to know what to expect before making a decision.

Most bags of lump charcoal consist of a variety of different hardwoods as opposed to one. Lighter woods like maple, provide meat with a sweeter flavor. This is better for cooking white meat.

Dark woods like hickory or oak have a stronger flavor better suited to red meats. With this in mind consider what you will be cooking and what sort of taste you want.

Once you know, keep an eye out for the types of wood each lump charcoal is made from.

Size

Usually, high-quality bags of charcoal will contain mostly large chunks of wood. This is because the larger the charcoal is, the hotter it will get and the longer it will burn.

When reading reviews also keep an eye out for any negative reviews regarding dust found in the bottom of the bag. This will count towards the weight of the bag but won’t help you maintain a fire.

Source

The source of the wood used to make the lump charcoal plays an important role in the overall quality of the product. We highly recommend looking for a lump charcoal made from hardwood.

In terms of the quality of the wood, you should aim for hardwood that has no additives, binder, or fillers. This will ensure your charcoal burns well and creates a clean, authentic flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Will My Lump Charcoal Burn?

Brands of lump charcoal vary massively when it comes to how long the charcoal burns. Some brands of lump charcoal will only burn for an hour or two, whilst others claim to be able to burn for up to 18 hours.

To ensure your charcoal burns for longer you need to make sure you fuel the fire appropriately and do a number of things to help it last longer. One thing you can do is to shut the smoker. This will keep the charcoal burning for longer.

How Is Lump Charcoal Made?

Lump charcoal is essentially just wood that has been burned or charred through a process called carbonization. The wood used in this carbonization process is usually leftover from pieces of wood that have been cut for other uses.

Is Lump Charcoal Better Than Briquettes?

If you want high heat to quickly sear or grill your meat, lump charcoal is definitely better. If you want to smoke in a more controlled, low, and slow manner, briquettes could be a better option.

At the end of the day, which you choose comes down to personal preference. In our opinion, the smokey flavor delivered from lump charcoal is nicer.

Final Thoughts

Selecting one of the best lump charcoal to use when smoking is a sure-fire way of creating an incredible BBQ experience. Lump charcoal has the capability to leave your smoked meat tasting amazing.

Whether you’re after a strong smoky flavor or something a little milder, there is lump charcoal out there for you.

In this article, we have provided you with five of the best options on the market right now. Now you have our list, take some time to look at each charcoal before narrowing down your options.

By thinking about what you need from lump charcoal and the flavor you’re after, you should then be able to make a great final decision.

Lianne Jones
Lianne Jones


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