Nothing says warm weather like grilling, and many people like cooking outdoors with family and friends to celebrate the wonderful weather. Moreover, using the finest charcoal grill provides your meal a great smokey taste that everyone will like.
There are various kinds of grills available, but the two most common are charcoal and gas grills. Barbeque fans have been debating whether kind is superior for some years, but if you feel that charcoal grills are superior, having the finest charcoal is essential.
Charcoal comes in a variety of forms, including flavored variants, lumps, briquettes, and more. The sort of charcoal you use will be determined by your particular tastes and grilling method.
Here is a list of the greatest charcoal on the market today to assist you decide on the best charcoal for grilling.
- Fogo Super Premium Lump Charcoal (Best Overall)
- Royal Oak Hardwood Lump Charcoal (Best Premium)
- Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes (Best Budget)
- Rockwood Lump Charcoal
- Jealous Devil Hardwood Lump Charcoal
- Coco-BBQ Coconut Charcoal Briquettes
- What is Charcoal? And Why is it Popular?
- Types of Charcoal and How It’s Used
- How Much Charcoal Do I Use?
- How Hot Are Coals?
- How to Arrange Charcoal for Cooking
- How to Light Charcoal
- Method 1: Light the Coals Using a Chimney Starter
- Method 2: Using Lighter Fluid
- Final Thoughts
- Which charcoal is best for grill?
- What charcoal do chefs use?
- How do I choose the best charcoal?
- What is the quality of good charcoal?
- What charcoal gives the best flavor?
- What is the best longest burning charcoal?
- What is the best charcoal in the world?
- What type of charcoal is best for steak?
- What charcoal do pitmasters use?
- What charcoal is better than Kingsford?
Fogo Super Premium Lump Charcoal (Best Overall)
When you first open the Fogo Ultra Premium Lump Charcoal, there are simply huge bits. Bigger bits of charcoal may be more difficult to fire, but they will burn hotter and for a longer period of time.
Nevertheless, the bigger pieces raised the price of this charcoal; the Fogo is twice as expensive per pound as Royal Oak charcoal.
A high-burning heat source on a large charcoal grill enables you to roast marshmallows, utilize a Dutch oven, and boil water. Although you may not carry your full kitchen with you when you go camping, the adaptability that this charcoal provides might be useful.
- Long Burning
- It is quite hot.
- Royal Oak charcoal is double the price.
Royal Oak Hardwood Lump Charcoal (Best Premium)
For the typical griller, this is the best charcoal. When you first open the bag of Royal Oak Hardwood Lump Charcoal, you’ll see that it contains a variety of bits.
These chunks are ideal for casual grillers who want a combination of easy-to-light bits and pieces that will burn for a longer period of time. Having said that, this charcoal strikes a balance between being simple to ignite and burning for a long time in the kettle.
As you fire this charcoal, you’ll notice a smokey, delicious smell. It’s powerful enough to be noticed yet subtle enough not to overpower what you’re preparing.
You’ll notice that when you use this charcoal, your food cooks quicker. In testing, it took just seven minutes after putting a burger on the grill for the center to reach 130 degrees F.
Royal Oak burns for an average period of time when compared to other lump charcoal types. Since there are usually just a few big bits in the bag, the charcoal may burn fast.
This isn’t an issue while you’re preparing supper for the family. If you want to grill for more than a few hours, you should use a different kind of charcoal.
Another thing to keep in mind is that this charcoal is intended for smokers, thus it imparts a smoky, sweet taste to your cuisine.
- Wide choice of charcoal piece sizes
- Smoky and sweet-smelling
- Excellent for quickly grilling food
- For some grillers, it might burn too soon.
Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes (Best Budget)
Kingsford has been in business for almost a century, so you’ve definitely heard of their charcoal. This firm has had a century to develop their charcoal mix in order to produce the greatest charcoal ever.
The briquettes are compact and tiny, and you’ll notice that Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes burn longer and hotter than other charcoals due to their denser construction. When you use Kingsford charcoal, you will also notice a campfire scent flowing from your grill.
In studies, it was discovered that the average cook time for a quarter-pound beef burger was nine minutes. This makes it one of the quickest cooking charcoals on the market, behind only Royal Oak Hardwood Lump Charcoal.
Another benefit of this charcoal is that it is widely available and reasonably priced. When you purchase Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes, you’ll know you’re receiving the finest charcoal since Kingsford is recognized for maintaining strict quality control.
- Every shop carries it.
- It smells like a campfire.
- Cooks food rapidly by burning fiercely.
- For the price, the bag is rather little.
Rockwood Lump Charcoal
Rockwood Lump Charcoal has a lot of positive attributes. To begin, it is totally crafted of Missouri hickory, maple, and oak. Since it was obtained from leftover lumber, all of the wood was harvested with the environment in mind.
Another advantage of using charcoal is that the charcoal pieces are consistently hewed, and the plank-like shape allows you to cram a lot of fuel into your grill’s chimney.
Nevertheless, since it might take many efforts to ignite, this is not the greatest charcoal for rapid and simple lighting. The smoke from the Rockwood charcoal will remind you of a campfire with a little sweetness to it.
- Aroma like a campfire with a dash of sweetness
- Charcoal lumps that have been uniformly hewed
- Missouri hickory, maple, and oak are used to make this piece.
- Tough to illuminate
- Price point above the average
Jealous Devil Hardwood Lump Charcoal
Jealous Devil is the most convenient charcoal. It has a zip lock mechanism that enables you to easily access the charcoal within the bag.
When you first open the bag, you’ll see that the charcoal bits are mostly the same size, with just a few huge chunks. You will also notice a lack of bothersome chips and worthless dust.
As you use the Jealous Devil charcoal, you will notice that it burns hotter than the majority of the other brands on our list. Using this charcoal, you can quickly cook a medium-rare burger in approximately six minutes.
You may smell a medicinal aroma emanating from the burning charcoal while using Jealous Devil charcoal. The charcoal has this aroma because it is manufactured from Quebracho Blanco, a hardy South American tree. The therapeutic odor has no effect on the flavor of your meal.
Thus, if you’re seeking for the finest charcoal to rapidly cook a delicious dinner, you can’t go wrong with Jealous Devil.
- Smells distinctively
- Quebracho Blanco is used to make this product.
- a Ziploc bag
- On the more expensive side
Coco-BBQ Coconut Charcoal Briquettes
This is the most unusual charcoal you’ll come across since it’s created from responsibly sourced coconut shells. But what truly distinguishes this charcoal is its cylindrical form.
This is the greatest charcoal for long-term cooking since it can cook meals in less than ten minutes while being lit for more than three hours.
The charcoal’s durability might be due to the fact that this brand delivers huge briquettes weighing roughly 52 grams apiece, which is more than twice the weight of Kingsford briquettes.
But, there are two drawbacks to this charcoal brand: the price and the unusual aroma. When compared to the other products on our list, this charcoal is pricey.
In fact, it costs around six times as much as Kingsford charcoal. But, if you want sustainable briquettes that do not involve deforestation, this brand is the way to go.
Another disadvantage is that when you burn the charcoal, it has an unusual odor. You’d think that this charcoal would smell like burned coconuts, but instead it has an incense-like perfume. Although this fragrance is not unpleasant, it may be unpleasant to certain people.
- Coconut shells obtained in a sustainable manner
- Will burn for many hours
- Briquettes in bulk
- Mysterious odor that some users find repulsive
What is Charcoal? And Why is it Popular?
Charcoal is made from wood that has been roasted in a low-oxygen atmosphere. This technique cooks out extra sugars and water to produce a nearly carbon-free product.
People like cooking with charcoal because it burns more hotter and for a longer period of time than conventional wood.
Types of Charcoal and How It’s Used
As previously stated, there are numerous varieties of charcoal available for purchase. Let’s look at each kind and discuss how it’s best utilized.
This is the charcoal that most Americans are familiar with and like. Briquettes are popular because they are widely accessible, simple to use, and inexpensive. They’re constructed of wood, but they include binding elements like sodium nitrate, flour, and sawdust to help them burn better.
Briquettes are crushed into a regular size and shape, resulting in a constant burn and making them ideal for cooking items that need little cooking time, such as steak or fish.
Instant Charcoal Briquettes
Since it has been substantially soaked in lighter fluid, very few individuals advocate for this form of charcoal. This makes them simpler to ignite, but it might leave an unpleasant chemical flavor in your meal.
Hardwood Lump Charcoal
This charcoal is created from actual charred wood pieces and does not include any of the additives found in charcoal briquettes. Lump charcoal typically costs roughly twice as much as briquettes, but it is simpler to ignite and burns cleanly, creating the least amount of ash and smoke.
Apart from that, since lump charcoal is created from genuine wood, it may provide a pleasant, smokey taste to your cuisine. Moreover, lump charcoal burns significantly hotter than briquettes, which is ideal for searing steaks and other meats.
The disadvantage is that the heat is not as constant as with charcoal briquettes, and it may take some time to learn how to control your fire using lump charcoal.
Many like cooking with lump charcoal for the reasons stated above, as well as the fact that it is all-natural charcoal.
Both lump and briquettes are acceptable. There are flavored charcoals available. Applewood, hickory, and mesquite are the most popular tastes. Most barbecue experts will tell you that if you want these tastes, you should add flavored wood chips to your charcoal grill in addition to your non-flavored briquettes.
How Much Charcoal Do I Use?
The answer hinges on what you want to cook, how much you intend to cook, and how hot the grill should be.
If your cuisine demands high heat, ensure sure your chimney is completely filled. There’s no need to load your grill’s chimney all the way up and wait for the heat of those coals to cool down if you require lesser heat.
The chart below illustrates the normal quantity of charcoal you need load your grill’s chimney with to attain a certain temperature range.
- 1 complete chimney for high heat (450 to 550 degrees F).
- To complete chimney, use medium heat (350 to 460 degrees F).
- Low heat (250-350°F): whole chimney
These recommendations are based on the capacity of a typical charcoal barbecue chimney. Additionally, take in mind that the maximum temperature and cook time are affected by how the coals are spread out.
The temperature will be lower and the heat will dissipate quicker if the coals are distributed thinly over a big area. The temperature will be greater and remain hot for a longer period if your charcoal layer is deeper and the coals are concentrated in one spot.
How Hot Are Coals?
A thermometer is the finest and most precise method to determine the temperature of your coals. But, if your charcoal barbecue lacks a thermometer, you may utilize the manual test.
Simply place your palm about 6 inches away from the grill’s grate to perform the hand test. Keep your hand above the grate until you need to remove it. The length of time (in seconds) that you can keep your palm there will indicate how hot the coals are.
The chart below illustrates how long you should keep your hand over the coals before removing it, as well as the heat level you may anticipate from your coals.
- 2–4 seconds on high heat
- 5 to 6 seconds over medium heat
- 8 to 10 seconds on low heat
How to Arrange Charcoal for Cooking
What you cook determines how you arrange the coals in your barbecue. According on the cooking style you want, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most simple and complicated charcoal combinations.
Grilling with Direct Heat
For cooking over direct heat, the charcoals should be spread out in a single layer on the bottom of the cooking grates. This is an excellent example of high-heat cooking using thin slices of beef.
Unless you require the whole grill to cook, a void zone is excellent.
Grilling with a Two-Zone Heating
This is the standard arrangement for most charcoal grills and may be used to cook any dish. You cover half of the grill with charcoal and leave the other half empty.
This method of grilling combines the benefits of direct heat grilling for searing with the versatility of indirect heat for slow cooking and minimizing flare-ups. Seafood, boneless and bone-in chicken, chops, and steak benefit from two-zone heating.
Two-Zone Heating: Parallel Configuration
The charcoals are dispersed around both sides of the grill in this design, leaving an empty area in the center. This is the greatest arrangement for smoking and cooking turkeys, full birds, and huge roasts at low temperatures.
Your charcoal grill’s unlit smoke wood and charcoals are positioned along the inner edge. A pair of lit charcoals are placed at one end of the snake and allowed to burn for many hours.
Smoking is a slow and low cooking process that involves cooking meat for hours over indirect heat at low temperatures. Hardwood chips or pieces of wood are soaked in water before being added to impart the smoky fragrance and taste to the meat.
If you decide to smoke meat on your charcoal barbecue with the two-zone heating parallel setup, you should read this article on the best meat to smoke on your grill.
How to Light Charcoal
Now that you know how to utilize your charcoal in various configurations, let’s speak about how to correctly light charcoals. It is possible to squander time and money if you do not know how to ignite the finest charcoal you purchase.
Method 1: Light the Coals Using a Chimney Starter
A chimney starter is a simple mechanism that uses paper, most frequently newspaper, to fire the charcoals contained inside the metal container. The coals are positioned above the flames in order for the edges to fire fast and aid ignite the other coals close.
Step 1: Fill the Chimney with Charcoal
Fill the chimney of your charcoal grill with the proper quantity of coals for your cooking style. A normal charcoal grill chimney can store around 100 briquettes, although you may not need that many.
Step 2: Add Newspaper and Light the Charcoal
Add a couple of sheets of newspaper and ignite it in a few locations, following the guidelines on your grill’s chimney. When the paper burns in the chamber below, the flames will spread to the borders of the charcoal above.
Examine the chimney vents to check whether the coals have caught fire and the edges of the charcoal have gone gray. If the charcoals have not yet begun to burn, burn another piece of paper.
If you’re still having trouble lighting the charcoal, you may drop a little cooking oil over the newspaper to make it burn a little longer.
Step 3: Pour Out Charcoals When You See Flames
After around 10 minutes, you should see the charcoals blazing through the grill vents and flames flashing over the charcoal layer.
Dump the charcoal from the chimney starter onto a mound and wait until it’s mainly gray and coated with ash. The charcoals should then be spread out. This procedure should take no more than 15 minutes.
Method 2: Using Lighter Fluid
This is the tried-and-true way for getting your charcoal to light. Here are some pointers to help you determine how to use lighter fluid safely:
Step 1: Arrange the Charcoal into A Mound
Make a pyramid or mound of coals in your grill. This promotes coal-to-coal contact and allows the fire to spread more quickly.
Step 2: Add Lighter Fluid and Carefully Light
Squirt a little amount of lighter fluid on the edges and top of the charcoal mound you just made. Check that you are following the instructions on the lighter fluid container.
Next, quickly ignite the lighter fluid-soaked charcoals. Never spray lighter fluid into hot, blazing charcoals.
Step 3: Charcoals Are Ready When They’re Gray
The edges of the charcoal will begin to become gray once the lighter fluid has burned out. The ash will spread to coat every single briquette as they continue to burn.
The charcoals are ready to be spread out and utilized after they are mostly coated with gray ash. This whole procedure should take no more than 15 minutes.
Choosing the right charcoal for your charcoal barbecue might be difficult, particularly if you don’t know what to look for. Hopefully, this information has helped you choose which manufacturers provide the finest charcoal for your barbecue at the most affordable costs.
You’re ready to utilize your charcoal grill now that you know how to use charcoal, what setups work best, and how to ignite the finest charcoal. With this information, you’ll be able to prepare the best-tasting food you’ve ever cooked on a barbecue.
Which charcoal is best for grill?
The 2023 Best Charcoal for Grilling
Overall, the best. Charcoal made from Royal Oak Hardwood Lump.
Briquette at its finest. Authentic Charcoal Briquettes from Kingsford.
Charcoal made from Rockwood Lump.
Charcoal Jealous Devil Hardwood Lump.
Super Quality Lump Charcoal from Fogo.
Feb 23, 2023
What charcoal do chefs use?
Professional Chefs Employ Lumpwood Charcoal
It burns at a high temperature, making it ideal for searing steaks, baking pizzas, and cooking meat over indirect fire.
How do I choose the best charcoal?
Lump charcoal is often regarded as the finest charcoal for grilling since it is produced entirely of wood and does not infuse harmful chemicals into your meal. A chimney is an efficient method for lighting charcoal without the use of lighter fluid. Then, crumple up some newspaper and place it beneath the chimney.
What is the quality of good charcoal?
The ash percentage of good grade lump charcoal is normally about 3%. While fine charcoal has a high ash concentration, if material smaller than 4 mm is removed, the + 4 mm residual may have an ash level of 5-10%. Customers are naturally suspicious of fine charcoal, making it harder to sell (and use, unfortunately).
What charcoal gives the best flavor?
Hardwood charcoal provides a more natural, smokier taste than briquettes since it is manufactured entirely of wood. It also responds better to air management through the vents, enabling you to fine-tune the temperature within the grill.
What is the best longest burning charcoal?
Many grilling purists prefer lump charcoal because it offers hotter, longer burn periods than ordinary charcoal briquettes. Several individuals appreciate the more natural makeup of lump coal: Unlike briquettes, which are mostly formed of sawdust, lump charcoal is just burnt wood.
What is the best charcoal in the world?
Binchotan charcoal is commonly regarded as the finest in the world among chefs, owing to its outstanding long-burning, odorless, and smokeless properties.
What type of charcoal is best for steak?
Lump charcoal also burns hotter than briquettes, making it perfect for searing a steak or other meat.
What charcoal do pitmasters use?
Lump charcoal is created by burning wood into charcoal. Most grillers and pit masters prefer lump charcoal over charcoal briquettes for smoking because it is 100% natural and has no additives or fillers, resulting in a cleaner burn and greater taste.
What charcoal is better than Kingsford?
Manufacture of Ash
According on the results of this test, Royal Oak Classic briquettes create about 50% more ash than Kingsford.