- 1 Lump Charcoal Vs Briquettes: What Is The Difference?
- 1.1 What Is Lump Charcoal?
- 1.2 Lump Charcoal Pros
- 1.3 Lump Charcoal Cons
- 1.4 What Are Charcoal Briquettes?
- 1.5 The Pros of Charcoal Briquettes
- 1.6 The Cons of Charcoal Briquettes
- 1.7 Lump Charcoal Vs Briquettes, What’s The Difference?
- 1.8 1. Lump Charcoal vs Briquettes For Cooking – Which One Is Better?
- 1.9 2. Lump Charcoal vs Briquettes – Which One Is More Expensive?
- 1.10 3. Lump Charcoal vs Briquettes – Which One Is Easier To Light?
- 1.11 4. Lump Charcoal vs Briquettes – Which One Will Grill Better?
- 1.12 5. Lump Charcoal vs. Briquettes – Which One Do Chefs Prefer?
- 1.13 6. Lump Charcoal vs Briquettes – Which One Will Produce More Ash?
- 1.14 7. Time & Speed Of Burning Lump Charcoal Vs Briquettes
- 1.15 8. The Grill Type Of Lump Charcoal Vs Briquettes
- 1.16 9. Fire Arrangement Of Lump Charcoal Vs Briquettes
- 1.17 10. Lump Charcoal Vs Briquettes – Which Is Better For The Environment?
- 1.18 11. Lump Charcoal Vs Briquettes – Which One Will Last Longer?
- 1.19 Lump Charcoal Vs Briquettes: Which Product is Right for You?
- 1.20 Step-by-Step Guide: Lighting Lump Charcoal
- 1.21 How To Use Lump Charcoal Or Briquettes?
- 1.22 5 Tips to Help You Choose the Right Lump Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker Fuel
- 1.23 6 Tips for Using Lump Charcoal BBQ Grill And Smoker Fuel
- 1.24 Getting Quality Tasting Food From Your Smoker
- 1.25 Quality Lump Charcoal Brands For Grilling And Smoking
- 1.26 Making Lump Coal At Home
- 2 FAQs About Lump Charcoal vs Briquettes
- 3 Conclusion
Lump Charcoal Vs Briquettes: What Is The Difference?
When it comes to barbecuing, there are a few different choices you can make when it comes to the kind of charcoal you use. Lump charcoal vs briquettes are two of the most popular types, but what’s the difference between them? And which one is better? Here’s a look at the pros and cons of each type of charcoal.
If you’re considering using charcoal for your next cookout, you may be wondering what the difference is between Lump charcoal vs briquettes. Both have their pros and cons, so it’s important to choose the right type of charcoal for your needs. Keep reading to learn more about the differences between these two types of charcoal.
What Is Lump Charcoal?
Before comparing Lump Charcoal Vs Briquettes, let’s first understand what lump charcoal is. Lump charcoal is a fuel made from wood pieces compressed together without using any adhesive. It is mostly composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Lump charcoal often contains other elements such as calcium, potassium, sodium, and iron.
Lump charcoal is used in grilling or barbecuing since it can be lit on fire quickly and will burn up to three hours which is equal to the time taken for smoking food. Also, unlike briquettes, there’s no need to add lighter fluid or wait for coals to develop an even layer of embers before starting the cooking process.
The biggest advantage of lump charcoals lies in their convenience. Unlike hardwood chunks which require soaking in water overnight before adding them to fire pits, lump charcoals can be used without first being subjected to soaking periods.
The lump charcoal market is expected to gain demand due to its wide range of benefits making it an upcoming fuel in the transport industry. It’s more eco-friendly than wood, cheaper than briquettes, and easier to light up on fire which is just some of the reasons why it’s gaining popularity.
Lump charcoal descriptions may vary between different brands but some key elements are always included such as 100% natural ingredients made from renewable sources, and environmentally friendly burning process that doesn’t emit any harmful emissions into the environment, no chemical additives or binding agents added during production processes.
As a consumer, make sure you understand what you’re getting when purchasing bulk lump charcoals since there are many fraudulent activities that may happen such as the use of recycled wood in production and the omission of words like “all-natural” in product descriptions.
Also, make sure you buy your lump charcoals from an authorized dealer which can provide a guarantee if somebody complains about the quality of their products.
Lump Charcoal Pros
– Can be lit up quickly using a fire starter
– No need to wait for embers to form before lighting up on fire
– High heat retention capability
– Eco-friendly wood-burning process that doesn’t emit harmful emissions into the environment
– Cheaper than briquettes or other forms of fuel since there are no expensive binders added during production, resulting in a cheaper price per unit weight
Lump Charcoal Cons
– More work is required compared to briquettes
– Some lump charcoals burn faster which results in more ash being produced
What Are Charcoal Briquettes?
Charcoal briquettes are small, pressed pieces of charcoal. They are most commonly used in barbeques because they burn longer than natural wood and produce less smoke (which keeps the food moist).
The Pros of Charcoal Briquettes
Briquettes produce long-lasting heat that is easy to control. Even if your fire goes out, it’s easy to start up again by adding extra coals.
A clean-burning fuel, briquettes contain few impurities or additives that can affect a delicate flavor or ruin a marinade. Some types also include added chemicals designed to help eliminate odors while barbecuing.
Hot off the grill: With briquettes, you’re not limited to grilling over an open flame. You can also use them to bake pizza, bread, and other foods on a covered grill. This is especially helpful if you like crispy crusts on your bread and pizzas or if it’s raining outside!
The Cons of Charcoal Briquettes
Briquettes leave behind heavy ash that may need to be cleaned out after each cooking session (depending on the size of the fire).
If not used often, briquettes can contain moisture that will make them burn less efficiently. They should be stored in a cool location with airflow so they don’t clump together.
Certain brands may include chemicals such as nitrates or petroleum products that could affect food quality or flavoring.
Lump Charcoal Vs Briquettes, What’s The Difference?
When you are talking about buying charcoal for your next cooking experience, are you asking yourself “Do I buy lump charcoal vs briquettes?” We’re here to answer that question.
1. Lump Charcoal vs Briquettes For Cooking – Which One Is Better?
Both Lump Charcoal and Briquette Charcoal will work great for grilling, smoking, and roasting meats but there are riskier options when it comes to cooking. Lump Charcoal is pure wood, heated up until it burns which leaves behind no residual chemicals or additives assuring you that you are only getting the good stuff in your food when using this type of charcoal. Briquette Charcoal on the other hand can sometimes have leftover chemicals or additives from the manufacturing process so if you are looking for a healthier option, buy lump charcoal instead of briquettes.
2. Lump Charcoal vs Briquettes – Which One Is More Expensive?
Lump charcoal typically costs more than briquette charcoals but many people believe that there’s more carbon per square inch in lump charcoal giving them better grilling capabilities when compared to briquettes charcoals.
3. Lump Charcoal vs Briquettes – Which One Is Easier To Light?
This may come as a surprise but briquette charcoals are actually easier to light than lump charcoal. This is because briquette charcoals are made with additives that help them get started quickly so if you’re in a rush, buy briquettes instead of lump coal.
4. Lump Charcoal vs Briquettes – Which One Will Grill Better?
Anybody can tell you that it’s all about the marinade when it comes to grilling meats and vegetables but you still need good quality charcoal to stand out from the crowd. Matches and lighter fluid don’t cut it so we’re here to tell you that Lump Charcoal will grill better than Briquette Coal.
5. Lump Charcoal vs. Briquettes – Which One Do Chefs Prefer?
If you want to impress your guests, use lump charcoal in your cooking and grilling adventures because it’s the preferred choice of professional chefs around the world when they are looking for high-quality ingredients. The word is out; You might as well go all out if you’re serious about cooking great food!
6. Lump Charcoal vs Briquettes – Which One Will Produce More Ash?
Both lump charcoal and briquette charcoals produce ash when burned, but there are some differences between them. Lump coal typically produces a less amount of ash than briquettes do which means it can be used more often because you will spend less time cleaning up after cooking. Briquettes produce a higher amount of ash compared to lump coals, but they burn longer so you can expect them to last for several hours at least when lit properly.
7. Time & Speed Of Burning Lump Charcoal Vs Briquettes
The speed that both types of charcoals burn is different from one another as well. Lump coal burns faster than briquette charcoals do which makes it great for quick grilling needs or if you need your charcoal to heat up faster. This is a benefit for those having a party or gathering and need their coals lit quickly before cooking begins for all the guests that have been invited over.
Briquette charcoals tend to burn slower than lump coal, but this type of product will last longer because it burns longer. These benefits make them great for someone that wants to cook over low temperatures for a long period of time without them needing to be refilled as often as other charcoal types might require doing so.
8. The Grill Type Of Lump Charcoal Vs Briquettes
Each type of charcoal works well for grilling or barbecuing needs, but they might not be the best choice for one type of grill. If you have a gas-powered grill, lump coal tends to give your food better flavor than briquette charcoals do and it also burns cleaner than briquettes.
If you own a traditional charcoal barbecue though, briquette charcoals tend to work better because they last longer. Lump coal will burn out faster so while using this product may provide you with better tasting foods during your meals, you can expect to add more every hour or two which is inconvenient for most people when cooking at home.
9. Fire Arrangement Of Lump Charcoal Vs Briquettes
Lump charcoals are typically best used when they are placed directly underneath your food for grilling purposes. The fire concentration is the same as cooking over coals made from traditional briquette charcoals, but lump coal doesn’t burn as well or produce anywhere near as much ash which makes it safer because you don’t have to worry about flammable residue sticking to your foods.
Briquettes work just fine for this type of application too, but you can expect them to put out more ash than lump charcoal does so that may be an area where you wish to use caution. Some people even opt for using both types of charcoal at once if they want traditional tasting grilled foods while still producing less ash in the grilling area because lump coal will burn hotter for a short time.
Lump charcoal is natural, made from organic materials so it really isn’t hazardous to the environment negatively which makes it eco-friendly. It has more of an environmental impact when burned though, but that’s not much different than other types of charcoals on the market either.
Briquettes are also eco-friendly when used properly and produced in an environmentally conscious way to help reduce environmental harm. This means you can enjoy cooking with them without having to worry about negative impacts upon the planet because nature does reclaim most carbon products after they’ve been burned fully in commercial or residential areas.
10. Lump Charcoal Vs Briquettes – Which Is Better For The Environment?
Lump charcoals are probably the overall winner here, not only because they are made from environmentally conscious materials but also because despite releasing harmful gases when burned, these products still become harmless organic material after being used completely. This means that nature does reclaim it for use in future living processes which is great if you care about preserving our planet’s resources.
Briquettes do cause more harm to the environment during their production period due to the chemicals that are emitted into the air at factories where these products are manufactured. It’s hard to say whether one type of charcoal is better to use over another when speaking about environmental impact though, so both can be used and enjoyed safely by most people.
11. Lump Charcoal Vs Briquettes – Which One Will Last Longer?
Lump charcoal will typically last longer than briquettes because it burns for a much longer time period which is great if you want to grill power without having to add any more fuel very often. It can get expensive because you’ll need to buy many bags of lump coal in order to get the same number of cooking hours that one bag of briquette charcoals can provide in most cases, but you do need less overall in each use when compared with other types on the market.
Briquettes are cheaper though, so they tend to cost users less over the long run even though they don’t last as long. They burn out faster than lump charcoal, but still provide plenty of power for your grilling needs on most occasions without having to add any more fuel every couple hours or so like you might with standard lump charcoals on the market.
Lump Charcoal Vs Briquettes: Which Product is Right for You?
The two main types of grilling charcoal are lump charcoal and briquettes. They both can be molded to fit different size grills depending on the amount you need, but they also have their different lump charcoal vs briquettes in features as well. Here is a look at what each one has to offer so you will know which one is right for your needs:
Briquette charcoals have been used for more than 100 years. The process from making the briquettes starts with trees being cut down and taken to a manufacturing facility where they are turned into coal. Chemicals or other ingredients may be added during the process to give it an anti-clumping feature so that it won’t stick together while being burned. This allows the charcoals to burn longer, which is a benefit for those grilling.
The making of lump charcoal starts with trees being cut down and taken to a manufacturing facility where they are turned into coal. Some will use a wood-burning kiln instead to turn the logs into coal. Most manufacturers will take out any bark or limbs from the product before it is packaged and ready to sell as this improves its quality. Lump charcoal does not contain additional chemicals or ingredients like briquette charcoals do, but it can still produce an ash residue when burned as well as be used in traditional fire pits outside for ambiance purposes.
Lump Charcoal Uses
Both kinds of charcoal can be used for cooking, grilling, or barbecuing. They can produce a longer-lasting fire than wood does when burned. Lump charcoal is highly recommended for smokers because it burns cleaner and more efficiently than briquette charcoals do.
Lump Charcoal Benefits
The benefits of using lump charcoal for cooking are that it produces a low amount of ash when burned, plus a little goes a long way so the price per use tends to be less expensive. Some have even found that using lump coal in their smokers helps with maintaining higher temperatures while adding an improved flavor compared to briquettes; this results in better tasting foods.
Briquette Charcoal Uses
Briquette charcoals are still widely used by many that grill on their charcoal BBQ grills. The advantage to using this type of product is that it is easy to find almost anywhere, plus most grocery stores carry their own brands. This makes it convenient for anyone that likes to grill regularly on the weekends or just occasionally in the backyard.
Briquette Charcoal Benefits
Some of the benefits people see when cooking with briquettes include the fact these products are consistent and easy to use so you can expect similar results each time your grill out. They tend to produce more ash than lump charcoals do though, but they also typically last longer than lump charcoals do when used for cooking purposes.
Step-by-Step Guide: Lighting Lump Charcoal
After comparing Lump Charcoal Vs Briquettes, now it’s time to light the charcoal. As a follow-up to the primer on lump charcoal, this article will describe how to light it. Some people have been able to “light” charcoal with just two or three pieces of wood, which is very impressive and worth a video by itself, but almost always this isn’t enough for a nice fire and can actually be counterproductive because not all of the wood’s combustible material burns.
The easiest way is with either a chimney starter or an electric charcoal lighter. The electric starters are definitely easier, but either will get the job done quickly and easily if you’re impatient. If you use an electric starter, fill it full of unlit coals then plug it in until the coils get red hot (usually about half an hour). Unplug it and dump all of the coals in your grill, unless you only plan to cook for an hour or two (in which case you can dump all of them except for about twenty-five). If you use a chimney starter, fill it full of unlit coals then set it on fire at one end until flames are rolling out of the top. Then pour the hot coals into the grill.
The next step is getting some real heat going with charcoal briquettes. As mentioned in the article on lump charcoal, these will burn hotter than regular charcoal because they contain more binder and fillers so they’ll hold their shape while burning longer. You either light four or five pieces of briquettes with an electric starter (two or three if you’re using a chimney) and wait until they all turn orange, or dump them on top of the hot coals after about fifteen minutes.
The last step is to add the cooking grates and put your meat on. The grill should be really hot by now because there’s already some burning wood inside it, so put your foot down as soon as you can–this isn’t the time for overcooking. Shut the lid and let it sit for at least five minutes before opening it back up again, even if nothing seems to be cooking. This will give the heat plenty of time to do its thing without any loss.
If you want to “bump the heat” up a notch, which is what I always want to do, just add either another piece or two of charcoal if you’re using briquettes, or one more chunk of the lump. Make sure none are smoking though because that’s just wasted energy.
How To Use Lump Charcoal Or Briquettes?
Lump charcoal and briquettes are manufactured from wood by burning the wood slowly in a low-oxygen environment to allow the carbon (carbonization) to bind with the hydrogen and oxygen in such a way that it creates coke, coal, and charcoal.
There is not much difference between lump charcoals and briquettes other than the processing method, features for use, and packaging. Lump charcoals are made without any binders or chemicals by using hand tools (such as rakes and shovels). The lumps of charcoal created this way tend to be larger than the ones made through extrusion by machines. Lump charcoals have irregular shapes while briquettes do not.
Briquettes often have borax or mineral oil added to them during the manufacturing process. These additives cause lump charcoals to burn hotter and cleaner than briquettes.
2 Types of Lump Charcoal: Briquettes And Lumps
There are two types of lump charcoal (and therefore two types of briquettes) – extruded and non-extruded (handmade). The only difference between these is that extruded lumps are made by a machine while handcrafted lumps are created through traditional methods, which often results in larger pieces. However, both kinds can be further separated into hardwood lump charcoals and softwood lump charcoals.
Hardwoods like oak will give off more heat when, but they also burn out faster than softwoods such as pine. As a result, hardwood lump charcoals are not suitable for barbeque grilling and high heat cooking methods while softwood lump charcoals work just fine for these purposes.
5 Tips to Help You Choose the Right Lump Charcoal Barbecue Grill and Smoker Fuel
- Decide which type of charcoal to use: Soft or Hard Wood Lump Charcoal
Lump charcoal is manufactured from wood by burning the wood slowly in a low-oxygen environment to allow the carbon (carbonization) to bind with the hydrogen and oxygen in such a way that it creates coke, coal, and charcoal. In general, hardwoods like oak will give off more heat when they burn, but they also burn out faster. As a result, hardwood lump charcoals are not suitable for barbeque grilling and high heat cooking methods while softwoods such as pine work just fine for these purposes.
- Consider the size of the charcoal you want to use: Lump Charcoal Briquettes or Lumps?
Lump charcoal is usually made through handcrafting by using traditional methods which often results in larger pieces than the ones made through extrusion by machines with additives. Lump charcoals have irregular shapes while briquettes do not.
- Decide what type of smoker to buy: Charcoal Smoker, Gas Smoker Or Pellet Smoker?
Charcoal smokers are ideal for cooking food over long periods of time at low-medium heat using indirect heat. They require frequent stirring of the coals and work best with large cuts of meat. Gas smokers are more suited for longer, overnight smoking because they don’t require any fire tending to maintain consistent temperature levels. Pellet smokers can do both tasks well by regulating temperatures through pellet feeds that replenish themselves automatically every few minutes.
- Get a smoker that will be convenient to use: Electric Smoker, Charcoal Smoker, Or Propane Smoker?
Propane smokers are easy to start but propane is expensive compared to charcoal or electric power sources (which both need batteries). Although charcoal smokers also need batteries, it is a cheaper solution compared to propane.
- Get a smoker with good quality: Do I Need To Spend Over $150?
You can find smokers that are comfortable and easy to use for less than $100 from companies such as Masterbuilt, Bradley, Dyna-Glo, and Cookshack just to name a few. If you want an even more convenient choice, then the electric smoker is the best option. You should only go over $150 if you want a smoker that will last many years or one of high quality without any hassles along the way (such as temperature regulation issues).
6 Tips for Using Lump Charcoal BBQ Grill And Smoker Fuel
- Cover Your Fire And Cook With Lower Heat
Be sure to use a grill with high quality and provide enough ventilation for your charcoal or wood chips. You can always pile more coals on top of the existing ones if you want hotter temperatures but remember that starting them again may be difficult especially when it is windy outside. Covering your fire while cooking will give you more consistent results without having to worry about the wind blowing them out.
- Use Your Water Pan
Using a water pan in the smoker will allow you to maintain ultra-low temperatures especially when using hardwood lump charcoals which are not suitable for grilling purposes because they burn too fast. The water absorbs heat from the bottom while allowing smoke particles to pass through to keep your food juicy and tender.
- Use Your Baffle Or V-Rack
Baffles are metal plates that separate the coals from the wood or meat when using a charcoal smoker. They prevent flare-ups by preventing the fire from directly heating up the meat, but they also allow more smoke particles to reach your grill because it is not passing through an enclosed space first. Inserting a v-rack like this one will make it easier to lift out grills if you want to check on them frequently without spilling hot charcoal all over yourself.
- Clean Up After Every Use
Charcoal ash can clog up your smoker vents especially if they are not cleaned after every use (which is ideal for all smokers). This will result in less airflow and may cause your fire to burn faster than usual. Cleaning the ash out of the smoker is best done with a stiff-bristled broom and can be easily achieved when it has cooled down completely.
- Keep Coal Drums Handy
Large lump charcoals such as these ones from Mountain View Trading Company are almost impossible to find in stores so you will probably need an alternative way to keep them fresh until you use them up. Coal drums like this one do not require electricity or any other input to keep your charcoal fresh, making it perfect for areas where there is no electricity to power such as coolers or boards. You can even buy a large plastic drum and fill it with sand instead.
- Remove Ash Before Adding New Lump Charcoal Or Wood Chips
Before adding any new lump charcoals or wood chips, you should always remove the ash from your smoker so you can prevent a smokey and bitter taste from permeating your food. Removing the ash is best done with a stiff-bristled brush and once again when the smoker has cooled down completely or at least removed from its source of heat altogether. This will also prevent accidents such as dumping hot embers on yourself while carrying them out.
Getting Quality Tasting Food From Your Smoker
- Use Coals That Are Not Too Hot On Top And Cooler Ones On The Bottom
You should usually use the hot coals on the bottom of your fire and low-burning lump charcoals on top of those. This will prevent the hotter coals from consuming all of the oxygen inside your smoker which may cause it to go out immediately. It also prevents such hot coals from prematurely catching whatever you are cooking on fire before they have a chance to impart their flavor into it.
- Use Big Chunks Of Wood Chips Or Logs Instead Of Sawdust
Wood chips or logs burn slower than sawdust, meaning more smoke is allowed to develop and reach your food. If you use sawdust (which is already ground up), then more air will need to pass through it first before reaching the grill resulting in less smokiness.
- Slow-Smoke Meats At Low Temperatures To Maximize Flavor Transfer
Although hot smoking is often associated with being very tasty, it can also be tiring because the food may have high moisture content which tends to boil away after some time. Foods such as jerky are typically smoked at lower temperatures so more of their flavor will seep into the meat over a greater period of time. Higher moisture meats are best kept above 160 F or slow-smoked for up to 8 or even 12 hours depending upon the size of your meat cuts. This ensures that you will still have enough water left on them by the end of your grilling session without making them too moist and unsafe to eat (because bacteria cannot grow in the absence of water).
- Keep A Well-Stocked Wood Chip Smoker Bucket Nearby
Wood chip smokers are not difficult to use at all because there is no real process involved other than filling it up with wood chips and lighting them on fire, but they may run out faster than you know it. Always keep a bucket full of soaked wood chips nearby that can be thrown into your smoker should this happen. This will prevent any disruption in your smoking sessions due to inadequate stocks. It would also be helpful to keep another bucket filled with fresh water so you can easily extinguish the coals should this become necessary (throwing dry coals onto wet surfaces causes lots of smoke and heat to be released quickly).
Quality Lump Charcoal Brands For Grilling And Smoking
Lump charcoal is widely considered the best type of charcoal for grilling and smoking, although it is not as easy to find as briquettes. Lump coal comes from burning clean wood, like oak, with nothing added. It burns hotter than briquettes because there are no binders or chemicals in lump coal that hold it together (the chunks will crumble apart). Lump coal is also more convenient than using a wood fire because you can regulate the heat by adjusting the airflow.
Lump Coal Variety Names
There are many different varieties of lump coal available under various brand names; however, they typically go by rather generic terms such as “lump” or “charcoal”. The most common types of lump coals are described below.
Coconut Lump Coal: Coconut lump coal is made from the wood of coconut palms, and is often sold under the name “eco briquettes”.
Mesquite Lump Charcoal: Mesquite lump coal is another option that can provide a great smoky flavor to grilled foods. It is most commonly used in Texas barbecue.
Oak Barrel Lump Coal Oak barrel lump coal is made by taking chunks of oak wood that were used to age wine or other alcoholic beverages, burning them with no additives, and then compressing them into pieces. The result works quite well when combined with traditional hardwood lump coal for grilling, although it can be expensive.
Pecan Lump Charcoal: Pecan lump charcoal also uses the same method as oak barrel lump coal, but it comes from pecan wood instead. It has a very strong and unique flavor and works well with red meats and pork for smoking.
Oak Wood Lump Coal: Oakwood lump coal is made by taking chunks of oak wood that were used in the production of wine or other alcoholic beverages, burning them with no additives, compressing them into pieces, burnishing them to keep maximum amounts of carbon intact, then storing the resulting compressed pieces until you are ready to use them for barbecuing or grilling. The high carbon content keeps the fire going long enough to give the meat a great smoky flavor when combined with traditional hardwood lump coal.
Homemade Lump Charcoal: Although most people opt to buy their lump coals pre-made, there are some that prefer to make them themselves. Homemade lump coal uses wood chunks or logs that have been burned in a covered metal container. The main benefit of making your own is being able to control the quality of wood used, which can affect the flavor of the resulting lump charcoal.
Making Lump Coal At Home
To make homemade lump coal at home, you will need clean steel drums or containers with tight-fitting lids. You will also need firewood, sawdust for kindling, an old metal bucket filled with water (to use as a steam cooker), newspaper, and wire mesh.
First, cut all of your firewood into roughly equal sizes. Stack several pieces together in the steel drum in even layers with kindling between each layer. Wet the kindling with water and cover the drum tightly (you will be creating steam inside the drum, and the water serves as a sealant.)
Light your fire and let it burn down to coals. Once you have coal embers, add more pieces of dry firewood around them in a single layer. Continue alternating layers of wood and coal until you have filled your steel drum. Close the lid on your container. Next add some sawdust on top of your firewood to ensure that the entire contents combust into lump charcoal, then place a small bucket or container upside down over it all to form a dome effect. Add additional pieces of wet kindling around this smaller container, light it with a match, and wait.
Once the kindling is completely burned, remove the smaller container and gently shake your lump coal out of the steel drum into a metal bucket or onto a tarp. Let it air dry for 2 to 3 days, then store it until needed.
FAQs About Lump Charcoal vs Briquettes
Is Lump Charcoal The Same As Briquettes?
The short answer is no. While briquettes are made of compressed sawdust and coal these aren’t the only differences between them. Here’s a list:
- Lump charcoal is 100% natural hardwood, wood that’s been seasoned (the water has been evaporated from it) for at least six months before being processed into lump charcoal whereas briquettes contain all kinds of impurities and chemicals such as sodium nitrate and petroleum additives to speed up the process and help with binding. Radioisotopes have even been used to speed up production!
- Briquettes usually need added lighter fluid too whereas just two or three pieces of lump charcoal will get a chimney going and have your coals ready in about twenty minutes
- Lump charcoal is incredibly versatile, you can use it for everything from low slow BBQ to high heat grilling and smoking whereas briquettes are pretty much stuck with whatever they were designed for.
- Lump charcoal burns cleaner with less ash than briquettes so no need to worry about sludging up your expensive grill or smoker plus you’ll have less chance of ending up with chunks of half-burned lump which can clog up the bottom of your cooker and put out the fire (not good) especially in cold weather when there’s a lot of moisture in the air.
- A little bag/box of lumps will last longer than your standard bag/box of briquettes. A 10-pound box of both is equivalent to about three bags of briquettes but you’ll get more cooking time out of the same amount of lump.
- Lump charcoal is made from smaller pieces so it burns hotter and more evenly than briquettes which are usually made up of bigger chunks, this means that when using lump you can spread the heat around better meaning less chance of cold spots or having to keep rotating food or moving it further away from the fire after every turn.
Can You Mix Lump Charcoal And Briquettes?
This pretty much comes down to personal preference. Some people swear by mixing them together, others hate it.
Can You Use Lump Charcoal And Briquettes At The Same Time?
Yes, you can – again, this is a matter of personal preference. Some people swear by it, others hate it.
Why Is Lump Charcoal More Expensive Than Briquettes?
When comparing prices for lump charcoal vs briquettes there are different grades of each product that have to be taken into consideration too. Lump charcoal is made from 100% hardwood but not all hardwoods are the same, some hardwoods are better than others and produce higher-quality lump charcoal so they cost more. You also have to consider how long it’s been seasoned because fresh green wood has less moisture in it which means you’re basically paying to dry it out over time, which also matters.
Manufacturers have to take into account the different grades of lump charcoal so their prices are more lenient with what they charge for all lump charcoals because say you have four different grades of lump charcoal rated A through D with A being best and D being worst, each manufacturer is still going to pay about the same price per tonne for their lump charcoal no matter which grade it is because that’s just how long term contracts work. Lump charcoal is sometimes even used as an ingredient in other products e.g bbq wood chips or pellets.
So when comparing lump charcoal vs briquettes also consider that there are two different types of hardwood used – oak and hickory – whereas briquettes are usually made with low-grade softwoods. Also consider how long it’s been seasoned for and the different grades of each product because lump charcoal is pretty much always going to cost more than briquettes, sometimes a lot more.
But don’t forget that you also have to factor in the production costs, amount of raw materials used, labor costs per tonne, etc plus they’re not just making one type of lump charcoal versus one type of briquette, they’re making many different types of each so it’s always going to be cheaper to produce 20 different types or grades or brands of lump charcoals than it would be to produce 20 types or grades or brands of briquettes. Lump charcoal is essentially an artisan hand-made product whereas briquettes are all pretty much made by machines. So when comparing lump charcoal vs briquettes consider the different types or grades of each and the total number of each they make plus, don’t forget, there’s also shipping costs to factor in too because if you’re buying online it won’t be mounted on a pallet (or shrink-wrapped) and shipped in a semi-trailer like most other products, it’ll be boxed up and sent out via courier which means even more money.
So when it comes down to price per bag/box (20lbs) for both lump charcoal vs briquettes, depending on the quality (and type) of lump charcoals involved the price tag could range from being about the same as briquettes right up to sometimes even being much higher than the cost of briquettes.
When comparing lump charcoal vs briquettes it’s important to consider all factors involved including quality (type) and a total number of each type they make because there are always going to be different grades (not just lump vs regular) plus shipping costs must not be forgotten about either because you could be getting an artisan hand-made product delivered via a courier which is going to cost more than if it were shipped in a semi-trailer on a pallet so, therefore, you have to factor that into the price too. Lump charcoal is usually made with 100% hardwood and briquettes are usually made with low-grade softwoods (sawdust) and that’s one of the main reasons why lump charcoal will always be more expensive than briquettes.
Lump charcoal vs briquettes are both popular options for grilling, but there are some key differences you should be aware of before making a purchase. Briquettes tend to last longer and produce more heat than lump charcoal, while lump charcoal imparts a smokier flavor to food. Ultimately, the best choice for you will depend on your needs and preferences. Have you tried cooking with both lump charcoal and briquettes? What did you think?