When it comes to perfect grilling, even the type of charcoal that you choose will have an impact. So between the briquettes and lump, which one is better?
When comparing lump charcoal vs briquettes, the lump charcoal emerges the best as they boast many attractive qualities. Lighting faster, burning hotter, and leaving little ash compared to briquettes are some qualities that make the lump charcoal the best. In addition, lump charcoal is more responsive to oxygen.
Since the quality of the charcoal you buy will directly influence your grilling efforts, it is vital to ensure that you settle for the best. Read on for more details on the best charcoal to buy for your next grilling venture.
Lump charcoal is the more natural option, which explains why many BBQ enthusiasts settle for it. It is essentially wood heated in a closed environment with low oxygen. The low oxygen ensures the wood does not burn to ashes.
One of the main concerns of lump charcoal is that some impurities may taint the wood used for its processing. For instance, it is possible that some woods, e.g., Scraps from flooring, may contain chemicals. To avoid impure lump charcoal, ensure that you purchase them from a reputable shop.
Benefits Of Lump Charcoal
- They are natural as they do not have any additives
- It does not produce excessive ash
- It is easy to light
- Response fast to oxygen and vent adjustment
Lump Charcoal Cons
- It is more expensive compared to briquette
- It lacks versatility, and it is, therefore, less versatile
- Burns faster, meaning that you might need to add more when cooking
The Briquettes Charcoal
The briquettes are manufactured by combining multiple materials such as leftover wood particles and sawdust. These materials are mixed and pressed together to form a briquette. Sometimes chemical additives are included in the process. Common additives include sodium nitrate, starch, limestone, and borax.
Benefits of Briquette Pros
- They have a uniform shape, and they offer a consistent burn rate
- Relatively cheap
Disadvantages of Briquette
- They may contain additives meant for igniting and binding purposes
- Produce more ash as a byproduct
- Take a longer time to ignite
Lump Charcoal vs. Briquettes For Smoking
Good charcoal for smoking should produce a steady heat and last for a considerable period. Since charcoal is not created the same way, it is crucial to ensure that you choose the best.
The charcoal briquette can make a good choice for your smoker if you opt for the cleanest version. In this case, briquettes made out of sawdust with a sugar-based binding agent would be the best option as it burns clean.
Cheap brands of briquettes add coal or anthracite to the sawdust mix for a better burning experience. Although coal does not affect the flavor of your foods much, it is not the best source of energy to embrace when cooking. Therefore, you must be careful when shopping for briquettes for your cooking ventures.
The good thing with briquettes is that they offer a steady temperature and burn longer than the lump charcoal despite taking longer to light.
You can use lump charcoal if you want to make more delicious delicacies and advance your cooking experience. As you already know, lump charcoal is simply a piece of wood that has been converted into charcoal, and therefore it boasts an authentic and more flavorful smoke.
Although lump charcoal is more expensive than briquettes, it is cost-effective in the long run because you spend less when doing your smoking.
Further, it is crucial to understand that the burn time and the amount of heat the charcoal can provide vary from brand to brand. Therefore, it is wise to opt for those brands that have already established a good reputation.
Avoid Charcoal With Additives
When choosing the best charcoal for smoking, you must ensure it is as clean as possible. Charcoal without any additives is the best for smoking safe and delicious foods. Any charcoal with a self-starting characteristic is not the best as they tend to contain lighter fluid additives that might leave a bad taste in your food.
Proper Storage Of Your Charcoal
Once you purchase your charcoal, you must store it properly. This is because charcoal can quickly become contaminated, which are some things you need to avoid. For instance, storing your charcoal in the garage would expose it to contamination.
Hardwood Lump Charcoal vs. Briquettes
One factor that influences the choice of charcoal is the type of smoking you need to carry out. For instance, hardwood charcoal is the best for high-heat grilling and searing and can be very rewarding if you want to add more flavors to your meat. Additional facts to note about hardwood lump charcoal vs. briquettes include;
- Hardwood lump is 100% natural carbonized hardwood that burns hotter and slower, meaning it can burn for a long time. Further, it adds more smoke flavors to your food, making it even more delicious. While the irregular shape can indicate irregular and inconsistent burns, that is not enough to discourage you from investing in the hardwood lump charcoal.
- The briquettes are carbonized sawdust that often contains binders and fillers. While the briquettes burn cooler, they can last longer and burn consistently due to their uniform shape.
- Either hardwood lump charcoal or briquettes can use either grills or smokers.
- The briquettes are the better option if you are after controlled, low, and slow smoking ventures.
- Hardwood lump charcoal is readily available in most leading stores in the United States.
How Much Hotter Is Lump Charcoal vs. Briquettes
Knowing how lump and briquettes compare is a wise decision whether you are an accomplished grilling boss or just starting. It enables you to decide on the best type of charcoal to choose for your specific needs.
The lump charcoal is hotter than briquettes. While a briquette fire can get up to 800-1000 degrees F, the lump charcoal can get to 1400 degrees F. Therefore, lump charcoal will be the best option if you are looking to sear or grill your meat.
How To Find The Best Charcoal Supplier
When purchasing lump or briquettes, you must ensure that you are doing business with a reliable supplier. It is the best way to determine the quality of the products you are about to get.
The Type Of Charcoal
One of the qualities of a good supplier is that they must be able to provide you with a wide range of charcoal. If a supplier tells you that they do not offer some types of charcoal, that is an indication that they are not the best.
Quality Of The Charcoals
It is essential to acknowledge that charcoal is never the same. Therefore, take time to ensure that you are dealing with a supplier who is best known for supplying quality products. Online reviews should give you a hint about the dedication of the supplier to offering quality products.
As much as you want quality charcoal for your grilling activities, you do not want to spend too much of your money on the same. Therefore, it is essential to compare the prices of other suppliers before you can draw your conclusion. Use the internet to do your due diligence to ensure that the supplier is not taking advantage of you in one way or the other.
There is no doubt that the lump and the briquettes charcoal offer different results, which is why you need to be definite about what you want to achieve. For instance, if you want to sear your meat, you will need to stick to lump charcoal as they are hotter and can last for a long time. The briquettes are the best when you are short of time and do not mind the additives that might be among its components.
Scot has loved smoking food in his free time for the last few years. Each major holiday or off-weekend, Scot spends days testing and prepping new recipes for perfection.