Lump Charcoal vs Briquettes: Which One Better & Why?

Lump Charcoal vs Briquettes: Which One Better & Why?

Everywhere we go, we can experience a debate among charcoal users for lump charcoal and briquettes. They state any of them as the superior one for grilling and smoking.

It is hard to distinguish between lump and briquettes charcoal for people who have not experienced charcoal in their life. Wooden charcoal is prepared when heating of wood takes place in the absence of oxygen.

While this process occurs, some volatile components like water, methane, and tar become part of the air after vaporizing from the source wood.

The wood leaves a portion of carbon only and decomposes into multiple components.

Because of the higher carbon content in charcoal, it becomes durable and has more potential energy than wood. The heat produced by charcoal can burn cleaner and hotter if we compare it to the warmth of burning wood.

After burning the wood in different situations, it can transform into different types of charcoal. Two of them are lump and briquettes.

Which is Better, Lump Charcoal or Briquettes?

Lump and briquettes charcoal type have their benefits in different aspects, where we can see the difference in their cost, light time, cooking speed, burn time, temperature control, and ash production.

These parameters are different, and both lump charcoal and briquettes have their specifications in these parameters.

Briquettes are less expensive than lump charcoal, which makes them a better choice for barbeque lovers. Lump charcoal provides less burning in a buck than briquette, which is another factor of the popularity of briquette.

Lump charcoal starts leaving grey ash when it have achieved enough temperature to start grilling.

Further, they take less time than briquette, which popularized lump charcoal due to its excellent and clean light factor. They can achieve a temperature of 500 degrees in minimum time as compared to briquettes.

What is Lump Charcoal

What is Lump Charcoal?

Lump charcoal is the most preferred energy source among BBQ enthusiasts due to its more natural approach. Lump charcoal is a product that is prepared when the wood is burned where there is no oxygen.

The lack of oxygen makes other components leave the wood, and there remains only carbon for burning.

The lack of oxygen is required to resist the wood from turning into ash completely. In the production of lump charcoal, the production units use unprocessed timber like limbs, branches, and scraps of wood.

Lump charcoal is a natural thing for burning, and it offers excellent results to BBQ lovers. They respond to oxygen very fast, which reduces their time to burn and becomes ready for preparing the grill.

Beyond these factors, lump charcoal lights more quickly, give a hotter burn, and produce minimum ash while grilling some incredible things on it.

If we talk about some pros and cons of lump charcoal, we can see both of them. Certain things make them a better source of energy for grilling.


  • Produce fewer ashes.
  • Completely Natural (No additive substance)
  • Can reach a higher temperature in minimum time.
  • Oxygen responsive, which makes it light faster and hotter.
  • It can produce some smoke flavors with a great smell.
  • Prepared for faster grilling sessions which can offer an immediate result.


  • Lump charcoal is responsive to oxygen which requires more charcoal for lengthy grilling sessions.
  • It is more expensive than briquettes.
  • Large pieces have cellulose in it, which affects the burning factor of charcoal.
  • It gives unpredictable time for cooking, which can lead to adding more charcoal or sometimes leave them.
What are Briquettes?

What are Briquettes?

Briquettes are the combination of multiple materials which contain leftover wood, mineral char, and sawdust. These materials are compressed together after mixing them, and it results in the formation of briquettes.

These are referred to as fast-food charcoal, which has doping in them. The combination of other materials makes briquettes burn consistently for a long time.

Also, some chemicals like Sodium Nitrate, borax, and limestones are added to the formation of briquettes.

It enhances the durability of briquette in grilling, where BBQ enthusiasts can grill everything they want due to its long burn factor. Also, these chemicals give a distinct shape to briquette that makes them look even.

It is not hard to find and provides easier control on the burn rate. These additives give a smell to the food, which you can resist after getting it covered with white ash.

Briquettes are small bricks of unnatural charcoal, which you can find easily. Let’s put a flash on some of the pros and cons of using briquettes in barbeque.


  • Briquettes are meant to burn longer and slower, even in low temperatures. It is suitable for smoking too.
  • Uniform shape is the key to making arrangements from the briquettes in any formation.
  • Cheaper and readily available as compared to lump charcoal.
  • You can maintain briquettes in every situation for a longer period.


  • Additives can be a reason for some smell in your food.
  • It requires time to ignite appropriately.
  • Due to the absence or low amount of wood, it produces more ash.
  • You cannot reuse them.
  • The combustion of briquettes can give a pungent smell in the surroundings due to chemical additives.

Difference Between Briquettes & Lump Charcoal

The performance of each type of charcoal makes the difference from each other. There are some differences between lump and briquettes charcoal which creates a gap between the use of both products.

Most people prefer to go for lump charcoal, but their preferences change in other needs.

  • Lump charcoal burns at a reasonable speed if we compare it to the ignition speed of briquettes, which marks their importance in different situations.
  • Briquettes give some foggy smoke while burning, which can flow with some pungent smell, whereas you can feel some good smell while using lump charcoal.
  • When we put lump charcoal in the chimney, it starts burning faster, whereas the ignition of briquettes is a time-consuming process if we put them in a vent.
  • After burning, we can see many ashes from briquettes due to doping present in it. Lump charcoal leaves a small amount of ash, which is, of course, the reason for natural things present in it.

Lump vs Briquettes Charcoal – What Experts Say?

Experts have their preferences in the use of fuel sources while grilling and smoking. Mostly they prefer lump charcoal due to its natural production and low ash. The main component in lump charcoal is the carbonized wood, making it a fast and preferable energy source in the grilling process.

According to the experts, the presence of Sodium Nitrate and Borax in briquettes makes it the least choice.

It is because of the smell coming out of briquettes when they start combusting it. The biggest pro of briquette lasts longer in the grilling sessions, which is a preferable factor for briquettes.

Charcoal is fast burning fuels that make grilling quick and ready to be on time, and if a situation of aborting the session is there, they can stop the ignition and later use the remaining lump of charcoal.

In the case of briquettes, it is not a reusable source of fuel for grilling.

The Best Charcoal You Can Buy For Grilling

There is a variety of lumps and briquettes charcoal types present on online stores like Amazon. You can find the best from the list and go for anything that is suitable for your needs. Let’s look at the best charcoal you can use to make your grilling session awesome.

1. Kamado Joe KJ-Char Big Block XL Lump Charcoal

When you want to grill on an extensive session using natural charcoal, Kamado Joe K-J Char lump charcoal can be the best fit for your grilling.

You can find this product on, which will provide you with a direct delivery for the product. The charcoal is available in two different variants, 20 and 30-pound bags.

You can get 100% natural lump charcoal in the bags, which will improve your experience in the entire session of grilling. These charcoals are easy to burn, and you can prepare a better meal in chimneys.

Kamado Joe KJ-Char Big Block XL Lump Charcoal: Check Price On Amazon!

2. Fogo Super Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal

These are the premium hardwood charcoal that you can use in multi-purpose grill sessions. Most restaurant users prefer this excellent product for long-lasting lump charcoal sessions in their meals.

Fogo premium hardwood lump charcoal is a smoke-flavoured pack of lump charcoals available in the variant of 17.6 pounds.

You can find 100% natural charcoal, giving you minor ashes after burning, which comes with an aroma to enhance your grilling experience.

Fogo Super Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal: Check Its Price On Amazon!

3. Duraflame Cowboy Natural Hardwood Briquettes

These self-cleaning hard wood briquettes can enhance your experience in a grilling session by offering you an experience of hard wood in the briquettes.

These briquettes are prepared with some high-quality natural wood with no additives, making them a better usable briquette for BBQ enthusiasts.

You can even cook whenever you pair these briquettes with backyard bbq. It will enhance your experience in the grilling and offer you extra time in the session.

Duraflame Cowboy Natural Hardwood Briquettes: Check Price On Amazon!

Frequently Asked Question

Does Lump Charcoal Burns Faster?

The components used in lump charcoal are natural woods which are burned in the absence of oxygen. The speed of burning lump charcoal is faster than the briquettes because of the presence of carbon.

The carbon reacts with the oxygen faster and starts the combustion process. Also, BBQ enthusiasts can control the rate of burning by controlling the airflow in the chimney.

They can slow down the burning process and give more time to grill and roast whatever they are going on. You can also control the temperature of lump charcoal using air maintenance present in the chimney.

Can You Mix lump with Briquettes charcoal?

Yes, it is possible to compile lump charcoal with the briquettes and prepare a new way of grilling.

Many grillers use lump charcoal after burning briquettes to improve the grilling, and some of them organize two different patterns of lump and briquettes charcoal and burn them together.

It can give high heat with the use of lump charcoal, and also it will enhance the grilling session.

The dishes can become more natural after including lump charcoal in the BBQ grill and improve the dish’s taste.

When you want to make your cooking time longer, then combining lump charcoal in briquettes can give you more extended time and a delicious taste in the dish.

Also, you can get rid of a smell, which you can get by burning briquettes alone.

Why is Lump charcoal So expensive?

The production of lump charcoal is natural, where hardwood and other natural wood are burned in the absence of oxygen. The process makes it a natural fuel source, which is the primary reason it is available more expensive than briquettes.

The labor requirement in the production of lump charcoal is more than briquettes, and it is available in some limited areas only.

The output of lump charcoal requires maples, oak, hickory, and other trees, which gives a woody smell in it. This will make you pay extra cost for the use of lump than regular briquettes in your entire grilling session.

Final Words

Lump charcoal and briquettes are best in their form, but it is the use that makes states their preferences. Most people choose lump charcoal for grilling sessions because of its 100% natural aspect. It makes the dish delicious and adds a touch of nature to grilling.

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