When it comes to smoking, not all charcoals are created equal. Some burns hotter and cleaner than others, producing less ash. Other charcoals are designed to produce more smoke for extended periods.
If you’re an avid smoker, you know that not just any charcoal will do. You need charcoal that burns hot and produces little to no ash. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best charcoals for smoking so that you can find the perfect one for your needs.
Whether you’re looking for natural lump charcoal or Briquettes, there’s an option on this list that will suit your needs. So, if you’re ready to find the perfect charcoal for your smoking needs, read on for the best options on the market.
In A Hurry? Check Out Our Top Pick
If you are short on time and just want to know our top pick for the best charcoal for smoking, then we recommend the Royal Oak 100 Percent Hardwood Charcoal as the best option on the market.
This product is made from 100% hardwood, so you know it will burn hot and produce little to no ash. It’s also eco-friendly and easy to light so that you can start your smoking session in no time.
7 Best Charcoal Types For Smoking Meat – Product Reviews
Royal Oak Hardwood Charcoal Pellets
|Made from natural hardwood without additives or coatings, Water resistant, so they won’t clog up your grill’s auger||
Kamado Joe KJ-CHAR Big Block XL Lump Charcoal
|Made from 100% natural lump charcoal, It can burn up to 18 hours||
Fogo Super Premium Lump Charcoal
|All-natural hardwood charcoal. Lights fast and burns long||
Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes
|Made with natural ingredients and real wood, Sure Fire Grooves help coals light faster||
Bradley Smoker BTHC24 BTHC24 Bisquettes-Hickory
|Clean smoke flavor, No additives, Made from natural hardwoods||
Jealous Devil Hardwood Lump Charcoal
|Made from South American hardwoods, Contains no chemicals, fillers, or scrap material||
Char-Broil Center Cut Lump Charcoal
|Clean-burning and easy to use, Produces uniform briquettes||
1. Royal Oak Hardwood Charcoal Pellets – Top Pick
If you’re looking for the best charcoal for smoking, look no further than our top pick, Royal Oak Hardwood Charcoal Pellets. Made from natural hardwood without additives or coatings, these pellets will give your food the delicious, smoky flavor of authentic barbecue.
And since they’re water resistant, they won’t clog up your grill’s auger, making for easy cleanup. So fire up the grill and enjoy that authentic barbecue flavor you crave.
Check out the full review here:
2. Kamado Joe KJ-CHAR Big Block XL Lump Charcoal – Runner Up
Kamado Joe offers the best charcoal for smoking foods and vegetables. Their 100% natural lump BBQ fuel can last 18 hours before burning out, making it perfect to use on your next backyard BBQ or as an ingredient in some great recipes!
In addition, you get three uses from each bag which means this big block will keep giving back long after we’re done with our first taste test (we hope). Made primarily from hardwood trees like Guayacan Claro Oakagents, medium-density fiber makes them very burnable while still offering good heat retention properties when needed most – whether that’s during summertime hot spells.
3. Fogo Super Premium Lump Charcoal
This all-natural hardwood charcoal is perfect for long cooks, and its large pieces of 4 inches or enormous fill at least 80 percent of the bag, making it easy to reach high searing temperatures. Charcoal lights fast and lights long for better usage while grilling and smoking.
Its restaurant quality makes it easy to reach high searing temperatures, making it perfect for ceramic styles at Kamado Grills like Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe, and more.
4. Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes
As any grill master knows, your charcoal can make or break your BBQ. If you’re looking for the best charcoal briquettes of 2023, look no further than Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes.
These briquettes are made with natural ingredients and real wood, so you know they’ll give your food that authentic smoky flavor. Plus, the Sure Fire Grooves help coals light faster, so you can get cooking in about 15 minutes. And with more edges for quick, easy lighting, you’ll be able to keep the party going all night long!
5. Bradley Smoker BTHC24 BTHC24 Bisquettes-Hickory
Bradley binds smoker chips rendered from the finest hardwoods to create these bisquettes, which provide crisp wood smoke flavor. Hickory Hardwood Bisquettes are the best for smoking pork due to their refreshing and sweet taste. Poultry, beef, pork, game, waterfowl, nuts, and cheese all pair well with Hickory Hardwood Bisquettes.
These bisquettes produce much cleaner smoke than loose chips in a pan or burn box. This is because our wood bisquettes extinguish before they turn to foul-tasting ash.
The authentic flavor and quality of these Bradley Smoker come from natural hardwoods without additives. As a result, these bisquettes hold the key to infusing any food with clean smoke flavor.
So if you’re looking for a great way to take your recipes to new heights, look no further than these specially designed Bradley Smoker Bisquettes!
6. Jealous Devil Hardwood Lump Charcoal
Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal is the perfect choice for BBQ lovers who want a pure, natural product. This charcoal is made from South American hardwoods and contains no chemicals, fillers, or scrap material. It is also restaurant quality, with no sparking, popping, or high ash content.
Additionally, it has a superior burn time of 4+ hours on an open grill and 20+ hours on a smoker. This charcoal also imparts a mild, flavor-enhancing aroma to your food, enhancing your favorite BBQ recipes without overpowering them.
You can watch the full review here.
7. Char-Broil Center Cut Lump Charcoal
If you love grilling, then you know that using the best charcoal can make all the difference in your results. We’re excited to recommend this clean-burning, 100% natural hardwood lump charcoal.
Comprised of organic, center-cut hardwoods only- no limbs, bark, binders, or excessive charcoal fines and dust- it’s the perfect choice for those who want uniform 3-inch average briquette size and 3 percent max ash for easier use and more reliable results. Plus, it’s fired longer to produce a lighter-weight, clean-burning, premium charcoal that minimizes unwanted wood sparks, dirty smoke, and ash.
Which Charcoal Type is the Best Overall?
In our opinion, the best overall charcoal should be the one that is made from natural materials. The charcoal should also be able to light quickly and evenly. It should also produce little to no ash. This product typically lasts longer and has less ash than its synthetic counterpart.
To get the most out of your charcoal, you’ll want to ensure it’s properly seasoned. This will help it to light more efficiently. The best smoker should also be able to evenly distribute the heat, giving you more control over the cooking process.
Regarding the best overall, we recommend the Kamado Joe KJ-CHAR Big Block XL Lump Charcoal. This product is made from 100% natural lump charcoal, making it an excellent choice for those looking for an eco-friendly option.
It can also burn up to 18 hours, making it perfect for long smoking sessions. And since it’s reusable up to three times, you’ll be able to get more use out of it than you would with other types of charcoal.
Which charcoal will be the most suitable for you?
There are many different types of charcoals on the market these days. And finding the most suitable one can be quite a challenge. The good news is that there are some great options out there when it comes to comfort.
The first thing that you need to do is decide what type of product you want. Do you want hardwood charcoal or softwood charcoal? Each type has its benefits and drawbacks.
For example, hardwood charcoal burns hotter and more prolonged. However, this type of product can be challenging to control the heat.
On the other hand, softwood charcoal is much easier to control. It also burns more relaxed, which some people prefer.
Once you’ve decided on the type of product you want, the next step is finding the most comfortable option. Of the above-reviewed products, the most comfortable option would be the Char-Broil Center Cut Lump Charcoal.
This product is made from 100% natural hardwoods. It also has a low ash content, making it easy to clean up after use. Another great thing about this product is that it burns evenly. This means you won’t have to worry about hot spots when cooking.
How Did We Test The Charcoal
We tested three different types of charcoal: briquettes, wood, and natural. We put each type of charcoal to the test to see how well it performed. We tested the charcoal by letting it burn for about 20 minutes.
We looked at factors such as how long it took to heat up, how evenly it burned, and how long it lasted. We also considered things like price and ease of use.
In the end, we found that natural charcoal is the best for smoking. It burns for a long time and gives you a consistent temperature for smoking. It also doesn’t give off any weird flavors or smells.
Must-Have Features While Choosing
When you are out in the market to purchase charcoal for smoking, there are certain features that you must look for. These will ensure that you get the best product for your needs and help expand your smoker’s life. Here are some of the must-have features:
The size of the charcoal briquettes is a critical consideration. If they are too small, they will not last long, and you will have to keep replenishing them. On the other hand, if they are too big, they will take a long time to light. The best briquettes are medium size to burn evenly and for a long time.
Lump charcoal is another option that you can consider. This is made from wood that has been charred without any additives. It lights quickly and burns hot, making it ideal for grilling. However, it does not last as long as briquettes, and you will need to replenish it more often.
The shape of your charcoal is essential for two reasons: it affects how long the charcoal burns and how evenly the heat is distributed. The most common forms are briquettes, lumps, and extruded.
Briquettes are made by compressing sawdust and other wood waste with a binder. Briquettes burn evenly and slowly, making them ideal for long cooks. They can be made from various kinds of wood, including hardwoods like oak and hickory or softwoods like pine.
Lump charcoal is made by burning wood in a low-oxygen environment until it forms charcoal. It burns hot and fast, making it ideal for grilling. Lump charcoal is made from various kinds of wood, including hardwoods like oak and hickory or softwoods like pine.
Extruded charcoal is made by compressing sawdust and other wood waste with a binder. Extruded charcoal burns hot and fast, making it ideal for grilling. It can be made from various kinds of wood, including hardwoods like oak and hickory or softwoods like pine.
Material: Lump charcoal, Briquettes, Or pellets?
The three most common types of charcoal are lump charcoal, briquettes, and pellets. Lump charcoal is made from whole logs that have been charred. Briquettes are made from sawdust and other wood scraps bound together with binders and then charred. Pellets are made from compressed sawdust extruded through a die and then charred.
There are pros and cons to each type of charcoal. Lump charcoal burns hotter and cleaner than briquettes, but it is also more expensive and harder to find. Briquettes burn slower and produce more ash than lump charcoal, but they are cheaper and more widely available. Pellets burn between lump charcoal and briquettes, and they are made from renewable resources like sawdust, so they are considered more environmentally friendly than other types of charcoal.
The burning time is the amount of time the charcoal will stay lit. Lump charcoal burns for a shorter period than briquettes, and briquettes burn for a shorter period than pellets. The best charcoal for smoking will burn for a long time, so you don’t have to keep replenishing it.
Ease Of Lighting
You want your charcoal to run out while you’re in the middle of smoking, not before you’ve even started. MGetcharcoal lights quickly, so you don’t have issues getting it going when you’re ready to smoke.
If you’re going to be smoking regularly, you want to get charcoal that you can reuse. Some types of charcoal, like briquettes, can be reused multiple times. Others, like lump charcoal, can only be used once.
So, when choosing your charcoal, think about how often you’ll be smoking. If you’re only going to smoke occasionally, briquettes might be the way to go. But, if you’re planning on smoking regularly, lump charcoal is the way to go.
Benefits Of The Choosing
When it comes to smoking, there are many different ways to do it. You can use an electric drum smoker, a gas smoker, or even a traditional charcoal smoker. Each method has its benefits and drawbacks, but if you’re looking for the best flavor, you’ll want to use charcoal.
Here are a few benefits of choosing charcoal for smoking:
1. Better Flavor: One of the main reasons people use charcoal smokers is that they can provide better flavor. This is because charcoal can reach higher temperatures than gas or electric smokers. This means the smoke can penetrate the meat more, giving it a better flavor.
2. Flavouromatic: Another benefit of using charcoal is that it can produce more smoke. This means that your food will be more aromatic, which can be a big selling point for many people.
3. More Control: When you’re smoking with charcoal, you’ll have more control over the temperature. This is because charcoal can reach higher temperatures than gas or offset smokers. You can experiment with different temperatures to find the perfect flavor for your food.
4. Affordable: Charcoal is also a cheaper option than gas or electric smokers. Charcoal is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a smoker to save money.
5. Easy to Use: Charcoal smokers are also easy to use. If you’re new to smoking, you’ll find that charcoal gravity feed smokers are a great option. They’re easy to set up and use, and you won’t have to worry about learning how to use a gas or electric smoker.
What is the healthiest charcoal to use?
The healthiest charcoal to use is one that has been made without any added chemicals or toxins. The best way to achieve this is by using natural wood charcoal that has been produced without additives.
Does charcoal smoke?
Charcoal does smoke, although the amount of smoke will vary depending on the type of charcoal you use. Hardwood charcoal produces more smoke than softwood charcoal, so if you’re looking for a smoky flavor, then you’ll want to use hardwood charcoal.
Should I smoke wood or charcoal?
Smoking wood or charcoal is a personal preference. Some people prefer smoked wood flavored, while others find that charcoal gives a more consistent flavor. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which type of fuel you want to use for your smoker.
So, choosing the right charcoal type is essential if you want the best results from your smoking experience. There are many different brands and types of charcoal on the market, so it is vital to research and find the one that best suits your needs.
Royal Oak Hardwood Charcoal is our top choice for the best charcoal for smoking. This product is made from 100 percent natural hardwood, which provides a long-lasting and consistent burn. It also produces very little ash, so you won’t have to worry about cleanup.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly option, we recommend the Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes. This product is made from a blend of charcoal and wood, which gives it a great flavor. It also burns hot and produces very little ash.