We will discuss all the types of lump charcoal, and also, you will learn about which charcoal would be best for a smooth cooking process and how to choose the Best Lump Charcoal for an Offset Smoker?
Types of charcoals
There are two types of charcoal available in the market. The first type of charcoal is briquettes, which are little pieces of uniform shape, and the second type is lump charcoal. The difference between lump and briquettes is that briquettes are pressed charcoal pieces. They got filler added to them, and they usually burn a little cooler and a little longer, but they leave a lot of ash.
So, they are not so quite as efficient. The lump charcoal is made from pieces of wood that are turned into charcoal and then they burn. They burn much hotter and cleaner fire. You will also get some wood flavor smoke from the lump charcoal. It is an excellent choice to go with this lump.
What makes lump charcoal better than regular charcoal?
Lump charcoal is made up of natural ingredients; it provides us with clean-burning and does not require any ingredient to hold the temperature consistently. It retains the temperature during the whole cooking process and provides consistent heat. In addition, it helps to cook delicious flavor food and prevent any kind of smell in food. Briquettes are pressed charcoal pieces and require a long time to burn and heat the system.
It holds a consistent temperature in grilling. In addition to cooking, it leaves a large amount of ash, which takes a long time to clean. An example of reverse searing differentiates the properties of lump charcoal and other regular charcoal. It is a popular method of cooking steaks. Reverse searing is a process in which you can change the temperature according to the requirement of the cooking process.
You can lower the temperature to cook meat and suddenly high the temperature to sear the meat. You will get juicy and tender meat. Lump charcoal is one that helps to higher and lower the temperature. It provides the ability to change the temperature compared to other regular charcoal quickly. It provides better efficiency of burning than briquettes. Hence lump charcoal is the best option for cooking delicious food.
Best lump charcoals for offset smoker
Here is the list of top five lump charcoals for offset smokers;
- Fogo charcoal
- Kamado Joe charcoal
- Jealous Devil charcoal
- Marabu charcoal
- Royal Oak charcoal
Now, we will discuss the properties of these lump charcoals step by step.
1. Fogo charcoal
First, we will talk about Fogo charcoal and its properties. It is super-premium lump charcoal. It contains a large size compared to other charcoal and is mostly selected due to its size. This lump charcoal gives the best results in all cooking processes like grilling, cookers, and offset smokers. You can cook food longer by using this charcoal. Once you add this lump charcoal to your firebox, it will burn for a longer time, and you can cook your food.
The chamber temperature can easily be controlled by adding fuel once, as heat is released when the chamber lid is opened again and again. The Fogo Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal is a more suitable option for smaller and mid-sized grills, as it is the one in their ‘Black Bag’ option. It is medium-sized charcoal and easily adjustable in the firebox.
2. Kamado Joe charcoal
If you want to cook and grill the whole day or for large family gatherings, you should use Kamado Joe lump charcoal. It has a larger size than all other lump charcoals. Kamado Joe is the “World’s Largest” lump charcoal product, and the chunks can be used up to three times to burn up to 18 hours. It is the best choice for long cooking processes or even for heavy pieces of meat.
3. Jealous Devil charcoal
Jealous Lump charcoal is the best charcoal and contains 100 percent natural wood. It contains mainly natural ingredients which help to cook delicious food. You can quickly cook for up to 3 to 4 hours by adding fuel once. There’s no way to ignore the 100% natural hardwood inside, as they claim it can get up to 1170 degrees, giving you an average burn time of 4 hours. It helps to retain the temperature in the whole cooking process. It contains a waterproof bag, and you can easily carry it for outdoor parties.
4. Marabu charcoal
The best quality lump charcoal which gives consistently good results by using is Marabu charcoal. It contains all-natural ingredients. This lump charcoal contains ingredients like White Quebracho, Caoba, Guayacan, and Aromo. It is made up of an exotic wood blend that is of “restaurant quality. This lump charcoal is used in commercially used offset smokers. Its abundance of uses is due to its consistency and best quality.
5. Royal Oak charcoal
In earlier times, the most used charcoal was Royal Oak charcoal. It is also called the oldest lump charcoal. It always shows promising results in cooking. Some pitmaster suggests it, because of its consistency. It is a good option for those who are just beginning their cooking journey. The budget is moderate, so purchasing it is not difficult. Lump charcoal made by Royal Oak features renewable oak, hickory, maple, and walnut woods and is 100% all-natural.
Tips for grilling by using lump charcoal
We will discuss some tips for using lump charcoal;
- Don’t throw the meat on the grill of the chamber. When you throw the meat on the grill, the flavorless meat is cooked. You should use tongs to change the layer of meat.
- Marinades based on citrus, oil & vinegar, and yogurt can be brushed on food while cooking. Don’t use a marinade on raw meat or seafood as a baste during the last few minutes of cooking. If you are using a molasses- or sugar-based sauce, use it when the cooking process reaches to its final stage. The heat produced due to charcoal will melt the sugar of the sauce.
- You should rest the meat after giving the required temperature. It is a good idea to make delicious meat. Using lump charcoal, grilling at high temperatures causes the meat to contract, forcing flavorful juices to the center. It is essential to rest the meat for a few minutes so the final dish will be juicy and delicious.
- The technique of mounding most of the charcoal to one side, spreading a little less in the middle, and leaving one area with no charcoal creates a more versatile grilling area. You can divide charcoal into three parts to cook your food. It provides you with the area of fast cooking and slow cooking. In this way, you can cook food in a short time.
Some factors that differ lump charcoals from briquettes
Any cooking technique like grilling cannot gain the natural flavor of food. The burning and smoking from grilling over an open flame add layers of flavor that no other cooking method can compete with.
There are many good qualities of lump charcoal that differentiate it from briquettes. It contains 100 percent natural ingredients and the best wood products. It is available in the market without any additive ingredients or chemicals.
Lump charcoal is 100 percent natural. It does not contain any ingredients like briquettes which contains many ingredients in the manufacturing process. Briquettes are compressed with different chemicals to produce continuous light. Its burning process is also due to a combination of different chemicals.
Tasty and healthy food
Lump charcoal helps produce the original flavor of food that attracts most people toward it. In the case of briquettes, the combination of chemicals can change the flavor of food.
Easy access to burning
Lump charcoal helps to burn the coal quickly in a short time. It takes almost half of the time compared to briquettes. You can cook food quickly by using lump charcoal as compared to other regular charcoal.
The temperature of grilling is generally between 450 to 600 degrees. Natural charcoal burns faster and produces more heat compared to other regular charcoal. Therefore, people mostly prefer this natural charcoal. It is possible to reach temperatures as high as 1,000 degrees in top steakhouses with lump charcoal.
Using lump charcoal can quickly increase food flavor by adding some hardwoods or herbs to the firebox. It does not happen in any other regular charcoal. Hence lump charcoal is the best option for cooking delicious food.
Cooking in a short time
You can start lighting a fire in just 15 minutes and cook food. It takes half the time to cook food compared to briquettes.
Better control of temperature
Lump charcoal helps to cook faster as well as to control the temperature in a better way. It prevents the food from burning by controlling heat. If you have an adjustable damper for smooth air, it makes it easy to control the temperature of the fire. Lump charcoal is more reactive to oxygen.
Quick cleaning process
Lump charcoal is the best option for creating fire because it generates less ash. It helps to clean more quickly than briquettes.
Need of chimney to produce fire
It is not strictly a requirement of chimneys to create fire. It would be best to put charcoal in the charcoal chimney to produce fire. You can create a fire in a short time to cook delicious food. Lump charcoal is the best option compared to any other regular charcoal because it prevents our time from wasting and helps to cook delicious food. You can produce light in any other way like if you do not have a charcoal chimney, you can place charcoal on grates. After placing the charcoal on the grates, put the paper ball under the grate and create a fire.
Clean the surface after the burned charcoal
Before cleaning the surface, make sure all the charcoal is completely burned, and the ash is cold. This point will prevent your smoker from any damage because the hot ash can cause destruction. Once you are satisfied that the ash is cold, take an aluminum foil to wrap it in and throw it in the dustbin. The ash produced from hardwood is more effective than other lump charcoal because it works as fertilizer. If you have a garden near, you can reuse it.
How to Buy Lump Charcoal?
A complete buying guide for lump charcoals
What kind of wood should you buy?
When purchasing lump charcoal, you should focus on natural ingredients. You should not buy the fuel that only produces light like a combination of unnatural ingredients. Natural wood gives a tasty flavor to the food compared to other fuels. Hardwood adds a variety of flavors according to your choice. The flavor of food depends upon the type of hardwood. Every type will give a different flavor and make your food more delicious. The common types of wood used for the lump charcoal are oak, maple, hickory, and pecan.
Focus on packing
Lump charcoals are packed in sizeable reusable paper bags that make them easy to clean after burning the charcoal. These bags’ price ranges from 8LB to 35Lb. The user can easily choose the price according to their budget. Some brands make extendable bags that could be made accessible to load for users. It provides extra protection against damage.
Which types of woods are used as lump charcoal?
The main difference between lump charcoal and other regular charcoal-like briquettes is that lump charcoal is made of wood. The wood as fuel gives a clean and fast-burning for a long time.
We will discuss some woods that are used as lump charcoals below
This wood is hard compared to other woods and is known as an axe breaker. It is used internationally for BBQ sessions and is most common in South America. This wood is perfect for barbeque sessions because it burns for a long time and produces a lot of fire which is enough for a long cooking process. It does not produce a greater amount of smoke which can destroy the flavor of food. One con is that its flavor mixes with other woods because it does not contain a unique flavor.
In the part of the world where trees are available in large amounts, applewood and cherry wood are used there as fuel. It produces solid fire but not for a long time. It gives a sweet and delicious flavor to food according to your choice. The charcoal of these woods will be more prosperous, a bit less sweet, but their undertones are likely to be similar.
Standard hardwood combines three kinds of wood Maple, Oak, and hickory. The combination of these woods gives rich flavor to the food. If we use these woods separately, it cannot give such a fantastic flavor as their combination. It would be best if you also combine pecan with this wood to increase the flavor of food and make sure that pecan should be in fewer amounts. The abundance of pecan can destroy the flavor of food.
Mesquite is the best wood and is mainly used for cooking fish. This wood gives food a delicious flavor similar to a combination of woods. It cannot be combined with other woods. While it has a flavor similar to hickory, it provides a more robust flavor than hickory. It is mainly used in southwest barbeque. It burns well and gives a clean cooking process.
Binchotan is a cheap wood that is difficult to find when you need it. Although its flavor lacks originality, its raw performance is unique. Everyone can afford it. Burning wood is a long and laborious process. It produces a scorching solid fire.
It is concluded that the best lump charcoal for an offset smoker is easy to choose, just get enough information about it. It helps to cook food quickly because fire shows consistency and starts in a short time. You can easily clean the ash because it creates less amount of ash than other regular charcoal.