7 Types Of Charcoal For Grilling | Detailed Guide

First of all, what do we mean by charcoal? Charcoal is a burnt wood that carries a small amount of Oxygen which converts it into carbon. People use charcoal instead of wood because it emits less smoke and makes the food hotter.

People who cook use charcoal as an alternative to natural gas. They use it because it gives a smoky taste to the food that you are making on the grill.

There are many types of grills; among them, there are two basic types of grills gas grills and charcoal grills. As it gives a different taste to the food, people worldwide use charcoal for cooking. All charcoals are not the same, and there are different types of charcoals with their best products.

1. Charcoal Briquettes

Charcoal Briquettes are one of the most used charcoal types in America. They use it regularly. It carries its best shape when passed through fire. Like other types of charcoal, we give a low amount of Oxygen to come out in its proper form. Because of its manufacturing procedure, this charcoal comes in a uniform shape and size.

Charcoal Briquettes are inexpensive to have. People purchase them in vast quantities. This type of charcoal has the nature of burning slowly at lower temperatures. Because of this nature, it is best to use when we cook slow cooking recipes.

Pros
  • For a long time it keeps a balanced temperature
  • It is cheap to buy in large qualities
  • It is made up of natural goods and ingredients
  • It burns for a longer period of time
Cons
  • It produces a large amount of ash
  • The chemical smell is produced
  • It takes more time to light

2. Lump Charcoal

Lump charcoal is one of the dominant charcoal in the industry. Every ingredient used in it is unique. We make it through the procedure of carbonization. The system, carbonization, is applied so that only carbon remains at the end of the design. In the final product, there is barely any organic component left that may destroy the quality of Lump Charcoal.

In the carbonization process, it isn’t always the case. Sometimes there comes a disparity in the process of carbonization. It is because of the size of wood used for the lump charcoal that the variety is because of thick wood that could not burn thoroughly. That results in different flavors of smoke in the taste of the food. For some people, the variety of smoky tastes is an enjoyable thing. Because of the unique nature of charcoal, it burns at too high a temperature, unlike other charcoal types.

Pros
  • It does not contain any artificial ingredient
  • Temperature is adjusted easily
  • It produces a small amount of ash
  • It burns hotter
  • It lights quickly
Cons
  • The pieces of charcoal in the bag are not uniform in size and shape, which makes them hard to grill. We resolve it by breaking the pieces down into small-sized chunks
  • Lump charcoal is more expensive than other charcoals
  • It burns the food faster

3. Binchotan

The particular type of charcoal, Binchotan, has been around us for several years, used in grilling for centuries. Other kinds of charcoals naturally take some time to make out their natural form, but this charcoal, with its unique attributes, is burnt unstoppable for weeks to come out in its natural state!

These charcoals are from the oak trees of Japan. They are not as popular in the United States. If you get to the area where you find the oak trees and start making the charcoal, you will have an almost different product type.

Commonly, to make charcoal, you need to split the tree’s wood to reach the final product, but Binchotan uses tree branches to produce it. After getting all the material, the producers burn the wood at a minimal temperature for at least three weeks. Consistency is a must in this whole procedure.

Binchotan charcoal is not available everywhere, but people know about its existence because of its unique attributes.

Pros
  • Eco Friendly
  • They are affordable
Cons
  • They take more time

4. Thai charcoal

That charcoal is one of the new addition to the charcoal grilling world. An eminent chef Andy Ricker created Thai Charcoal. Lump charcoal and Binchotan burn time in heating, but it isn’t easy to light. Despite its benefits, as it is less costly, it isn’t easy to purchase this type of charcoal because still, it is not much popular among Americans who make food by grilling.

Pros
  • Less costly
  • Catch the light quickly
Cons
  • Rarely available in the market

5. Coconut Shell Charcoal

There are things considered useless when after we consume them. People through away the coconut shell right after carrying out the coconut. They do not bother about the item anymore. At the same time, coconut shell is an excellent material for making charcoal from it.

One of the great things about them is that they do not follow the standard procedure as other types of charcoals used in making their final commodity. Unlike other charcoals that need to use carbonization, Coconut Shell Charcoal uses the process of distillation. It is a great choice to use on small streets, or you need many shells for large grills.
They are also uncommon and do not have any specific smell, but they are still the right choice for grilling.

Pros
  • Quick to catch the light
  • Burns hotter
  • Sold in pieces
Cons
  • Not easy to purchase
  • Need large amount for large grills

6. Softwood

Softwood charcoal is easier to burn and is less expensive to have. People use it as their primary choice because we cave it easily with abundance. Compared to gas grills, using charcoal grills with softwood charcoal becomes less costly to make food.
The wood gets burnt, and a lump of impurity-free coal results. People like this charcoal because of its easy use and its practical benefits from softwood.

Pros
  • Too cheap to use
  • They burn quickly with a hot flame
  • They emit out a pleasant scent when burnt
Cons
  • Because of low density, they end up too early

7. Instant Charcoal Briquettes

Instant charcoal briquettes have an extended range of resemblance to regular charcoal Briquettes. One difference that makes them apart is that the Instant Charcoal Briquettes are saturated in light fluid, naturally. It also comes with other petroleum-based accelerants, making them easy to light.
Due to the ingredients (Petroleum-based accelerants) in the charcoal, it burns out quickly, but on the other hand, it can also give you an oily taste to your food if it can’t get fully lightened while grilling begins.

Best Charcoal Products

We got the best charcoal products from each charcoal type. Go through the information that will help you which product you need for your requirements.

Our Top Picks

  1. Best for long time burning –  Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes
  2. Best for natural taste –  Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal
  3. Best for water purification –  Binchotan Charcoal Water Purifier for Great-Tasting Water 
  4. Best for rigid food cooking –  Thaan Thai Style Charcoal
  5. Best for smoky flavors –  Blazing Coco 9 Pound Coconut Shell BBQ Charcoal Briquettes
  6. Best for ecofriendly –  Softwood Fruit charcoal
  7. Best for outside grilling –  Kingsford Match Light Instant Charcoal Briquettes

1. Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes

Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes is one of the best examples of charcoal Briquettes. It has more fire grooves in its design that helps it to catch lightning as fast as possible. The pieces in the coal heat the ingredients quickly and make the recipe in just fifteen minutes. The coal with natural raw goods and wood gives a tasty smoky flavor to the food. It comes with 16.7 pounds of each of the two bags, which allows you to start grilling any time you want.

In contrast with other brands, the Kingsford brand provides burning for a long time, increasing the barbeque’s lifetime.

2. Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal

Jealous Devil comes at the top when we talk about the quality and purity of Lump Charcoal. The wood is sourced from the trees of Quebracho Blanco in Paraguay. It is cut and fired by hands, and then it goes through the procedure of carbonization, which results from pure and qualitative charcoal.

 The wood used in this charcoal is denser than hickory or oak, which helps it to burn for more time. Because of its high density, it comes in the hottest charcoals in the charcoal market. It reaches a temperature of around 633 °C. It also creates low ash, which results in a delicious taste to the smoky food.

 It protects it during the shipping; it uses dustproof, waterproof, and sealed after its use, which helps it store at home.
It comes with a bag of 20 pounds, and it keeps burning for consistently four hours. When we use them in the low Oxygen area, it will take 20 hours of burning!

3. Binchotan Charcoal Water Purifier for Great-Tasting Water

For centuries Japanese have been using Binchotan charcoal as a water purifier. They used it to consume it for water purification daily. It filters the water by balancing the PH level, reducing chlorine, and converting the organics into inorganic ingredients. The filtered water maintains its filtered condition for six months, and then it is used for different other uses.

 This charcoal comes already in activated condition, so you do not need to boil it. After three months, you may burn it for ten minutes and dry it to use it again.
The job does not end at the expiry time of this charcoal. It does also help us to do multiple other works. It can add nutrients to the land to help the plant grow. A porous surface works as a deodorizer for the unwanted smell around the home, like in laundry baskets or shoes.

4. Thaan Thai Style Charcoal

Thaan Thai Style Charcoal is natural. It burns for a long time and gives consistent heat. So if there is a food that needs normal heat for an extended period, Thaan Thai Style Charcoal will be a perfect choice. It is a natural and fresh substitute for commercial charcoal briquettes. 

The wood in this charcoal is of the rambutan fruit tree. It gives a mild flavor to the food you grill; the mildness is felt with a delicious taste when we eat. Thaan Thai Style Charcoal is an excellent choice for rigid material cooking (solid fuel cooking) like barbequing or grilling. This charcoal produces a small amount of ash and does not produce smoke.

5. Blazing Coco 9 Pound Coconut Shell BBQ Charcoal Briquettes

Blazing Coco 9 Pound Coconut Shell BBQ Charcoal is hotter than the other common charcoals available in the grocery. It has more burning intensity and has three times more time to burn, which helps cook more food with fewer charcoal pieces.

It is a purely eco-friendly product made up of coconut shells as it doesn’t need to cut trees and plants for wood like other charcoal procedures. With the fantastic features, neutrality, and eco-friendly enthusiastic professional chefs love to use this specific product of Briquettes charcoal.

As it is the nature of some charcoals that they emit smoke (Which is sometimes suitable for various flavors) and produce ash, the Blazing Coco Charcoal emits almost no smoke compared to other charcoals, which result in a natural test to the food. You can use the produced ash by popping it into the land, used as a fertilizer.

 The Blazing Coco 9 Pound Coconut Shell takes more time for lightening. The main reason behind it is that there are no additives used to make it pure and natural, so it does take a little longer to light.

To Use Blazing Coco Coconut Charcoal Logs, you first need to load the chimney with an adequate sum of pieces in the chimney. Add up a newspaper in it and light it up like the edges of the charcoal pieces become grey. As it burns up, wait for around ten minutes until it converts into ash and grey color, and then use it by spreading the charcoal pieces.

6. Softwood Fruit Charcoal

Softwood charcoal has its origin in Egypt. The Softwood Fruit charcoal is environmentally friendly. It only leaves three percent of ash after complete burnings and has all types the sizes of the pieces of charcoal. According to the customer’s order, it comes packed with cartons, paper bags, or plastic bags. The wood of the Softwood Fruit Charcoal is found in the fruit trees of Mango, Apple, Lemon, Guava, or Orange. It  also quickly catches the light and has a long burning time.

7. Kingsford Match Light Instant Charcoal Briquettes

Kingsford Match Light Instant Charcoal originates in the US, and the natural ingredients used in the product are from North America. This charcoal is a perfect choice for making all-purpose recipes in or away from home.

The Briquettes in the product are the fastest lightning coals and can grill the recipe in only ten minutes. Real wood with natural and high-quality ingredients is available in this charcoal. You do not need any lighter fluid to light it, and you need a match to light the coal.

The Instant Charcoal is structured to have many edges, which help to catch the flame. On the other hand, it also has a large surface with grooves that help it catch fire easily and also help to burn quickly. Using this charcoal for the food will give an original BBQ taste. It provides a smoky wood-fired flavor to food like veggies, chicken, beef, and other fast-lightening food.

Final Thoughts

This article, we have covered charcoals of different types with different features, including pros and cons. We also have selected the best charcoal for each kind with their specifications.
We have covered seven of the top charcoal types used globally. If you want to know more types, you may research them on different platforms. Purchase them and cook the mouthwatering food.