Lump Charcoal and briquettes-BTU’s

BTU’s in Lump Charcoal and Charcoal Briquettes.  WOW, What a Difference!                

I found this comment to one of my pages so interesting that I thought it would be a great idea to publish the following about lump charcoal and charcoal briquettes and the amount of energy or heat given off by each.  Take this into consideration next time you purchase lump charcoal and briquettes.  It just might surprise you.

One other thing to note that you will not find referenced often on the internet is BTU per pound. While lump is usually more expensive, you’re getting more BTU’s in the bag.

Nowadays “charcoal briquettes” contain less and less charcoal in them. They’re a lot of anthracites, sawdust, and other cheaper sources of BTU’s. Worst of all, most briquettes contain limestone–even the ones marked “professional”, “competition”, “all-natural”, etc. Between that, the starch, borax, sawdust, a higher moisture content, and everything that is NOT charcoal, it drives down the BTU/# usually to somewhere around 7000-9000 BTU/#.

Lump charcoal that is kilned to 80%+ carbonization, is anywhere from 10000-12000 BTU/#. For a good indication of what you paid for, look for the white smoke and the ash. When the ash weighs 40-50% of what you started with vs. lump which is less than 5-10%, you can see how much of what you bought truly burned. Carbon burns clear and leaves no ash. A 20# bag of good charcoal usually cooks down to less than 1# of ash or less than 1-qt by volume.

So don’t flinch at the higher price of lump, you’re using less of it in long run and cooking over 100% wood vs. a bunch of anthracite coal!!

U.S. made lump is the way to go!!

Conclusion.  Lump Charcoal gives you more heat and a better, cleaner burn than you will get from most briquettes.

This brings us to my recommendation when purchasing charcoal for your next grilling event.  After considering the facts on the differences between Lump Charcoal and Charcoal Briquettes, I don’t think there is much to decide.  Below are my recommendations.

Fogo Lump Charcoal

Royal Oak Charcoal

If you have any other recommendations or different experiences with lump charcoal or charcoal briquettes, please share with us.  I would love to check out what you have found out or what you might recommend.  Please let us know your thoughts.

8 Comments on "Lump Charcoal and briquettes-BTU’s"

  1. Lump charcoal is all I use on my barbecue as I have a big family and it tends to last longer so I can actually feel all of them in one go, always lump charcoal for me

    • Thanks for stopping by my site.
      Yes, I agree, lump charcoal is the only way to go. Burns so much hotter, last longer and burns cleaner.
      Please come back as my site continues to grow.

  2. I think lump is charcoal in its most natural form. Beyond that, lump charcoal has a lot of attractive qualities; it lights faster, burns hotter, and leaves very little ash compared to briquettes. Lump charcoal is also more responsive to oxygen, making it easier to control the fires. So this is the best thing for grilling.

    • Thanks for stopping by my site.
      I recommend lump charcoal for almost all your grilling needs.
      You are right, it does burn hotter and cleaner, just what a person needs when grilling. Add some hickory or another one of your favorite wood chips and you have an amazing smokey taste to any meat.
      Please come back soon for more information on grilling.

  3. I was passing by because we love to bbq. Navigate around and like your site.
    Nice to know that you can learn some new things.

    • Glad you liked the site.
      We are in a growth phase and will be changing our site a lot, so please stop back by to see us grow.

  4. This is pretty cool info. I always use briquettes, but now very interested in lump. I’m wondering what sort of taste difference does it make when grilling ribs or pork. Definitely tired of ash from briquettes.

    • Thanks for stopping by my site.
      Yes, good charcoal makes all the difference. That is what gives your food that little extra that puts it over the top. Please check out the recommended lump charcoal on my page.

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