13 Best Charcoal For Smoking 2020 – Finest Selections

Charcoal smokers have become a big hit for BBQ lovers and foodies across the board. People love charcoal for its natural ability to impart some kind of flavor to their food. Also, with charcoal smokers, you will not have the flames flaring up like you would with gas grills.

But to use this smoker, you will need charcoal. There are thousands of charcoal options to choose from. And this can be a little bit confusing.

Luckily, in this guide, we’ve narrowed down the list of finest charcoals for smoking. In addition, we have provided you with a few pointers on how to choose the best charcoal for smoking.

We ranked our products based on:

  • Price
  • Features
  • Customer reviews

Please, check our comparison diagram below. It offers information about different options.

Product
Best Seller
Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal
Editor's Choice
Kamado Joe Hardwood Lump Charcoal
Fogo Super Premium Lump Charcoal
Rockwood All-Natural Lump Charcoal
Ozark Oak Charcoal Premium Natural Briquettes
Big Green Egg All Natural Charcoal
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Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal - 35lb Paper Bag
Kamado Joe KJ-Char Hardwood, Extra Large Lump Charcoal
Fogo Super Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal 17.6-pound Bag
Rockwood All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal - Missouri Oak,...
Ozark Oak Premium Natural Hardwood Lump Grill and Smoker Charcoal...
Big Green Egg All Natural Charcoal Starters - 24 cubes
Weight
35 lbs
20 lbs
17.6 lbs
20 lbs
20 lbs
24 Cubes
Prime Status
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-
-
-
-
Best Seller
Product
Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal
Image
Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal - 35lb Paper Bag
Weight
35 lbs
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Editor's Choice
Product
Kamado Joe Hardwood Lump Charcoal
Image
Kamado Joe KJ-Char Hardwood, Extra Large Lump Charcoal
Weight
20 lbs
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Product
Fogo Super Premium Lump Charcoal
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Fogo Super Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal 17.6-pound Bag
Weight
17.6 lbs
Prime Status
Check Latest Price
Product
Rockwood All-Natural Lump Charcoal
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Rockwood All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal - Missouri Oak,...
Weight
20 lbs
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Product
Ozark Oak Charcoal Premium Natural Briquettes
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Ozark Oak Premium Natural Hardwood Lump Grill and Smoker Charcoal...
Weight
20 lbs
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price
Product
Big Green Egg All Natural Charcoal
Image
Big Green Egg All Natural Charcoal Starters - 24 cubes
Weight
24 Cubes
Prime Status
-
Check Latest Price

What is the best charcoal for smoking - Reviews

1. Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal

The Jealous Devil is a mixture of modern and traditional methods. The makers carbonized authentic hardwood into small batches using a handcrafted touch. It ensures the best quality charcoal in every bag. The final product is the densest, largest lumps for your grill, smoker, or Kamado. Kiln masters make the best charcoal briquettes for smoking.

Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal
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Description

Kiln masters believe that power is in the details. Jealous devil charcoal is made from pure hardwood hence natural. Its makers ensure it’s made without chemicals, fillers, and scrap wood. It is crafted from pure 100% legitimately obtained South American hardwood. You can use it in your Weber, big green egg, or any charcoal cooker you have.

Other features and benefits 

It’s made from natural wood, and it burns three times longer and twice hotter than traditional charcoal. Also, it is ideal for caveman-style reverse sear or slow-and-low cook on your steak.

The charcoal doesn’t pop, spark, or generate excessive ash or smoke. This ensures low-maintenance hassle-free BBQ experience.

It provides a pure natural flavor to your steak, which makes you taste your food instead of fuel. Furthermore, it burns slow, and it cooks the juiciest and flavorful food.

Pros

  • It’s natural
  • Can be used in all charcoal cookers
  • Doesn’t generate ash and smoke
  • Attention to detail

Cons

  • Exposes you to dangerous carbon monoxide

2. Kamado Joe Hardwood Lump Charcoal

It is considered the world’s largest premium lump charcoal. If you are looking for the best lump charcoal smoking experience, look no further. It’s developed from a selected blend of three hardwoods. The dense wood is roasted in conventional outdoor ovens to make the world’s finest and largest lump charcoal.

Kamado Joe Hardwood Lump Charcoal
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Description

It is made from a unique combination of Argentinian hardwood. Its manufacturers believe the best outdoor cooking experience comes from using the best charcoal. The Argentinian hardwoods yield an incredibly large lump, which burns longer. This produces intensified flavors in your roasts. It is evident from the time you open a bag. Out of every bag comes an oversized block.

Other features and benefits

It is made from Guayabi, Mistal, Guayacan, and White Quebracho hardwoods. This mixes the best qualities from each hardwood to give a blend of the best qualities.

The charcoal is made by burning parts of hardwood until all impurities are gone. When all impurities are burnt, only quality coal remains.

Four hardwood blend of hardwood produces quality lumps of charcoal that burns longer and cleaner. It also allows the recycling of lump charcoal to three times.

Pros

  • Clean burning
  • Cost-effective
  • Burns longer
  • Large pieces

Cons

  • Charcoal stains clothes and hands

3. Fogo Super Premium Lump Charcoal

Fogo means fire. It is made out of hardwood lump charcoal and is crafted from Central American Hardwood. Only a few hand-picked pieces are put into every bag. Therefore, every bag has the best charcoal pieces you can find. It lights faster, and within 15 minutes, it’s ready to start cooking.

Fogo Super Premium Lump Charcoal
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Description

It is made entirely from hardwood trimmings and a few selected trees. And the charcoal has no added ingredients. Fogo is a high-quality natural charcoal that adds to your food the best smoke flavor. It is ideal for kamado-style and big green egg cookers. It is the best charcoal for smoking and hence can be used by restaurants and individual homes.

Other features and benefits 

No chemicals are added in the production process; hence it is natural and safe.

It doesn’t spark when burning. Therefore, it reduces the chances of burning oneself and dirtying their surroundings. The charcoal is versatile; therefore, it can be used in big green egg and kamado-style cookers.

And the charcoal pieces are hand-picked; you find only high-quality ones in each bag.

Pros

  • Burns faster
  • Is natural
  • Gives value for money
  • Doesn’t spark

Cons

  • Cutting of trees destroys the environment

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4. Rockwood All-Natural Lump Charcoal

It is ranked number 1 on the Naked Whiz charcoal Database and is prepared with natural premium Missouri hardwood. This ensures the best grilling experience each time you use Rockwood charcoal. Besides, it is processed while giving precedence to the environment’s health.

Rockwood All-Natural Lump Charcoal
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Description

It is crafted from natural premium hardwood and produced from recycled natural resources. Not a single tree is cut to burn Rockwood charcoal. But instead, it is made from hardwood remains obtained from timber milling operations. It burns slow, lights quickly, and produces minimal ash.

Other features and benefits 

It doesn’t spark, and it’s safe to be used in the lawn, patio, and garden.

Eco-friendly since its production doesn’t necessitate the cutting of trees. Instead, they use hardwood leftovers from timber making operations.

This charcoal has surpassed the set quality standards. That’s why it has been ranked number 1 in the Naked Whiz Charcoal database.

The packaging materials are renewable and landfill-safe, thus being ecofriendly.

It is 100% natural, thus imparting a natural smoke flavor to your roasts.

Pros

  • 100% Natural
  • Ecological
  • Number 1 consumer ranked charcoal

Cons

  • Carbon monoxide is cancerous

5. Ozark Oak Charcoal Premium Natural Briquettes

It is packaged in a 20-pound bag that takes your summer cooking to a new level. It is sourced from Arkansas and is free from any frivolous ingredients.

The charcoal is designed for low and high-temperature cooking. Yet it produces minimal ash compared to other conventional charcoal briquettes.

Ozark Oak Charcoal Premium Natural Briquettes
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Description

Ozark charcoal is ideal for ceramic, traditional smokers, and non-ceramic grills. You can use it to roast burgers, ribs, slabs, hot dogs, and brisket slabs, among others. Are you having a tailgating event or birthday parties and backyard barbecues? Ozark briquettes will make for you a perfect flavorful roast for your friends and family.

Other features and benefits 

It can work for both high and low-temperature cooking. Therefore, you can make the fastest meal or longest roast to perfection.

It is an all-round charcoal. It can work well in non-ceramic and ceramic grills and smokers as well.

The charcoal is highly ranked by competitive barbecue teams. This can be seen in consumer reviews.

A 20-pound bag gives you value for your money. It costs less, burns less yet cooking more foods.

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Ideal for high and low-temperature cooking
  • Natural
  • Flavorful roasts

Cons

  • Tree cutting degrades the environment.

6. Big Green Egg All Natural Charcoal Starters

It is 100% natural American Ultra-Premium Hardwood. It is called Big Green Egg Charcoal, which you will see and taste immediately. It is easy to light, burns hotter, and efficiently. Besides, it is ready to cook in just 10 minutes and has more BTUs than other charcoal briquettes.

Big Green Egg All Natural Charcoal Starters
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Description

Big Green Egg Charcoal doesn’t release bad odors and chemicals like other charcoal briquettes. Therefore, every 20-pound bag is loaded with performance and value. It is the only recommended product for a Big Green Egg. Other briquettes are discouraged from burning in a Big Green Egg.

Other features and benefits 

It is 100% natural with no additives. It is made from natural American hickory and oak. Therefore, it gives your roast a natural smoky flavor.

Green Egg charcoal is premium carbonized wood. It has no hazardous additives that make it pure and safe.

Burns hotter and efficiently; hence your meal will be ready within a short time. You don’t have to keep your visitors waiting for food.

It is the only charcoal recommended for a Big Green Egg. Other quick-light and lighter fluids charcoal are discouraged.

Pros

  • Minimal ash
  • 100% natural
  • Value in each bag
  • Burns faster and efficiently

Cons

  • Not versatile.

7. Kingsford Easy Light Bag

It is packaged in a 2.8 pound light bag. It doesn’t need any lighter fluid or preparation. Therefore, it makes grilling easy, impromptu, and fun. You just need to light the bag, and the grilling process begins. It is the recommended charcoal for grilling anywhere, anytime.

Kingsford Easy Light Bag
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Description

Charcoal derives its efficiency from SureFire groove technology. It is among the mentioned technologies for fast lighting. It is convenient and easy to use. Its single-use bag allows you to charcoal grill anywhere anytime. To light, turn the bag on one side and pull the flap at the bottom up. Then light as shown on the bag and start grilling. Therefore, it's the ideal charcoal for smoking on the go.

Other features and benefits 

It doesn’t need any lighter fluid or preparation. It makes the grilling process easy and fun.

It is the ideal charcoal to grill anywhere anytime. It has made grilling on the go easy.

It is convenient and easy to carry. Therefore, you can take the portable bag to the picnics, friend’s house, and tours.

Ensure even grilling, ensure the coals are covered in ash and spread uniformly.

Have a long-burning performance, which is perfect for slow cooking and smoking.

Pros

  • Portable
  • Easy to light
  • Create smoky flavors
  • Can grill anytime, anywhere

Cons

  • Not advisable to use it indoors

8. Bayou Classic Natural Charcoal Briquettes

Classic charcoal is made from responsibly managed forestry. It is made from 100% high-density hardwood. The hardwood is attached together by cornstarch. They don’t add fillers like sawdust, limestone, or any other chemical additives in its production. Let Bayou charcoal introduces you to a new grilling experience.

Bayou Classic Natural Charcoal Briquettes
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Description

It is packaged in a 16-pound bag that is portable. It has been ranked number 4 grilling charcoal. It can be used in gardens, lawns, and patios. Unlike petroleum charcoal food, Bayou cooked food doesn’t taste of crude. It lights faster and has a good grilling time. As long as they receive air, the grilling party can go on forever.

Other features and benefits 

Its food doesn’t taste of crude as seen in petroleum- made charcoal. And it’s made from 100% natural hardwood. Therefore, it will give your roast a natural smoky flavor. It is naturally renewable and hence doesn’t deplete the environment. It is eco-friendly.

The charcoal doesn’t have fillers like sawdust, limestone, and other chemical additives. Hence, each bag is packed with quality briquettes.

Hardwood is attached using cornstarch in the production process. Therefore the final product is durable and doesn’t crumble easily.

Pros

  • Strongly bound by cornstarch
  • Lights faster
  • No fillers
  • Eco-friendly

Cons

  • Needs either lighter fluid or charcoal chimney to light up

9. Bayou Classic Natural Lump Charcoal

Charcoal is 100% natural, clean-burning hardwood lump charcoal. It is made from organic, center-cut hardwood, bark binders. No limbs are used in its production. The resultant product is lump charcoal, which offers a better result and easiest clean up after cooking. The charcoal made is evenly sized, of good quality, and gives reliable results.

Bayou Classic Natural Lump Charcoal
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Description

It is packaged in an 18-pound bag and hence lightweight. The charcoal is made in even sizes and thus can be arranged well in the grill without foods tipping or falling over. Bayou Classic charcoal is fired longer hence produces a clean-burning, lighter weight and premium charcoal. Therefore, it minimizes dirty smoke, wood sparks, and ash.

Other features and benefits 

It’s fired longer, and it produces lightweight and yet heavy quality charcoal. It burns way water and other impurities. The result is lump charcoal of the highest quality.

Briquettes are evenly sized in 3-inches so that they can be easily arranged in the cooker.

It is made from 100% hardwood and therefore gives your roast a natural smoky flavor.

Pros

  • Uniformly sized
  • 100% natural
  • Fired longer
  • Quality for money

Cons

  • Charcoal cooking is dirty

10. Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes

It features sure Fire Grooves that give it edges for faster grilling. In only 15 minutes, the coals are ready to start cooking. If you are looking for a new grilling experience, Kingsford charcoal will give you just that. It helps you keep your barbecue party going since it burns longer compared to other conventional charcoal. Twist your cookout experience with Kingsford charcoal for smoking.

Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes
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Description

It is made from natural wood to ensure quality briquettes. It’s packed in a 7.7-pound bag that is easy to carry anywhere. It is ideal for tailgate parties, barbecues, and other outdoor grilling occasions. Also, it has more edges that ensure faster lighting. Within 15 minutes, your charcoal is ready to start cooking. Moreover, it has a longer burn time; therefore, your BBQ party will keep going.

Other features and benefits 

You start burning in a pyramid form, spread it evenly, and it’s good to start cooking. Only 5 minutes are good to start grilling.

It is made from 100% natural wood and therefore is ideal for ribs, chicken, or any other meat. It adds an authentic smoky flavor to all your roasts.

The 7.7-pound bag is portable and hence can be carried to picnics, camping, and any other grilling party.

Edges increase airflow to the briquettes hence faster burning.

Pros

  • faster
  • portable
  • burn time
  • smoky flavor

Cons

  • a lighter fluid to light

11. Cowboy Lump Charcoal

People used to grill over open fires. On the Western frontier, they used to cook on glowing wood embers. They were characterized by a hearty, smoky flavor and inviting aroma. It is these traditional fires that gave birth to Cowboy cuisine and then cowboy charcoal. It produces high heat that retains food's moisture and seals in flavor.

Cowboy Lump Charcoal
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Description

It is made from a mix of hickory, oak and maple hardwoods. This produces quality lumps that burn with high heat, burns cleaner, and grills better than other charcoal. It is packed in a 20 Pounds bag. Because of its excellent quality, it burns to leave minimal ash.

Other Features

It has some uneven lumps that can be hard to fit in small charcoal cookers. The small pieces fall through.

Pops and crackles throw lots of sparks.

It gives an authentic natural smoky flavor.

Long-lasting heat it provides is ideal for smoking large pieces of meat.

Pros

  • 100% natural
  • Burns longer
  • Provides smoky flavor

Cons

  • Uneven pieces

12. COCO-BBQ Coconut Charcoal

It is made from natural compressed coconut shells. This saves the waste of trees. Therefore, it is eco-friendly and holds in bold flavors for your taste buds. Coconut charcoal produces significant heat and longer burning time. It is made with environmental responsibility and superiority in mind.

COCO-BBQ Coconut Charcoal
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Description

Charcoal, sometimes called COCO-BBQ, is an environment-friendly charcoal ideal for smoking. It is made from recycled resources that burn hotter and longer than conventional charcoal. One pound of coconut charcoal does the work of 2 pounds ordinary charcoal. Therefore, it is the perfect charcoal briquettes for smoking.

Other Features

It’s a natural coconut flavor, and it is excellent charcoal for BBQ enthusiasts.

It’s made from coconut shells, and it doesn’t require cutting of trees. Therefore, its environmentally- friendly since it saves trees.

It can be used in gardens, lawns, and gardens.

It provides a natural smoky flavor ideal for BBQ.

Pros

  • Eco friendly
  • Cost-efficient
  • Burns faster and longer

Cons

  • Cannot be used to grill indoors due to carbon monoxide

13. Royal Oak Chef's Select Premium Lump Charcoal

It is made in the United States from premium American hickory and oak hardwood. It has no additional ingredients like chemicals and fillers. It is designed for low and high-temperature cooking. Since it produces little ash, it is ideal for ceramic and non -ceramic grills and traditional smokers.

Royal Oak Chef's Select Premium Lump Charcoal
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Description

Oak charcoal is packaged in a 40-pound Royal Oak bag. It is made from natural hardwood, which makes it create an authentic smoky flavor. It can be used to grill tasty burgers, ribs, hot dogs, kebabs, and slabs of brisket, among others. Whether you have a summer barbecue or craving for some after-work bite, grill with Royal Oak charcoal for an excellent grilling experience.

Other Features

It is made from natural hardwood. Therefore it adds a natural smoky flavor to all its food. And it is uniquely crafted from American Hickory and Oak hardwood without any filler.

The charcoal is ideal for high and low cooking temperatures. It's versatile and, therefore, can be used in ceramic or non-ceramic grills or traditional grillers.

Pros

  • It is versatile
  • It produces little ash
  • Value for money

Cons

  • Cutting of trees depletes the ozone layer

Charcoal For Smoking- Complete Buying Guide

So you are looking charcoal for smoking, but are not sure yet which one is best for you? This guide will help you make your decision. And it doesn't matter whether your budget is small or big.

Wood 

The best charcoal is made of 100% wood. It is recommended to opt for hardwood charcoals as they are capable of burning for an extended period of time. Also, they can reach relatively high heats. Coals made of unnatural fillers are cheaper than variants made of pure wood. Of course, this is not a big deal. But they are quite lower in quality and may not be what you expect from it.

Lump charcoal 

You can use lump charcoal to level your smoking. These are real wood pieces that have been converted into charcoal. It is the closest you can get to using natural hardwood. Lump charcoals produce lots of smoke, and they also tend to burn for a very long period of time. Many people like to use it due to the small amount of ash that is generated. Since there are no chemicals, binders, and fillers, there isn't much left at the end.

Lump charcoals are also readily available. Nearly all major online marketplaces like Amazon and eBay carries these charcoals.

Storage 

Make sure the charcoal comes with proper storage. Charcoal can be destroyed or contaminated when not stored or stocked appropriately. You do not want your charcoal to become wet because soaked charcoal is difficult to light up. Damp charcoal can also give out unnatural taste or flavor.

Avoid self-starting charcoals

Some charcoals contain lighter fluid additives, which are bad for the environment. They are not suitable for cooking and leave a bad taste. There are many environmentally-friendly ways to start to light charcoal. For example, you can use an electric charcoal starter or chimney.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How is lump charcoal made?

Charcoal is a carbon residue left after burning wood in the absence of oxygen. With that said, lump charcoal is the purest form of charcoal because it contains no fillers or additives. Apart from that, lump charcoal leaves little ash and burns hotter than briquettes.

Is charcoal environmentally-friendlier than gas?

The answer is a resounding no. Charcoal comes from trees – which is a renewable energy resource. Also, when charcoal is burned, it emits the greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. So for cleaner guys, gas is the way to go.

Is charcoal dangerous for me?

Charcoal is quite volatile when it comes to the level of the temperature – which can harm you. It also gives out carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas that has no taste or smell. Inhaling it can kill you.

Our overall best 

The Jealous Devil Natural Hardwood Charcoal won many points from us. It burns clean and hot. Also, it does not produce any chemical smell. Overall, we think this is the best charcoal for smoking you can buy money can buy today.

Conclusion 

There are many options for everyone's BBQ style, taste, and budget.  Lump charcoals are the cleanest as they are made from natural wood. They have no additives but are quite hard to light. Briquettes produce more heat and are longer lasting than lump charcoals. However, briquettes do not burn as long as lump charcoals.

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