Best Charcoal for Smoking 2021 – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

There are still many benefits of being an electric smoker. Yes, it is an investment, but the return is excellent. Using the best charcoal for smoking is our primary goal when using a smoker, as we want the rich flavor of smoke to have its roots deep in your food.

When deciding which charcoal to use, it’s essential that you consider your options. Remember that the charcoal you choose will affect the quality of the meal. So, one should choose the best charcoal or briquette after noting all the factors.           

Here, we’ll help you find the best charcoal for smoking available today. We will evaluate all brands and introduce you to the essential aspects and features to make your purchase the best one. 

Best Charcoal for Smoking – Product Reviews

1. Kingsford Charcoal Briquettes – Best Charcoal Overall  

Kingsford Charcoal Briquettes

Kingsford briquettes come in a simple, lightweight bag so that no liquid is needed to lighten. You can just light it with a match and start grilling. These briquettes are made from 100% natural ingredients. North American wood is used in these charcoal briquettes. Kingsford Charcoal Briquettes burn longer and are therefore not required for long cooking.       

Specifications of Kingsford Charcoal Briquettes

      Model: Kingsford Charcoal Briquettes

      Dimension: 18.5 x 10.5 x 7.38 inches

      Weight: 2.8 lbs

      Manufacturer: Kingsford

Kingsford Charcoal Briquettes – Product Description

Kingsford Charcoal Briquettes are the best on the market overall. This Kingsford briquette bag is known for its constant temperature and ease of use. These are made from authentic North American wood to ensure authentic smoke flavors in the food. It catches fire quickly and lasts a long time. They are all-natural and easy to use. For that charcoal, you don’t have to spend extra money on lighter liquids.         

While talking about the best charcoal for smoking, Kingsford Charcoal Briquettes are perfect for keeping your electric smoker constant. These are also great for crisping your meat.

There aren’t any significant issues, but the directions can be tricky for some people if you identify this as a problem. It catches fire so quickly that the fire reaches 12 inches in a concise time. When you burn charcoal, you may experience a distinct smell that can be unpleasant.                      

Users have found this bag of charcoal to be very useful. These charcoal briquettes are ideal for adding a soothing smoky taste to your meal. Anytime you grill, you can count on these Kingsford Charcoal Briquettes because they are straightforward to use. They are handy for parties and late-night events because they light up quickly and last longer.    

Pros
  • Sustainable
  • Ideal for on the go
  • No mess of any kind
  • Very affordable
  • Naturally without additives
  • Uniform heat
Cons
    • High flames
    • May have a smell

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It is a unique product with multiple functions. Besides, Kingsford charcoal briquettes are inexpensive and reliable. You don’t have to fight to turn it on at all. Charcoal ensures the perfect heat of your food when cooking or smoking. Yes, the flames can get a bit high, so a little care is needed. Overall, Kingsford charcoal briquettes are the best available today.         

2. Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes – Second Place  

Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes

For people who want to grill quickly and easily, this is the best choice for you. These Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes will never let you down. It is wholly made in the USA with no additives. It’s so pure that you get the most authentic smoky taste every time you use it. Kingsford claims it’s the longest burning charcoal made in the USA, so you’re in luck.       

Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes – Specifications

       Model: Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes

       Dimension: 2.5 x 4 x 10.2 inches

       Weight: 8.2 lbs

       Manufacturer: Kingsford

Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes – Product Description

This is another great product from Kingsford. It attracts a lot of customers with its excellent performance. It’s the second charcoal smoker on our list with just a few margins.

These Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes are also designed to ignite quickly and contain organic ingredients to prevent chemical aroma. It is a charcoal made in the USA that is ready to cook in just 15 minutes after burning.        

This charcoal is easy to light, contains natural ingredients and creates a smoky taste. These pieces are ready to cook 15 minutes after lighting. Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes are known to stick together and more likely to fall apart.

They don’t create a mess for cleaning. For better smoke flavor, it is recommended to use a lighter liquid. You will also need to stack the briquettes in a pyramid, which will take some time.         

If you don’t want to use a lighter liquid, you can use a substitute like a fireplace lighter. This way the pure taste is not compromised and the charcoal would come off naturally.

This charcoal comes at a reasonable price, which is ideal for the budget conscious. Because they produce less ash, they are suitable for those who don’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning up the smoker after a party.    

Pros
  • Smoky taste
  • Natural ingredients
  • Ready to cook in 15 minute
  • Heats evenly for a long time
  • Burns very well.
  • Used to eliminate odors.
Cons
    • Have some powder.
    • Lighter liquid is needed.

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Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes are your choice if you are looking for something inexpensive. Plus, it’s easy to light and cook. It also ensures a longer temperature during the cooking process.

The other important thing is that it doesn’t take a long time to clean up after cooking. However, it does require the use of a lighter liquid to bring the coals to light.             

3. Duraflame Cowboy natural hardwood briquettes  

Duraflame Cowboy Natural Hardwood Briquettes

Duraflame Cowboy Natural Hardwood Briquettes ensure long lasting, even heating with authenticity and the best smoke flavored experience. This charcoal is all natural with no additives, chemicals or fillers.

Other standard briquettes are missing here because they contain charcoal and chemical ingredients. Some even have fillers like limestone. This is how you can discover Duraflame Cowboy natural hardwood briquettes.       

Duraflame Cowboy Hardwood Briquettes – Specifications

      Model: Duraflame Cowboy 26014

      Dimension: 11 x 5.5 x 22 inches

      Weight: 14 lbs

      Manufacturer: Duraflame Cowboy

Duraflame Cowboy Hardwood Briquettes – Product Description

The Duraflame Cowboy Lump Charcoal 26014 offers everything you could want from a charcoal briquette . Certainly, the list of the best charcoal briquettes made with this charcoal is incomplete.

With Cowboy 26014, you can fire up your grill in seconds. It is a unique pillow-shaped charcoal that distributes heat quickly and evenly. The mixture of hardwood It’sGOo ensures that you get the most authentic tastes when eating.                    

These briquettes are of course made up of 95% hard charcoal and 5% vegetable binder. Otherwise, no filler is added.

This means that all you need is a bit of Cowboy Charcoal 26014 to start the process as it will go a long way. You don’t have to face any problem as this charcoal burns cleaner and ultimately reduces ash production.     

Another advantage of this hardwood briquette is that it is perfect for all outdoor cooking appliances. You can use it with kettle grills, barrel grills and smokers. This lumpy hard charcoal is 14 lbs.

Packaging, which means that it is sufficient for multiple purposes. It is recommended to use a single box for many products in order to have less packaging waste to dispose of.            

Pros
  • Sustainable
  • Rapid ignition
  • Even heat distribution
  • Good smoke taste
Cons
    • Difficult to find in physical stores.

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Duraflame Cowboy 26014 is a cowboy charcoal worthy of getting your hands on. Many people like it for various reasons. Some love its distinctive smoky taste, while others love its even heat distribution.

The smoky taste of Cowboy 26014 is every chef’s need to enhance any dish. Its pillow shape makes it even better charcoal than most standard charcoals.           

4. Wicked Good charcoal bag – Best smoking charcoal  

Wicked Good Charcoal Lump Bag

Wicked Good Charcoal is a perfect example of versatile charcoal. It is a proven consumer choice for quick hot grilling or long, slow cooks. Wicked Good Charcoal is a great non-sparking charcoal for smoking and grilling, and chefs love it. It is easy to ignite and burn for long hours. It is a pleasantly scented charcoal that is enough to give flavor to the meal.        

Wicked Good Charcoal Lump Bag Specifications

    Model: charcoal bag  

    Dimension: 24 x 6 x 14 inches  

    Weight: 22 lbs  

    Charcoal type: hardwood  

    Manufacturer: Wicked Good Charcoal  

Wicked Good Charcoal Lump Bag – Product Description

This charcoal has a lot to offer for your smoking and grilling needs. It is known for its long, hot burn ability. The Wicked Good Charcoal Lump bag is made from 100% genuine and real products and hardwood, so it catches fire without any problem. Charcoal makes smoking very easy and gives meals that distinct aroma that was previously lacking. It is a hard charcoal that burns hot and contains little ash.       

Yes, most manufacturers all use natural ingredients , but what sets this charcoal apart is that it is also environmentally friendly. You can be absolutely sure that your money is well spent on this Wicked Good Charcoal Lump Sum Bag.

The amount of chips and dust is very low with this charcoal. There is a good reason why this piece of charcoal is on the list of the best coals for smoking. There is a feeling of smoky fragrant aroma, which is why it is different from other brands.             

You cannot control the size of the lumps, which can range from small to very large. One downside associated with this charcoal is that it sometimes creates too much smoke the first time it’s lit and there doesn’t seem to be any other way to stop it.

It usually takes a little longer to light up, which means adequate air circulation is needed. The biggest advantage of this charcoal is its ability to maintain low temperatures without sparks or splinters.     

Pros
  • Durable and burning
  • Rapid spread of charcoal
  • Burns well with proper airflow.
  • No dust and ash
  • No sparks or pop
  • Easily keep a low temperature
Cons
      • Need more time to light up.
      • Different sizes and shapes of lumps

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In conclusion, this charcoal is good enough to keep you at a constant low temperature throughout your barbecue. It is made of hardwood and creates immense smoke for smooth and crisp smoky flavors. Overall, you won’t find a better option for your smoker in the market.   

5. Jealous Devil All natural hardwoods       

Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood

The name is fascinating, isn’t it? Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood burns very hot and cooks faster. It gives the meal the subtle earthy flavor you want. It is a precious treasure from South American soil.

This is a 100% natural supply and leaves the hardened charcoal resistant to impact and sparks. Ash and waste are also very limited, so there is no need for cleaning. Make it an accent to your dish without worrying about overwhelming your carefully crafted recipes.                   

Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood – Specifications   

 Model: Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal – 20LB      

 Dimension: 20 x 10 x 14 inches  

 Size: 1 to 20 pounds  

 Manufacturer: Jealous Devil  

Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood – Product Description   

With Jealous Devil All Natural Hard Charcoal , you get big lumps and a hotter burn, that is, twice as hot as traditional charcoal. This is why the Jealous Devil Charcoal review is always useful.

The burns are also three times longer than traditional burns. These lumps of coal are on the denser side . The jealous devil claims that the pieces of charcoal are “pure as heaven”. It might sound a bit contradictory considering its brand name, but it isn’t.                         

There is no doubt about its heat production which is very high (nearly 1000 ° F). It’s so hot because of the ultra-dense 100% natural hardwood that burns 7,000 cal / g of energy to be precise.

The name is jealous, but the charcoal is definitely clean considering its properties. There are no sparks, bangs, clichés or flares. It provides pure, even combustion while smoking and grilling.                 

This charcoal doesn’t create a lot of ash and soot, so cleanup won’t be a problem. It also means that you can get the most fuel by burning even a small amount of that lump of charcoal.

Given the smoky flavor everyone wants, add the jealous devil to your meal an added perfect smoke flavor , to dominate the natural flavor without. This woody and smoky taste is one of the main reasons for the popularity of this charcoal.                     

Pros
  • Generates great heat
  • No difficulty lighting
  • Simple temperature control
  • Burns very cleanly without dirt
  • Ensure uniform heating
Cons
      • Small little pieces according to some people

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Jealous Devil All Natural is absolutely amazing natural smoke . This charcoal offers many promising properties. You get high heat output at an affordable price. It’s also a great choice for outdoor chefs. There is no problem with the lighting, which is very simple.             

6. Fogo Super Premium Hard Charcoal – Best Charcoal  

 Kamado Joe KJ – Char Hardwood XL

This Lumpy Hard Charcoal is extra large, hand-picked charcoal for your smoke or grill. This size ensures a very long and slow burn for your smoker. It is the first choice for users when they need the best charcoal for grilling and smoking. It is made entirely from natural ingredients and resists sparks when grilled. It also burns faster and lasts longer.          

Specifications of Fogo Super Premium Hard Charcoal Lump

      Model: Super Premium Lump Charcoal  

      Dimension: 20 x 9 x 14 inches  

      Weight: 6 lbs 

      Manufacturer: Fogo  

Fogo Super Premium Hardwood Charcoal – Product Description

This best charcoal is characterized by simple lighting and excellent combustion efficiency. This charcoal is made from pure hardwood with no additives or chemicals.

There is no problem with sparks and excessive smoke so everything is fine. It’s a bit more expensive than others, but well worth it. There are many reasons why this charcoal is called the best lump charcoal.       

This charcoal has a delicious smoky taste made from the finest quality hardwoods as each piece is handpicked. It glows quickly and burns hotter than other standard coals.

You don’t need a lighter liquid to burn this charcoal. It is ideal for all types of meat because it can be cooked slowly and quickly. There are no sparks when charcoal is burned and smoking is negligible. Even so, the smoke vaporizes and the meat drains onto the lumps.             

One downside to this premium hard charcoal is that it leaves a lot of ash behind. The size of charcoal can also bother some people. It’s best to keep temperatures constant and give your meals the smoky touch they need. It’s a highly recommended charcoal, but if you’re on a tight budget, don’t go.     

Pros
  • No sparks
  • Sustainable
  • Large cohesive kitch
  • Burns very hot
Cons
      • Leave ashes behind

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When looking for the best charcoal, you need to consider the Fogo Super Premium. It will best meet your grilling and smoking needs. If you are willing to spend a little more than this product will definitely be for you. Overall, this product is 100% natural and works best for your smoking needs.               

7. Kamado Joe KJ – Char Hardwood XL  

Kamado Joe KJ – Char Hardwood XL

Last but not least on the list of the best smoking coals is the Kamado Joe KJ – Char Hardwood XL. Fire and smoke are the two defining characteristics of incredible Kamado cuisine.

Kamado Joe Big Block XL Lump Charcoal is made by Argentinian artisans to produce charcoal that is not only much bigger, but also significantly better – better burn times, better taste, and better smoke.   

Kamado Joe KJ Char Hardwood XL – Technical Specifications

  Model: KJ – Char Hardwood XL  

  Dimension: 14 x 4 x 30 inches  

  Weight: 20 lbs  

  Manufacturer: Kamado Joe  

Kamado Joe KJ Char Hardwood XL – Product Description

Kamado Joe is a famous contender for Big Green Egg, the leading brand of smoking products. In addition to the legendary red herds, this brand also offers extraordinary lumps of charcoal.

This lump charcoal describes itself as “the world’s largest premium lump charcoal with a large lump”. The premium line of fuels and tools are perfect for reliability and consistent quality, making it easy to start and season your Kamado Joe.     

Kamado Joe made a request that they worked with Argentinian artisans to make a 3 hardwood mix which to name as ax crusher. These 3 hardwoods are guayacan, guayaibi and mistal.

The next step was to roast them in ovens to create the ultimate Kamado Joe KJ – Char Hardwood XL. This big block is made up of a mixture of dense lumps that burn together and, best of all, smoke. These pieces of charcoal can be used three times, which really justifies the price.                        

Pros
  • Lights up quickly
  • Burns very hot
  • Mixture of large pieces of charcoal
  • No spark
Cons
      • A little expensive

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Kamado Joe 100% Natural Charcoal is made from real trees, so it burns cleanly and gives you a robust wood fire flavor. Some other brands are made from old furniture or processed wood. It means less wood fire flavor. Burn hotter for wet meat! Because Kamado Joe 100% Natural Charcoal is made from hardwood, it burns hotter.

This allows you to reach steak cooking temperatures. Paired with a well-insulated ceramic grill, you use less overall heat to cook your food, which means more moist meat. Burn longer for better slow cooking!             

Best Guide to Buying Charcoal For Smoking

To get the best charcoal cooking experience, there are a few things to keep in mind. These things determine which charcoal is the quality and preferable. Here are some factors to help you buy the best charcoal for tobacco needs.   

1.Time

The type of charcoal you need depends entirely on how long you plan to spend smoking meals. Some charcoal and briquettes glow faster than others. Some charcoals can cook meals in as little as 30 minutes. It shows you the importance of the time factor before buying charcoal. So, be careful with your schedule when choosing a suitable charcoal and briquette.       

2. Density

It is a general rule that denser charcoal is of better quality. This is because denser charcoal has a longer burning time and reaches a high temperature due to the biomass it contains. You can check the density by looking at the particle size of the charcoal. If the unit size is small, it means that the charcoal is denser and more compact .         

3.wood

Many forests are there to make charcoal. The best is actually the one that’s right for you. Personally, I prefer mangrove and mallee roots because of their low smoke when burnt. Some other general woods are dakama , hardwood, , apple, and hickory. The taste of the smoke depends entirely on the type of wood used.           

4. Ashes

Ash is essentially the mineral content of charcoal. Ash can contain many residues, such as clay, silica and calcium. These compounds are naturally present in the soil and in plants. Their content may vary, but their presence is certain. Usually, a coal quality is a coal with an ash content of 3%.               

5. Humidity

It is said that a good charcoal has a moisture content of between 10% and 18%. If so, it quickly catches fire. A large amount of moisture means that the charcoal is difficult to burn. If the humidity is too low, the charcoal will break into small pieces. The moisture content of charcoal depends on the type of raw material .                

6. Water resistance

It is important that the charcoal has no hygroscopic properties . It must be protected from water if it contains water soluble binders. 50% lignite and 50% hard coal are the perfect balance between water resistance and the mechanical strength of briquettes.        

Lumpy Charcoal vs Briquettes – Which Is Better?

Charcoal comes in two types, namely lump charcoal and briquettes. Lump charcoal is made by burning wood, while the other is made from byproducts and leftovers.     

Lump coal

Sometimes lump charcoal is considered a bit more advanced than briquettes. It is made of hard wood, which are the ingredients natural , to give you a more authentic taste and a crunchy meal. It burns longer than the briquette so less is more. When it reaches maximum temperature, it resets to medium heat. Charcoal scalds cleaner than briquettes, but burns hotter, so you’ll need to adjust your vents.                  

Briquettes

Briquettes are also a good choice because they burn well and maintain a constant hot temperature. Usually, they are made from sawdust, including ingredients like charcoal. They are made of fillers to keep their shape uniform, you may need a lighter liquid to light them up. Briquettes are cheaper than charcoal. They generally produce more ash and debris than lumpy charcoal.         

Best Charcoal For Burning – FAQs

1. How long does coal burn?

Cooking food with charcoal requires gentle, even heat for a long time to make the best meal. If the charcoal is sufficient, it will usually burn longer. Charcoal filled with smokers will last two hours if left unattended.   

2. How do you make lump charcoal?

If you burn oxygen-free wood for a while you will remove all water and vegetable juices from the wood, now you have lump charcoal. This material is completely pure because no ingredients are added in this process. 

3. Is it possible or not to add charcoal while smoking?

There is nothing wrong with adding charcoal when you smoke, but it will lengthen your working hours. To avoid this, it is always better to add hot charcoal. Make sure the lighter fluid has completely burned off before you start cooking.