Heat Beads vs. Lump Charcoal: What are Their Main Differences?

May 13, 2022

If you are new to the grilling and smoking community, you might be wondering which type of charcoal is better for grilling or smoking. Over the years, BBQ enthusiasts are debating between heat beads and lump charcoal. To help you decide which one to choose between heat beads and lump charcoal, we have listed the main differences between heat beads and lump charcoal.


Lump charcoals are made of 100% natural components and eco-friendly materials like charred timber pieces in various shapes and sizes. Using lump charcoal means less carbon and cleaner grilling which adds more flavour to your food.

Heat beads, however, are made of sawdust and other additive or fillers which makes them produce large ashes and produce a chemical smell.


Lump charcoals are much more affordable and way cheaper than heat beads. However, they burn faster and hotter. This makes them have a shorter lifespan and burn much faster with just a few uses.

Heat beads are more expensive to purchase than lump charcoal. But they are a more economical option since their longevity and reusability make them offer a much better value for your money.

Attractive Qualities 

Lump charcoal has a lot of good qualities, one of which is its ability to burn hotter. Also, one of the most attractive qualities of heat beads is they can light more easily and burn consistently. They are best for high heat grilling.

Heat beads, on the other hand, are known for their uniform shape which makes them simultaneously burn longer and maintain a steady temperature. Heat beads are best to use for slow and low grilling. They are also reusable.

Presence of Chemical Smell

Lump charcoal smells great and does not have an off-putting chemical smell. This is because of their natural properties; they do not have any additives, unlike heat beads. However, it is highly recommended that you purchase all-natural lump charcoal and use a natural firelighter to avoid chemical smell when you are grilling.

Head beads have additives that were compressed with the wood by-products that give off a chemical smell when burned. This chemical smell might transfer to your food and might affect its taste and smell, so you should allow the heat beads to burn until they are covered with ash.

To enjoy more of your BBQ grilling and smoking party with family and friends, check out our heat beads BBQ Briquettes and firewood products at John Tiras Pty Ltd. At John Tiras Pty Ltd, we have heat beads and charcoal products that are guaranteed high quality. Our heat beads firelighters and lump charcoals are ideal for use in open fires which makes the best choice for you.

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