Lump Charcoal vs. Briquettes: Choose the Right One for Your Outdoor Barbecue Cooking

June 29, 2020

One great way to spend your time with your family or friends is to meet and gather around an outdoor living space and do some barbecue cooking. Outdoor barbecue cooking is one of the most common activities here in Australia since most families here truly enjoy the outcome of the food from this type of cooking. After all, barbecue cooking can make cuts of meat like ribs, beef brisket, pork shoulder, whole chicken, or turkey taste good and tender.

In barbecue cooking, the main source of heat for cooking would come from either charcoal or briquettes. These two fuel sources, which can be placed in the bottom half of the barbecue grill, possess properties and advantages that make them distinct from one another. If you do not know which one is the best for your next outdoor barbecue cooking, then the following are some more in-depth details about the two.

Lump Charcoal

Lump charcoal is made by burning pieces of wood without oxygen. The purpose of this process is to remove natural chemicals, sap, and moisture that the wood possesses. Once these components are removed, the final product, which is the lump charcoal itself, will now have little more than carbon and will leave a very small amount of ash after burning out. Lump charcoal is known to be responsive to oxygen, making the control of its temperature much easier for a grill that has adjustable air vents.

What is great about lump charcoal is that it lights faster and burns hotter than briquettes. The said fuel source also does not have any fillers or additives, which makes it one of the cleanest ways to perform barbecue cooking. As for its disadvantages, lump charcoal is known to burn faster than its counterpart. The packaging of lump charcoal is also inconsistent since it has uneven pieces of charcoal that are hard to grill. As for its price, lump charcoal tends to be more expensive than briquettes.


Briquettes, on the other hand, are comprised of sawdust and leftover woods that are processed with additives. These additives are responsible for giving them consistent light and burn rate. However, these components also release a chemical smell when burned. Fortunately, burning briquettes until they are covered with white ash can help prevent the transfer of the odour to your food. The same additives also help in holding the whole briquette together and achieve a clean little block.

One key advantage of briquettes is that they burn longer. They can also maintain a consistent temperature for a long time. Briquettes are also cheaper than lump charcoal. But despite these advantages, some people are hesitant to buy them since they cannot reach the same high temperature as what lump charcoal can do. Additionally, they are longer to light and are known to produce large ash during the barbecue cooking process. Sometimes, the taste and smell of the additives can also transfer to the food.

Knowing the characteristics and the differences between lump charcoal and briquettes can help you assess the best fuel source for your outdoor barbecue cooking. If you want to buy lump charcoal or briquettes, do not hesitate to contact us at Charcoal Melbourne - John Tiras.

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