Once you’ve watched our video on starting a charcoal grill, you’re ready for the next level: picking out the right type of charcoal.
In Charcoal 101, you’ll learn all the basics of choosing between briquettes and lumps for your next cookout.
Why you might choose charcoal briquettes
Briquettes have a lot going for them. The fuel is a common type of charcoal. When it comes to ease of use and reliability, you’re simply not going to beat briquettes.
Due to their size uniformity, briquettes give you terrific predictability and consistency — traits that are useful for any cookout.
Charcoal briquettes also very easy to get your hands on. Brands like Kingsford are available just about anywhere, and have been around since Henry Ford began selling his Model T. The first Kingsford briquettes were even made from the waste of Ford’s early car factories. (The name is just a coincidence; Edward G. Kingsford was related to Henry Ford through marriage)
A century later, briquettes are still a great option for any charcoal grill, particularly for those just getting started with charcoal.
When to go with charcoal lumps
There is absolutely nothing wrong with briquettes, yet many more seasoned grillers prefer lumps for several reasons.
Charcoal lumps are just nuggets of pure wood that have been burned down. Although varying sizes makes for less consistency, they also burn hotter and are clear favorites among grilling purists.
If you’re looking to sear a steak with as much flavor as possible, many will turn to coal lumps to get the job done.
Other high-temp items like pizza are also perfectly suited to charcoal lumps.
So while charcoal briquettes will definitely get the job done, more advanced grillers often find themselves drawn to lumps for next-level grilling.
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