When family and friends gather, good food helps to bring everyone together. For a grill that produces less smoke and burns hotter than wood, finding the best barbecue charcoal briquettes is important. There are numerous choices so that you get the exact flavor and grilling experience that you are looking for.
Explore a variety of flavored briquettes, different shapes, and various sizes that will fit your grill perfectly. No matter your grilling style, there are briquettes that will serve your needs. What is important is that you find the best charcoal briquettes for smoking or any other form of grilling that you want to do.
Looking at the options and learning more about how to choose these briquettes will ensure that you make the best choice. When you pick the best briquettes, your food gets the exact flavor that you are seeking so that everything turns out perfectly.
Tips on Choosing the Best Charcoal Briquettes
The first step is to consider the type of cooking that you want to do. Certain briquettes are a better choice for different cooking options. For example, if you prefer to smoke foods, explore the briquettes that are ideal for smoking. This helps to ensure that your briquettes fulfill your needs.
If you prefer a greener briquette, look for those that are all-natural. These do not contain any extra chemicals or synthetic materials. This can result in a cleaner burn and a more natural flavor for your foods.
Just make sure that briquettes that advertise as all-natural actually are. Explore the ingredients to ensure that what the briquettes contain is natural and simple.
Consider the length of the burn to make sure that your foods will cook for as long as you need them to. On average, briquettes burn for one to two hours. You can find this information on the bag in most cases.
Ideally, you want to choose briquettes with a two-hour burn time so that you have the option to slow-cook foods as necessary.
Depending on what you are cooking, you need a certain temperature for your briquettes to burn at. On average, they burn at 500 degrees Fahrenheit at a minimum. The concentration and oxygen level of the briquettes determine the burn temperature.
You also have some control over the temperature with your cooking method. For example, if you flip the lid on your grill, this can help to increase the burn temperature by introducing more oxygen.
Common Briquette Types
There are different briquette types that you can choose from.
The most common options include:
- Binchotan: This type is hardwood charcoal. They are clean, very hot, and have a long burn time.
- Hardwood charcoal lumps: This is a good option when you need a versatile yet simple option. It provides an intensely smoky flavor and high heat level.
- Pressed charcoal: This is the simplest type that is ideal in a pinch. The heat level is dependable, and you can light them quickly.
Factors to Consider When Buying Charcoal Briquettes
Before you go out and buy charcoal briquettes, there are some factors that you want to consider to ensure that you make the best choice. When you want briquettes that are of the highest quality, look for those that are 100 percent hardwood.
They usually advertise this specification on the bag so that it is easy to find this type of briquette.
This distinction means that the charcoal used to make the briquettes is free from pallets of sawdust and other forms of scrap wood. The charcoal is also not mixed with anthracite. It is important to look for this because it will ensure a cleaner burn and flavor.
It is best to avoid briquettes that are self-lighting. This means that they are not sprayed with volatile petroleum products. When briquettes are self-lighting, they can add a chemical flavor to your foods. They also put out an odd smell when you are burning them.
When you are exploring briquettes, avoid those associated with the following:
- They contain pine and other softwood filler than can produce a bitter resin
- Briquettes that contain chemical binders
- They include lighter fluid since this can make your foods taste bitter
- The briquettes have a lot of wood filler because this will result in more ash as you cook
Look for the following characteristics of quality briquettes:
- For proper stacking, look for briquettes that come in uniform shapes
- Achieve less ash with briquettes that have minimal fillers
- Ensure strong briquettes by looking for limited debris in the bag
- They light easier when they have thin edges
- To ensure cleaner burning, look for hardwood charcoal
Lump Charcoal vs Briquettes
It is a common misconception that charcoal is charcoal. There are many types and the biggest distinction comes when you look at the differences between lump charcoal and briquettes.
To put it simply, pure charcoal has no additives, making it a pure choice. Lump charcoal is made by not using oxygen when burning wood. This pushes away all of the volatile gases and moisture. What remains is pure carbon.
Compared to briquettes, lump charcoal burns faster and hotter, but it is also more expensive. There are no additives, making it an ideal choice for those who want a purer option for grilling.
Briquettes come from charcoal and are formed by a machine. They may contain various byproducts and additives. However, compared to lump charcoal, briquettes allow for easier temperature control. They also tend to have a longer and more consistent burn.
Best Charcoal Briquettes:
Kingsford Original Charcoal BriquettesView at Amazon
The Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes use 100 percent natural ingredients to ensure a clean burn and flavor for all of your foods. These briquettes are made of real wood so that your food has a good smoky flavor.
Each briquette has surefire grooves. This feature is important because it allows you to ignite the briquettes fast. It also helps to ensure that the briquettes remain burning for a long time.
These briquettes make it easy to have a consistent temperature. Even when you are cooking large racks of ribs, the temperature is consistent.
Once you ignite these briquettes, they burn for a long time. Due to their shape of them, they allow for adequate oxygen so that you have solid control over the temperature.
- They do not produce a strong odor
- These briquettes maintain a consistent temperature
- The briquettes burn for a long time
- The bags are smaller than brands at comparable prices
Duraflame Cowboy Natural Hardwood BriquettesView at Amazon
The Duraflame Cowboy Natural Hardwood Briquettes provide an authentic wood flavor to the foods that you are cooking. You do not have to use any starting fluid to light these briquettes so there is no odd fuel flavor on the foods that you cook.
These briquettes ensure even heating for all of your foods. The heat is also long-lasting so that you can cook larger pieces of meat thoroughly without needing to add more briquettes to your grill.
The briquettes have a pillow shape for good airflow. There are no fillers or coal chemicals inside them.
These are good charcoal briquettes because they give your food a distinct flavor. There are no added chemicals or other artificial ingredients so you get a clean burn when using these briquettes.
- These briquettes have a consistent burn temperature
- You can use them for grilling or smoking
- There is no need for starter fluid
- These may take slightly longer to ignite compared to similar briquettes
Royal Oak Premium Charcoal BriquetsView at Amazon
The Royal Oak Premium Charcoal Briquets have good airflow due to their unique ridge shape. Proper airflow ensures enough oxygen to keep the briquettes burning consistently. This ensures that the briquettes remain hot when you are cooking.
The shape of the briquettes also helps to ensure that ash-over happens fast. This is important because it keeps the briquettes burning longer without a drop in their temperature. You will not have to worry about cold or hot spots in any of your foods.
When you are ready to use the briquettes, you can ignite them fast. On average, you will be ready to start cooking in about 15 minutes after you start the briquettes.
These briquettes are consistent and reliable. They have a long burn time and do not lose their heat throughout the duration of their burn. This helps to ensure that all of your foods cook consistently.
- The food that you cook has a distinct wood flavor
- These briquettes get hot and maintain their temperature
- They burn for a long time
- The bags are smaller than comparable brands
Kingsford 32080 Original Charcoal Briquettes with MesquiteView at Amazon
The Kingsford Charcoal Mesquite Briquettes light easily so that it does not take long to heat your grill or smoker. Once they are burning, they keep providing heat for a long time. On average, once you ignite the briquettes, you will be ready to cook in about 15 minutes.
They have a good mesquite flavor that ensures the perfect finishing touch for your foods. The efficiency of these briquettes is thanks to the sure-fire grooves that are within reach of the briquettes. This ensures that you can ignite the briquettes with your preferred ignition source without any delays.
Since they contain mesquite wood, the flavor is infused into every food item that you prepare.
These briquettes burn cleanly and maintain a solid level of heat. These ignite quickly, helping to ensure that you do not have to wait long to start cooking your favorite foods.
- It is easy to use
- Cleanup is relatively fast due to limited leftover ash
- They ignite quickly and maintain their heat
- May has a slightly less mesquite flavor compared to other brands
Coshell CCB Briquets MesquiteView at Amazon
The Coshell CCB Briquets Mesquite gives all of your foods a distinct mesquite flavor when you use them. They are comprised of 100 percent recycled coconut shells.
While your food does not get a coconut flavor, you benefit from using an eco-friendly briquette. The base of these briquettes burns longer, hotter, and cleaner than other types of briquettes.
Due to the manufacturing process used for these briquettes, there are no harmful ingredients or petroleum in them. This ensures a clean flavor for every food you cook using these briquettes. It also ensures safer foods.
When you use these for grilling or smoking, there is little ash left behind. This helps to simplify the clean-up process once you are done using your grill or smoker. They also emit fewer greenhouse gases during the cooking process for a greener experience.
These briquettes are ideal for those seeking green briquettes. You get all of the flavors and burning time that you need without excessive waste.
- They remain hot for prolonged periods
- They are green
- No harmful ingredients
- May burn faster than similar briquettes
John Wayne Collection Fire and Flavor Natural Hardwood BriquetsView at Amazon
The John Wayne Collection Fire and Flavor Natural Hardwood Briquets are easy to ignite so you do not have to wait long to start cooking.
You can usually start cooking within about 15 minutes after you ignite the briquettes. They maintain their heat for a long time so that the foods that you are cooking are evenly heated.
You can use these briquettes for any food and maintain control over the level of smoking or grilling so that nothing is burned or cold in certain spots.
The hickory and oak base of these briquettes ensures a natural flavor for everything that you cook. There are ridges of the briquettes that make them easier to light. This also ensures greater airflow so that everything cooks consistently and cleanly.
These briquettes are clean and reliable. You can ignite them quickly. Once they are burning, they maintain the heat for a long time.
- These briquettes burn for a long time
- They are clean when they are burning
- You can start them quickly
- The bags are smaller compared to similar products
Kingsford Easy Light BagView at Amazon
The Kingsford Easy Light Bag contains charcoal briquettes that are made from real wood and other natural ingredients. This ensures that you get a clean burn so that the smoke is not harmful when you are grilling.
The foods that you prepare using these briquettes have an authentic smoky flavor. There are no hints of chemicals or bitterness, ensuring a clean taste.
The briquettes have surefire grooves. This help to make the briquettes easy to light when you are ready to cook. This feature also helps you to maintain a consistent cooking temperature since it allows for better airflow between the briquettes in your grill.
These are the best charcoal briquettes for grilling because they are consistent and clean. There is no need for any preparation or lighter fluid to light these briquettes ensuring good food flavor and convenience.
- You can use them for everything from vegetables to meat
- The burn time is long
- There are easy instructions for use on the bag
- These briquettes may take a little longer to light compared to similar briquettes
Bayou Classic Natural Charcoal BriquetsView at Amazon
The Bayou Classic Natural Charcoal Briquets use high-density hardwood that is easy to work with when you are smoking or grilling. These briquets light faster so that you do not have to wait to start cooking.
Once you ignite the briquettes, they burn for a long time and maintain a consistent temperature. Your food with not have spots that are too cold or hot.
These briquettes do not have any chemical fillers or other additives. This ensures that the flavor that you get is pure and clean. Due to the composition of these briquettes, there is no foul smoke produced when you are using them.
These are high-quality charcoal briquettes that are thoroughly natural. The end result is food that has a pure flavor with no artificial additives or aftertaste.
- The food has a good flavor
- These briquettes are easy to work with
- You can regulate the temperature easily
- These briquettes have more dust in the bag than comparable briquettes
MUXI Portable Grilling Charcoal BriquettesView at Amazon
The MUXI Portable Grilling Charcoal Briquettes use completely natural materials. This includes a cornstarch adhesive, natural charcoal powder, and a botanical combustion improver.
These briquettes are larger than traditional briquettes, making them relatively easy to work with. All you need is a long lighter to ignite the briquettes. It takes about three seconds to get the charcoal briquettes to light. This ensures that you can start cooking almost right away.
These briquettes take 10 to 15 minutes to be hot enough to start cooking. Once ignited, you get over 100 minutes of burn time. The food produced has a pure flavor that is not tainted by chemicals or artificial ingredients.
These briquettes are easy to work with. You can use them to prepare a wide variety of foods. They have a consistent burn temperature and ensure even cooking.
- There are no harmful fumes when using these briquettes
- These briquettes ignite fast without lighter fluid
- They have a consistent temperature
- Some other briquettes burn for longer
Weber BriquettesView at Amazon
The Weber Briquettes are completely natural, so they do not add any artificial flavors to the foods that you cook. There are no chemical additives in these briquettes so there are no odd smells when you are cooking.
These briquettes burn for approximately three hours. This makes them ideal for traditional grilling and shorter smoking sessions. When you are grilling, the briquettes maintain consistent heat so that there are no hot or cold spots in any of the foods that you are preparing.
It is easy to ignite these briquettes. You do not need to use anything special to make sure that these ignite, making the starting process simple and easy. Once you light them, they remain ignited so that there is no need to monitor them to ensure that they are still burning.
These are the best all-natural charcoal briquettes due to their composition and how cleanly they burn. They maintain their heat for a long time so that everything you are preparing has a consistent temperature.
- The briquettes burn cleanly so that food tastes excellent
- They do not put out excessive smoke
- These briquettes have a hot and long burn
- This product is more costly than similar briquettes
You now have all of the knowledge that you need to choose the best charcoal briquettes for smoking or your other grilling ventures.
When you pick the best option, you can rest assured that you will get the distinct flavor that you are looking for when you are ready to grill or smoke foods.
The right briquettes will make it easier to prepare a variety of foods. You can use these for everything from grilling vegetables to smoking large pieces of meat, fish, or poultry. It is also possible to use these briquettes for other sides like potatoes.
The versatility of these briquettes saves you time when you are grilling or smoking. There is no need to switch between other heat sources, such as wood since briquettes are meant for all food and cooking types. Now, you have to pick the briquettes you want to use and start grilling or smoking.