How to Choose the Best Charcoal for Your Needs

Your Guide to buying the best Charcoal


Charcoal is an incredibly versatile product with a wide range of applications, from grilling to art. It's important to understand the differences between charcoal types and how to choose the right charcoal for your needs. This guide will provide you with an overview of different types of charcoal, the pros and cons of each type, and tips for choosing the right charcoal for your needs. Whether you’re looking for an all-purpose charcoal for grilling, a high-grade charcoal for art, or something in between, this guide will help you make an informed decision.

Key features

  1. Type of Charcoal - Consider whether you want to buy briquettes, lump charcoal, or self-lighting charcoal.
  2. Amount of Charcoal - Determine how much charcoal you need. Consider whether you will need to purchase it in bulk or if you can buy smaller amounts.
  3. Brand - Research different charcoal brands to determine which one best suits your needs.
  4. Price - Compare prices of different brands and types of charcoal to get the best value for your money.
  5. Quality - Look for high-quality charcoal that will give you the best results when cooking.
  6. Charcoal Accessories - Consider purchasing charcoal accessories such as a chimney starter, fire starter cubes, or an ash can.

See the most popular Charcoal on Amazon

Important considerations


  • Smoky Flavor: Charcoal adds a smoky flavor to food, which can be a delicious addition to the meal.
  • High Heat: Charcoal can reach high temperatures quickly, meaning food can be cooked faster.
  • Versatile: Charcoal grills are easy to use and can accommodate a variety of different types of food.
  • Portable: Charcoal grills are relatively light and easy to transport, making them ideal for camping trips or outdoor gatherings.
  • Inexpensive: Charcoal grills are usually cheaper than other types of grills, making them a good option for budget-conscious consumers.


  • Pollution - Charcoal burning can produce smoke and ash that contributes to air pollution.
  • Time - Charcoal takes longer to light and reach cooking temperature than gas grills.
  • Messy - Charcoal can be messy and requires additional accessories such as a charcoal starter, fuel, and ash pan.
  • Health - Charcoal grilling can produce carcinogenic compounds that are harmful to your health.

Best alternatives

  1. Wood Chips - small pieces of wood that are used for smoking, grilling, and barbecuing.
  2. Lump Charcoal - a type of charcoal made from large pieces of wood that are heated in an oxygen-free environment.
  3. Electric Grills - A type of grill that is powered by electricity and has more control over temperature and heat.
  4. Gas Grills - A type of grill that is powered by gas and usually has easier control over temperature and heat.
  5. Pellet Grills - A type of grill that uses hardwood pellets as fuel and provides more smoke flavor.

Related tools, supplies, and accessories

  • Charcoal Briquettes - Briquettes are compressed charcoal and are easy to light and are often favored for grilling.
  • Charcoal Chimney Starter - A metal cylinder that is filled with charcoal, then lit to easily get charcoal burning.
  • Lighter Fluid - A liquid fuel often used to light charcoal.
  • Grill Brush - A brush used to clean the grates of a grill.
  • Grill Scraper - A tool used to scrape debris off of grill grates.
  • Grill Tongs - A tool used to safely move charcoal around in a grill.
  • Grill Basket - A wire basket used to contain charcoal on a grill.
  • Grill Cover - A cover used to protect a grill from the elements.
  • Heat Resistant Gloves - Gloves used when handling hot charcoal or other hot items.
  • Fire Pit - A metal or stone container for containing a fire.
  • Fire Starter Logs - Convenient logs used to quickly light a fire.

Common questions

  1. What types of charcoal are available? Charcoal is mainly classified into two types: lump charcoal and charcoal briquettes. Lump charcoal is made without any added chemicals or fillers, and it burns hotter and more quickly than charcoal briquettes. Charcoal briquettes are made from a mix of charcoal, sawdust, borax, and other binders and additives and they burn more slowly and evenly than lump charcoal.
  2. What are the benefits of using charcoal? Charcoal is an excellent source of fuel because it produces a high amount of heat and is easy to control. It is also affordable and widely available, and it is a great way to add a smoky flavor to food.
  3. What type of charcoal is best for grilling? Lump charcoal is the best choice for grilling because it burns hotter and more quickly than charcoal briquettes.
  4. What type of charcoal is best for smoking? Charcoal briquettes are the best choice for smoking because they burn more slowly and evenly than lump charcoal.
  5. How much charcoal do I need? The amount of charcoal you need will depend on the size of your grill or smoker and the amount of food you are cooking. Generally, you should use about 2 pounds of charcoal for every pound of food.
  6. How should I store charcoal? Charcoal should be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. It is also best to store charcoal in a sealed container to keep out moisture.
  7. How can I light charcoal quickly and easily? Charcoal can be easily lit using a charcoal chimney starter. Simply fill the chimney starter with briquettes, place crumpled newspaper in the bottom, light the newspaper, and wait for the charcoal to be fully lit.


Charcoal has been used for centuries as a form of art, particularly in Japan. In the late 1800s, Japanese artist Yokoyama Taikan created a number of charcoal artworks that showcased the unique qualities and possibilities of the medium. He also pioneered a new painting technique that involved the application of thin layers of charcoal to create a more subtle and luscious effect. The technique has since been adopted by many other artists and is still used today. Though charcoal is often thought of as a traditional art material, its creative potential continues to be explored and developed by contemporary artists. Source:

Disclaimer: This buying guide was not created by humans, and it is possible that some of it's content is inaccurate or incomplete. We do not guarantee or take any liability for the accuracy of this buying guide. Additionally, the images on this page were generated by AI and may not accurately represent the product that is being discussed. We have tried to convey useful information, but it is our subjective opinion and should not be taken as complete or factual.