There are various types of charcoal based on quality and work. So they are different from different criteria. Before knowing specifically about the difference, let’s gather some knowledge about charcoal. Charcoal is a lightweight black carbon excess created by firmly heating wood (plant or other animal material). It drives off all water and other vaporous elements. It is a human-made product. So you can make charcoal by heating wood to a high temperature without the presence of oxygen. You are making this charcoal through a process named ‘charring.’ This is a pyrolysis method that is famous for charcoal burning.
You can classify charcoal based on many factors.
There are mainly two types of charcoal – a) charcoal briquettes b) hardwood lump charcoal.
At first, let’s get to know about them individually. Then you will be able to find out some differences.
- 1 Lump Charcoal
- 2 What is Lump Charcoal Made of?
- 3 Positive Sides of Lump Charcoal
- 4 Opposing Sides of Lump Charcoal
- 5 What is Hardwood Charcoal?
- 6 Charcoal Briquettes
- 7 Positive Sides of Charcoal Briquette
- 8 Opposing Sides of Charcoal Briquettes
- 9 What is Better? Charcoal Briquette or Lump Charcoal?
Lump charcoal is the most natural form of charcoal. So everyone prefers it more than other charcoal. It is the final product of the charcoal-making process. Lump charcoal is the outcome of slowly burning pieces without oxygen until all the sap and moisture get out of the wood.
What is Lump Charcoal Made of?
The wood remnant from sawmills and furniture flooring is mainly the ingredient of lump charcoal. So these are used to make lump charcoal. Now you know which components use to make lump charcoal.
Every sky has a silver lining. So there are both pros and cons of using lump charcoal.
Positive Sides of Lump Charcoal
Lump charcoal contains so many right sides. Let’s know about them.
Lump charcoal is the most natural fuel. As it has no additives or filters, it is the cleanest charcoal for grilling. Having natural elements has less harmful effects on health.
Easier Temperature Adjustment
Lump charcoal responds very well to oxygen. So you can easily control and adjust the level of temperature according to the heat needed for grilling. If your grill feature contains air vents adjustment, you can do it with ease.
It burns quickly and hotter than any other briquette charcoal. You can cook your food in a short time. You can grill or smoke appropriately as it burns so quickly. It is a great advantage of using lump charcoal. It is so good for a quick grilling session.
Less Ash Production
The main reason everybody likes to grill their food with charcoal is to run and cook effectively. But there is always a tiresome part of working with charcoal – scrubbing and cleaning the produced ash. You will be happy knowing that lump charcoal has very little ash. So it solves the problem of mopping and cleaning.
Ease of Lighting
The most crucial thing about charcoal grilling is the required time to light. At first, you need to turn on your gas grill and preheat it for 5-10 minutes. Different types of charcoal require additional time to light and burn. Lump charcoal usually takes less time to light. From preheating to cooking and turning into ash- the whole process is essential. Lump charcoal lights up so nicely without producing big smoke.
The smell is a very satisfying feeling while grilling your meat or any food. The wonderful smell can increase your appetite for food. You usually choose your food according to smell, look, flavor, and taste. Firstly, the great smell of food attracts everyone. Lump charcoal generates a delicious aroma while grilling with it.
Abundant Smoke Flavor
The smoky flavor is the top quality of good grilling. Everyone prefers grilling for the smoky, rich flavor. Using lump charcoal can get enough smoky flavor, which goes very well and fulfills the grilled food.
A significant amount of woods used here can be repurposed. That means the wood used from charcoal can using for another purpose. So it is an excellent contribution to the environment in a simple way. It can assure you to create healthier earth.
Opposing Sides of Lump Charcoal
Lump charcoal also contains some opposing sides.
Relatively More Expensive
Cost is one of the necessary factors while choosing charcoal. Lump charcoal needs lots of time and work to make, so it tends to be costly than others. It also depends on the store you are buying from. So generally, lump charcoal is quite expensive. Though it burns efficiently, the ongoing cost of the fuel will be higher than other charcoal.
Lump charcoals burn hotter and faster for a shorter period. It burns quickly, giving you a shorter cooking window.
Inconvenient for a Slow Cooking Meal
Lump charcoal is not appropriate for a slow-cooking meal or food. If you want to cook slow and lowly, using lump charcoal will not be a wise decision. You have to use more fuels and keep your eyes always on the temperature. If you do not look up the weather, it can burn your food or hand. So it will make a hassle for you.
Not Fully Carbonized
Every piece of it is not carbonizing properly. Some larger pieces hold cellulose and lignin. These are two of the three main wood elements which contain both good and bad sides. The wrong side is- it varies the flavor, and the right side increases the flavor.
Value (different shape and size of the charcoal)
Value is also an essential factor, which means the proper size of the charcoal. From the previous point, you came to know that lump charcoal is very natural and chemical-free. So it is not manufactured like any other charcoal. It comes in a bag of different sizes and shapes. Some of them are so small that they can fall through the charcoal grating and turn into trash. The quantity of these unsuitable bits differs from company to company.
Hard to Use While Cooking
It is tough to use lump charcoal while cooking. It is not suitable for cooking actually as it burns faster. It is even more preferable for quick grilling and smearing.
What is Hardwood Charcoal?
Hardwood charcoal is one kind of lump charcoal. You can get this hardwood charcoal when the wood is burning down to impurity-free coal. It has no binders and fillers and is pure, simple, and additive-free. Hardwood charcoal is also known for its high quality.
Hardwood is another name for lump charcoal. You can call both together hardwood lump charcoal. So their qualities and usage are indifferent.
The name hardwood came because it is made of hardwood. The wood is burnt through the process until it removes all the impurity and moisture from it. The process is so time-consuming. It takes almost 125 pounds of hardwood to fill a 20-pound bag of lump charcoal.
As lump and hardwood charcoal is the same in character and quality, you could not find any difference here. So let’s discuss another charcoal named ‘charcoal briquettes.’
Briquette is a French word; charcoal briquette combines coal dust, charcoal dust, sawdust, wood chips, or biomass. It works as an excellent fuel in boils and stoves. If you want to turn charcoal dust into charcoal briquettes, you must add an agglomerating substance to the charcoal dust. Then you have to apply pressure to the mixture to create a charcoal briquette.
What is Charcoal Briquette Made of?
You will need various types of ingredients to make a charcoal briquette. They are- heat fuel, burning speed, white ash color, binder, press release, and filler.
Positive Sides of Charcoal Briquette
Charcoal briquette has some positive sides. Let’s know it thoroughly.
Maintains a Steady Temperature
Charcoal briquettes maintain a steady and immovable temperature. So it can lessen your concern about controlling temperature. You can use it to get risk-free cooking. Because it reduces the hazard of having accidents due to suddenly increased temperature.
The price or cost of charcoal briquette is quite reasonable than lump hardwood charcoal. It will also depend on you where you are buying charcoal. The making process of it is easier than other charcoal. It is cheaper rather than lump charcoal.
It burns for a long time and stays lit. If you want to keep your charcoal lit, you can easily choose a charcoal briquette.
Convenient for Slow Cooking
Charcoal briquettes have a longer burn time and consistent temperature. These two qualities are essential for slow cooking; you want charcoal briquettes during slow-cooking meat. It is very appropriate for low and slow cooking your food.
Charcoal briquette is a lightweight fuel. It is very comfortable to carry from one place to another.
Easy to Find
It is also very readily available. As charcoal briquette is the most popular and cheaper, you can find it in any grilling store.
The manufacture of charcoal briquettes is precisely done. So all the pieces are in the same shape and size. You can use every part of your cooking or grilling.
Opposing Sides of Charcoal Briquettes
After knowing the right sides, let’s have a look at some cons of charcoal briquettes.
Lots of Ash Production
Charcoal briquette originates a large amount of ash after grilling. You have to face a mess after grilling with a charcoal briquette. Cleaning and rubbing can be troublesome if you are not used to it. You will require a constant ash catcher and a lengthy cleanup session for this.
Longer Light Time
It takes a much longer time to light. If you want to grill or cook some quickly, you should avoid selecting this charcoal. It is inconvenient for quick grilling.
Produces a Strong Chemical Smell
Some charcoal briquettes can produce a powerful chemical smell to your food; that smell can add an odd flavor to the cooked food. It will not be delicious for you.
Not Suitable for Cooking Hot and Fast
If you want to cook fast, a charcoal briquette can be the wrong choice for you. It is not appropriate for cooking hot and fast.
What is Better? Charcoal Briquette or Lump Charcoal?
This has become a topic of debate nowadays. Previously, we have discussed the positive and negative sides of both hardwood lump charcoal and briquette. After knowing more about the pros and cons of each, you can choose the better one. So you cannot exactly tell which one is the best! It depends on the use of the consumer. You can select or choose the charcoal regarding your ability, time, cooking method. If you want the cleanest grilling, you can pick a charcoal briquette. You can also use it to save your money as it is relatively cheaper than lump charcoal. But if you need the best charcoal for quick grilling and a good smell, you must choose hardwood lump charcoal.
In the meantime, the choice between lump and briquettes will be personalized based on use, availability, cost, smell, smoke, etc. The differences can only help you to make your preferred choice. You can be able to make an appropriate decision while buying and using your charcoal. Lump hardwood charcoal and briquettes both have some specific utility. So any of it can be a savior for you. These differences show you that the two will be perfect for different uses.