Lumpwood Charcoal vs. Briquettes: What's The Difference?


In outdoor cooking, fuel remains significant in generating heat. Through the years, different innovations and technology created options for people to control temperature. For people who love to barbecue, there are various types of charcoal available in the market. The most common types of charcoal are lumpwood and briquettes. The following points indicate the difference between Lumpwood charcoal and briquettes. 

The Purpose of Briquettes

Briquettes are a kind of charcoal that you can use for barbecue cooking. It features the use of pulverised charcoal and bound together by fillers such as cornstarch. You can buy briquettes by the bag and offer heating capabilities that can last of at least an hour. It is important to note that there are different types of briquettes on the market. Make sure to get items from hardwood. As much as possible, try to avoid ones soaked with lighter fluid. These can potentially stick to your food and impact the taste. 

Cooking with Lumpwood

Lumpwood charcoal is an alternative fuel to use in cooking barbecue. The process of creating lumpwood involves charring pieces of hardwood. These lumps then become the charcoal for cooking. Unlike briquettes, lumpwood does not contain any additives. Without accelerants, it provides a natural burn and high heat capabilities. Lumpwood is readily available, and you can get these in bulk. The price, however, might be different given its features and qualities. 

Finding the Best Option

Identifying whether to use briquettes or lumpwood charcoal depends on a variety of factors. Cooking time is one aspect you need to consider. Briquettes are ideal for consistent and long cooking. It is because you attain the heat to roast a specific food type. Lumpwood, on the other hand, focuses on a shorter cooking time. When you use lumpwood, you get a higher temperature and allows you to maintain heat for a specific period. 

Another point to consider is the type of food you intend to cook. The steady heat of briquettes gives you adequate time to do items that require thorough grilling. These items include pork chops, chicken, and shrimp. Lumpwood, on the other hand, complements steaks and certain fishes such as tuna and salmon. The high temperature helps you achieve a great sear on the outside and medium to medium-rare centre. Note that attaining these qualities require experience of controlling the temperature. 

Finally, there is the option to select the charcoal type according to preference. If you feel that you can easily handle briquettes, then go for that type. You should, however, explore the benefits of lumpwood once you get the experience because of its potential to create a different barbecue experience. 

The Bottom Line

Overall, cooking with different types of charcoal can become a fun and fulfilling experience. Finding the right approach vary depending on the length of cooking, maximum temperature, and consistent heat. It starts with trying out briquettes and eventually using lumpwood once you get the experience. Each charcoal has its unique features that you should utilise to get quality results. Make sure to get quality items for each one and stay away from accelerants that can potentially damage the quality of your food.