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How to choose charcoal

When you’re using a charcoal BBQ, you need to choose your heat source – lump charcoal or briquettes. Don’t worry – you got this!

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Lump Charcoal

Lump charcoal, which is naturally irregular in shape and size, is the purest form available, made without any additives. It lights quickly, cooks hotter and leaves less ash behind than briquettes, which is helpful if you’re cooking on a grill that doesn’t have a lot of space for ash to collect. It also gives your food that delicious smoky flavour often associated with charcoal BBQs.


Briquettes are made from the bits of charcoal leftover when lumps are created. Additives are used to bind everything together and create uniform pieces of charcoal. Briquettes don’t burn as hot as lumps, but they do last much longer.

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Hot and fast

If you want to get a good sear on a steak, lump charcoal will give you that extra heat and help you seal in the meat’s juices.

Slow and low

Briquettes, on the other hand, will serve you well if you are grilling fish, slowly cooking pork tenderloin or cooking for a crowd at a picnic.

A combination

Consider combining lump charcoal and briquettes to get the best of both worlds.