5 Best Lump Charcoals of 2024 for Grilling, According to Experts

Including best for flavor, long burn and more.

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Updated on January 17, 2024
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Photo by: rungsanei nambundit

rungsanei nambundit

Our Top Lump Charcoal Picks

Grilling purists are the first to say that lump charcoal is the best way to go when it comes to high-temp searing. Not only does it light at lightning speed, but it’s also cleaner, leaving way fewer piles of ash once the cooking’s done. To help you shop for a brand that’s right for you, we asked top pit masters and grilling enthusiasts to share their picks. Here are the six they recommend using the next time you’re planning an outdoor barbecue.


Fan: Rodney Scott, James Beard Award-winning pit master, Rodney Scott’s Whole Hog BBQ in Charleston, South Carolina

“I never like to skimp on quality when it comes to grilling, so for lump charcoal I look for more premium brands that are going to last longer and light easier. Royal Oak lump charcoal is known for its premium quality. You don’t have to use as much charcoal as you would with other brands because it lasts longer.”


Fan: Norah Clark, chef, Orlando, Florida

“This charcoal, made from dense Central American hardwood, delivers consistently high heat and burns longer than many other lump charcoals on the market, allowing for better temperature control when grilling. It also lends a mild smoky flavor whether you’re grilling steaks, smoking a whole brisket or slow-cooking ribs.”


Fan: Christos Bisiotis, a Michelin-nominated executive chef who once grilled over 500 pounds of fish a day at Milos Hudson Yards and Avra Beverly Hills

“The reason Jealous Devil is my favorite lump charcoal for grilling is that the size of each lump is really good. If you know how to treat your fire, it lasts for a long time, and it gives really great results to anything that you put on a grill.”

Ace Hardware

Fan: Alec Varnell, pit master at J Bar M BBQ in Houston, Texas

“This lump charcoal adds a subtle smoke flavor that isn’t too over-powering, allowing the natural flavor of the protein to shine. I use it both at home, and we use it at J Bar M as well. The efficiency of the charcoal allows it to burn for longer periods of time while conserving how much you use, which makes it a better bang for your buck. Less work with fire management and less expensive. It’s very high quality and environmentally friendly, plus it’s a Texas based brand, and we love to support local businesses.”


Fan: April Zeiher, blogger at Chaos & Wine, and avid home grill master

“After many trials and errors, this is the best lump charcoal I’ve found. It seems to have a good mix of large- and medium-sized lumps. It’s also easily obtainable at most local hardware stores year-round. It burns clean with flavorful smoke and can handle some of my longest cooks.”

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