Charcoal Selection 101
There are two kinds of charcoal: “lump” and “briquettes”.
Our customers seem to be split on whether they prefer lump charcoal or charcoal briquettes. While hardwood is considered more ‘pure’, the briquettes offer a more predictable, consistent heat output. Any briquettes that we sell use only completely natural products such as starch to bind the briquettes together. We do not sell briquettes that contain chemicals or petroleum products.
Lump charcoal (also known as “hardwood charcoal” ) is made exclusively from hardwood and is usually left in its original shape. Lump charcoal has no additives and is not uniform in shape; some pieces are big and some pieces are small.
Charcoal briquettes are made by mixing crushed charcoal and an adhesive compound such as starch, limestone or sodium nitrate. The ingredients are pressed together into a consistent shape. A premium charcoal briquette will use only starch as a binding agent and include no further additives.
Our Charcoal Brands
We carry a lot of charcoal brands. Some come and go from our selection, others are staples that we never run out of. These are our staples and most popular brands.
Maple Leaf Lump Charcoal
Maple Leaf charcoal has been one of our best selling brands for a few years now. Easy to start with a medium heat and high burn time, combined with a low smokiness. A nice combination of beech, maple, and yellow birch.
Big Green Egg Lump Charcoal
The Big Green Egg charcoal is a blend of 100% organic oak and hickory hardwoods from the good ol' US of A. With a mild smokiness this charcoal is versatile and can be used for a variety of foods without overpowering it.
A high burn temperature and a long burn time makes it an Egg-cellent choice for everything from burgers to brisket and everything in between.
Maple Leaf Briquettes
These briquettes are all natural, using nothing but starch as a binding agent. No chemical or clay filler up in here! Their uniform shape makes for a nice even burn every time. Easy to start and consistent temperature throughout your cook. A long burn time with a medium burn temp.
Napoleon Blackstone Lump Charcoal
New to the charcoal scene is the Black Stone lump charcoal from Napoleon. We've seen an increase in charcoal grilling in the last few years, so it would only be natural that there would be more charcoal options coming available.
Made from a blend of sugar maple, beech and birch woods (from Canada!), the Black Stone has a medium sweet smoke to it. The size of the lumps are relatively consistent compared to other brands out there.
It pairs a medium burn temperature with a long burn time.
Dragon Breath Lump Charcoal
They don't call this stuff Dragon Breath for nothin'! This charcoal gets VERY hot. Much like the breath of a dragon. Funny. Made mostly of oak with a dash of hickory, this charcoal is very smoky. There is a nice distribution of lump sizes. Definitely a favourite of most of our customers.
Carbon Del Sur Lump Charcoal
A long, hot burn, with low ash production. Made from 100% natural hardwoods from Columbia - ooo exotic! Great size distribution of steady temperatures, but tend to be a bit larger than some others.
Charcoal Grilling Tip
And, while we’re talking about charcoal, we should probably remind you to think a little harder when you’re finished cooking on your charcoal barbecue. It’s not quite as easy as just turning off the gas supply. Keep in mind that the charcoal embers can keep glowing for quite some time after you’ve finished eating. If, for example, you were to dump some still-lit charcoal briquettes into a bin full of cardboard, you might have a problem on your hands.