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6 Best Charcoal for Kamado Joe [Buyer’s Guide]

hot coal at barbecue stove for gill

Disclaimer | This article may contain affiliate links, this means that at no cost to you, we may receive a small commission for qualifying purchases.

We understand that your kamado joe needs the perfect type of charcoal to perform to its fullest potential, and we also know how hard it is to find one!

We have been getting this question for a while now. There seems to be quite a rage about knowing and understanding charcoal varieties. Whether you run a professional restaurant or are planning to arrange a small party for your friends, understanding charcoal is a must to cook well.

However, with the hundreds of distinct types of charcoal available in the market, it is not very easy to understand which charcoal is best for your kamado joe. So, to help you, we have designed this guide to give you an in-depth understanding of the 6 best charcoal available in the market. Also, you will find an added buyer’s guide to help you further.

So, without any further delay, let’s dive in.

Top Charcoal for Kamado Joe

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IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Our Top PickOur Top Pickhstcstbl-table__imageJealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • 100% natural
  • Smoked flavors
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hstcstbl-table__imageKamado Joe KJ-CHAR30LB
  • Size: 30 pounds
  • Reusable up to three times
  • Burns up to 27 hours
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hstcstbl-table__imageFogo Super Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal
  • Size: 17.6 pounds
  • Restaurant-quality
  • Handpicked hardwood charcoal
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hstcstbl-table__imageRockwood All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal
  • Available in multiple sizes
  • 100% hardwood
  • Renewable
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hstcstbl-table__imageFOGO Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal
  • Size: 17.6 pounds
  • 100% natural lump charcoal
  • Suited for all-ceramic/charcoal grill
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hstcstbl-table__imageFour Winds Trading Natural Hardwood Charcoal
  • Size: 400 grams
  • 100% natural hardwood charcoal
  • Multi-purpose
VIEW LATEST PRICE →

  1. Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal

If you are looking for a variant that is all-natural and provides high performance, Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal is the perfect choice. In this pack, you will get hardwood lump charcoal that is handcrafted from pure and dense South American variety. It is 30% denser than regular oak or hickory.

Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal - 20LB
  • WATERPROOF & RE-SEALABLE BAG: Industry-leading waterproof /...
  • 100% NATURAL: Pure, ultra-dense South American hardwoods -...
  • PRO / RESTAURANT QUALITY: No sparking, no popping, and low...
  • SUPERIOR BURN: Twice the cook power (over 7000kcal/g),...

Why Did We Like It?

This product, we have to say, is a game-changer. The manufacturer uses a unique carbonization technique and does so in a small-batch production method.

As a result, the product that you get burns a lot hotter, longer, and cleaner than regular wood, briquette, and most other charcoal lumps available in the market.

Moreover, when it comes to convenience and ease of use, it does a marvelous job. With this product, you will hardly see any sparking or popping. There will also be no smoke or big mountains of ash.

Also, you can bid farewell to string pulls. This is packaged in a waterproof and re-sealable bag that completely prevents the charcoal from damp and dust. The packaging also has a small handle that makes it easier for you to carry it.

Furthermore, what’s really special about this item is the aroma that it adds. The mild aroma it emanates enhances the flavor mildly. But it does not overpower the inherent smell of the item being cooked.

What Could’ve Been Better?

After a few months of using it, we hardly have any complaints. However, we did find it a little difficult to torch it at times. This is quite common for hard lumps, but once they are lit, there’s no problem.

Pros
  • Natural essence of charcoal
  • Easy to use
  • Good packaging
  • Adds extra aroma to food
Cons
  • A little difficult to burn hard lumps
  1. Kamado Joe KJ-CHAR30LB

For pure natural lump charcoal, Kamado Joe KJ-CHAR30LB is an excellent option to consider. If you like that wood-burnt flavor in the dishes you cook, this charcoal will be a good addition to the kitchen. To know more, read on.

Kamado Joe KJ-CHAR30LB Big Block XL Lump Charcoal, 30-Pound,...
  • 30 pounds of 100 percent natural lump charcoal
  • Can burn up to 27 hours
  • Reusable up to three times
  • Made from a blend of hardwood - Guayacan, Guayaibi, Mistal,...

Why Did We Like It?

What really stood out for us about this product is that it is made out of real trees. So, you can understand how clean it burns and the kind of brilliant flavors it adds to your food. It is a blend of hardwood such as Guayacan, Guayaibi, Mistal, and White Quebracho woods.

Because it is composed of hardwood, it burns hotter than the other variants. With this, you can easily reach steak-searing temperatures. And if you use this with a ceramic grill that insulates well, you will use less heat for cooking the food. This means moister and softer meat!

Furthermore, there is a good combination or a right mix of small pieces that burn faster and also long-burning big chunks. This helps you to slow cook and simmer for an extended period of time. Thanks to the hardwood, the lumps burn slow and long.

What Could’ve Been Better?

This charcoal does burn bright and add a unique flavor to your food. However, in case you decide on buying this, keep in mind that the price is on the higher end. So, if you are on a tight budget, you may want to consider another product.

Pros
  • Completely natural
  • Burns very hot
  • Makes food very soft
  • Good for slow cooking too
Cons
  • A bit costly
  1. Fogo Super Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal

To bring premium restaurant-quality grilling to your cozy backyard, Fogo Super Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal is the best bet. It is made out of hardwood oak trees that are found in Central America, and there are no added chemicals or other harmful ingredients. Each and every bag is filled with top-quality charcoal.

Fogo Super Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal 17.6-pound Bag
  • Hand selected Large Chunks of Hardwood Lump Charcoal
  • Delicious Hardwood Smoked Flavor
  • Lights quickly and burns hotter and longer
  • Restaurant Quality

Why Did We Like It?

What’s really impressive about this variety is that it is suitable for both slow-cooking and quick-burning. It is very easy to light, as it is quite combustible. If you prefer quick burning, all you have to do is to light it up, and it is ready to grill in the next 15 minutes.

Moreover, you can totally lock in the delicious woodburn flavor and the smoked aroma by searing your food over this lump charcoal. Even the large pieces come with no filler that often adds a strange smell to your food. It is the large chunks that help you cook the food slower and longer than the regular charcoal.

Additionally, it is best used for smoking and reverse sear techniques. Also, it is suitable for a range of cooking devices. Be it a kamado joe, a smoker, or a large charcoal grill; this charcoal is suitable for all.

What Could’ve Been Better?

If you are new to using lumped charcoal for Kamado Joe, you might not be very aware that sparking is a common problem. The young small pieces in this pack sometimes tend to spark. We suggest that you take proper care and not let it cause a problem.

Pros
  • Suitable for a range of devices
  • Adds unique flavor to your food
  • Lights up quickly
  • Has both small and large chunks
Cons
  • Some pieces cause a spark
  1. Rockwood All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal

To enjoy the goodness of natural Missouri hardwood in your kamado joe, we recommend you to try out the Rockwood All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal. It is processed to add a natural, light, smoky essence that would compliment any kind of food that you put in the griller.

To know more, read on.

Rockwood All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal - Missouri Oak,...
  • 100% all-natural lump charcoal made from Missouri grown Oak,...
  • #1 consumer ranked charcoal and on The Naked Whiz' Lump...
  • Our slow burning, ash minimizing coal lights easily, heats...
  • Made from renewable, natural resources. Not a single tree is...

Why Did We Like It?

What really stands out about this product is that it is filled with beautifully imperfect chunks of charcoal. The unique shapes that they come in provide unmatched performance when it comes to cooking. These charcoal come in distinctive shapes that are quite different from synthetic briquettes.

Moreover, it is perfect for making meat more juicy and tasty. It lights up pretty fast, and in a couple of minutes, you can start cooking. Also, it burns hotter than the regular charcoal available in the market. As a result, you can easily have a slice of juicier and more flavorful meat when you use this pack.

Furthermore, we understand that nobody likes a mess after they are done cooking. Cleaning is a big task, and unmanageable ash flying around your yard or dirtying your kitchen sink is not an ideal situation.

This variant completely deals with that problem. It burns cleaner and leaves less ash-residue as compared to standard charcoals.

What Could’ve Been Better?

There’s hardly any complaint that we have with this high-performing charcoal. However, we felt that the packaging could be a lot better. A few lumps arrived in dust from, which could have been prevented if the packaging was more sturdy.

Pros
  • Less ash-residue
  • No chemicals
  • Does not have binders
  • Burns long and clean
Cons
  • Packaging not very good
  1. FOGO Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal

If you are a barbeque lover who feels that charcoal is not just fuel but a significant ingredient to good cooking, we have a suggestion for you. FOGO Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal is uniquely created, keeping in mind the significant needs of barbeque enthusiasts: flavor, quality, and charcoal nature.

FOGO 17.6-POUND PREMIUM HARDWOOD LUMP CHARCOAL BLACK BAG
  • 17.6 pounds of 100 percent natural lump charcoal
  • Made from all-natural hardwood oak trimmings with no added...
  • Lights easily and gets hot enough to grill in 15 minutes
  • Long burn time allows for low and slow cooking

Why Did We Like It?

What is best about this product is that it is made of dense Central American hardwoods that are specifically handpicked and put into every bag. This way, every bag is filled with the best variety of hardwood charcoal lumps.

Moreover, Fogo stays true to its name: fire. You can light it very quickly and can readily grill in less than 15 minutes. The heat it produces is quite high, and you can sear food in it to lock in the wood flavors and delicious aroma.

After testing quite a few variants, we can say that it does burn longer than the standard charcoal available in the market.

Furthermore, Fogo tries to preserve the environment as much as possible. It conducts the process sustainably and mostly uses tree trimmings that are already marked for removal. Also, they take up reforestation drives to ensure that the balance is maintained.

What Could’ve Been Better?

This is undoubtedly one of the best options that you can find for your kamado joe. However, we have to warn you that it is quite a pocket pinch. A lot of premium restaurants around the country use it. So, if you plan to use it for household purposes, keep a note of the price point.

Pros
  • Burns for a long time
  • Sustainable process
  • Lights up easily
  • Premium quality charcoal
Cons
  • A little costly
  1. Four Winds Trading Natural Hardwood Charcoal

We could not wrap up our list without mentioning Four Winds Trading natural hardwood charcoal. After using it for a few months, we can say with much conviction that it is one of the best charcoal that we have used for our kamado joe. To know more about this hardwood charcoal, read on.

Natural Hardwood Charcoal (400g)
  • 100% Natural Hardwood Charcoal
  • Readily absorbs many organic compounds
  • Charcoal may be used to remove toxins and chemicals
  • Excellent source of carbon

Why Did We Like It?

One of the best things about this charcoal is that it comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. As a result, it is pretty evident that you can get the goodness of both small and large pieces to cook your food to perfection.

The small blocks help in quick-burning, and the large blocks are essential when you want to simmer your food long and slow.

Moreover, the smell it adds to your food is quite astounding. The slow burn charcoal adds a unique essence of burnt wood to the meat that you cook. If you wish to slow-cook the meat, it really helps to make it juicier and adds a special aroma to it.

Also, because it is activated charcoal, you can use it for a variety of other purposes around your home and garden.

What Could’ve Been Better?

One difficulty that we faced with this product is that a considerable portion of it arrived as dust. We would say that the packaging is not very great to keep the product intact during transit. We would have appreciated better packaging.

Pros
  • Comes in small and big sizes
  • Good for both slow and fast cooking
  • Adds unique aroma to your food
  • Can be used for a range of purposes
Cons
  • Packaging is not good

Set of tools and ingredients for barbecue. Paper bag of charcoal, grill and matches. Isolated.

Charcoal for Kamado Joe Buyer’s Guide

By now, you must have developed a fair idea about what characteristics and features you should look for in the charcoal packs. Your kamado grill is a unique product, and it requires a special and best variety of charcoal lumps to perform to its best capacity.

However, you are just halfway into your journey. There are a few other things that you need to take into consideration before you decide on buying a pack.

Let’s check out what all they are.

  1. Flavor

Flavour is one of the most important things when it comes to charcoal. This is what adds to the unique aroma to your food when grilling.

You must keep in mind that a regular bag of charcoal mostly consists of a range of hardwoods, like oak, beech, and so on, and not just of one type. But different types of wood adds distinct aromas.

Lighter woods such as maple generally impart a more sweet and light flavor that is suitable for white meat. However, darker wood such as oak or hickory adds a very strong flavor and is best for red meat.

  1. Temperature

Temperature is the feature that makes it or breaks it when it comes to grilling. Do keep in mind that each variety of lump hardwood charcoal has different burning temperatures and gets lit up only at a particular degree of heat.

For example, if you take applewood, it burns at 1190 degrees Fahrenheit. Maple wood, on the other hand, burns at 1200 degrees Fahrenheit. It means that you will have to vent the fire depending on your charcoal’s compositional structure. We would suggest that you know the charcoal type well before you purchase a pack.

  1. Size Of The Charcoal

To put it very simply, bigger the chunks of charcoal, the better efficiency of fuel it delivers. To maximize your efficiency, we suggest that you look for packs with a good number of big charcoal chunks.

Bigger lumps always burn for a longer period of time and generate high heat. These big pieces of charcoal are very helpful when it comes to controlling temperatures.

Small ones, on the other hand, tend to block the air passages and slow down the lighting process.

But keep in mind that the larger charcoal chinks are mostly quite costly. The budget-friendly options sometimes contain too many fillers and small pieces that make it very difficult to light up the charcoal.

Try to avoid charcoal dust as they often clogs the grills and the smoker vents, thereby making it less combustible.

  1. Source And Quality

Source and quality is a significant consideration when it comes to choosing lump charcoal. One of your most important considerations when buying lump charcoal should be to find out if the manufacturer sourced them sustainably.

Keep an eye out for it and read the packaging properly. See if you can find any rainforest alliance or other compliance-related regulations on rainforest damage somewhere on the pack.

Coming to the quality, a good lump charcoal variety is made of 100% pure and natural hardwood with no added fillers, additives, or binders.

Verdict

With that, we have reached the end of our informative guide. By now, you should have some idea about what to look for when selecting charcoal for your kamado joe.

Be it the heating temperature or charcoal sizes, we have tried to discuss all the relevant factors for your benefit. We hope that you enjoyed reading this guide as much as we did researching and compiling it.

But before we say our goodbyes, we’d like to share our favorites with you. Jealous Devil All Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal takes the award as our overall favorite. For reusability and the unique wood aroma, we would recommend Kamado Joe KJ-CHAR30LB.

And if premium quality charcoal that lights up fast is your primary concern, Fogo Super Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal is one of the best options to consider.

And with that, it’s a wrap. Until next time. happy grilling!

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