Menu Close
Professional quality
High performance fuel
Great value
Low prices across our range
Free 48 hour delivery
On orders over £30*
Free 48 hour delivery
On all pallet orders*

A handy lumpwood charcoal info package just for you

Do you love lumpwood charcoal? This practical info guide covers the lumpwood basics from charcoal type to performance versus briquettes

There is no doubt that we are living in the consumer apex. More products. More options. More choice than ever. All the information is there. We can wallow in a sea of product for hours: reading reviews, checking photos and analysing every tech specification. Access to data empowers us to make the best possible purchase. This is both a blessing and a curse. Information overload can lead to inertia. We become paralysed in an intricate web of potential decisions. Sometimes it’s good to just keep things simple. There are certain discussions around products that seem to have always been there – even before the product plethora of today. Lumpwood charcoal is one such staple in the BBQ discursive arena. Buckle up Big K Family, it’s time to join the discussion and look at all things lumpwood charcoal.


Lumpwood charcoal – a classic choice

Meet a tried and tested figure within the charcoal pantheon. Lumpwood charcoal is a porous and irregularly shaped form of carbon that produces heat via combustion.


How is lumpwood charcoal made?

Time to snuggle up to the process of carbonisation here people. Carbonisation is basically a reductive process, more specifically the breakdown of complex substances into simpler substances using heat. So looking at charcoal we’re talking about the breakdown of wood (usually hardwoods such as birch, beech, hickory, oak and hard maple) into something simpler – carbon. The wood is burned in a minimal oxygen environment for a set duration of time. During this process, volatile compounds such as methane, water, hydrogen and tar are burned off. We are left with pure carbon also known as char. Common sense dictates that the more volatile compounds removed, the purer the charcoal. And the purer the charcoal the better the burn and overall performance.


A fresh pile of lumpwood charcoal is ready to go


How long does lumpwood charcoal burn?

Grabbing our rhetorical brush and making broad strokes, we can say that lumpwood charcoal (including Big K lumpwood charcoal) is quick and easy to light.  It burns with a high temperature, however it tends to burn down quicker than briquettes. We’re talking a 1 – 2 hour cooking time here people. So if you’re slapping some classic steaks or burgers on the grill then you’ll love a little lumpwood charcoal.


Is lumpwood charcoal better than briquettes?

We don’t think that it is case of lumpwood charcoal being better than lumpwood or visa versa. It’s more a case of which one might be better for you – given your BBQ skill set and desired cooking methodology. If you’re fairly inexperienced and looking to cook the BBQ basics then lumpwood charcoal is a safe choice. However if perhaps you are a little more seasoned, and you’re more about low and slow cooking, then charcoal briquettes might float your BBQ boat.

Now back to lumpwood charcoal. Taking an even closer look, lumpwood charcoal produces a very small amount of ash, which is great for grill maintenance, and the flavour of your food too. We believe that the best quality lumpwood should be 100% natural with no added chemicals at all. That’s why all Big K Lumpwood Charcoal is of course 100% natural, with no hidden chemical nasties or lighting accelerants added. More on Big K Lumpwood charcoal soon. Let’s keep going.


Lumpwood charcoal burns in a grill with yellow and orange flames


Wood type affects performance 

You don’t need a quantum physicist or charcoal expert to tell you that wood type is the principal factor in determining the performance of lumpwood charcoal and we include Big K Lumpwood Charcoal into this point. For as we know, we burn wood to obtain the carbony charcoal goodness.  Hardwoods such as oak or maple deliver the best results. Due to the increased mass and density of hardwood, the carbonisation process yields long-lasting ‘heavier’ (more carbon-rich) charcoal. More carbon richness equals longer burning times. Take Big K Dura for example: this high quality professional lumpwood charcoal is made from 100% White Quebracho wood that has a very high density.  This means that with this Big K Lumpwood Charcoal you can enjoy a whopping burn time of over three hours, eclipsing regular lumpwood charcoal.


Sometimes size does matter

Once the magical carbonisation process is over, we are left with different sized pieces of carbon. At Big K we’re all about quality through action so we grade our charcoal pieces by size. Basically we only use the larger graded pieces in our restaurant grade lumpwood charcoal ensuring quality and consistency in every bag.


Lumpwood charcoal is glowing red hot covered in a fine white ash


We have lumpwood charcoal on lock

Yes we could literally spin epic yarns about lumpwood charcoal for an eternity. However we know the Big K Fam is itching to pull the trigger on some serious lumpwood charcoal action. If you are looking to upgrade your lumpwood arsenal then look no further. We have everything you need enjoy lumpwood charcoal life

First up meet our tried, true and trusty Big K Lumpwood Charcoal. These hard-working characters are the go-to-guys for grilling without question. Experience 100% natural lumpwood charcoal with a steady 90-minute cooking time. It’s quick and easy to light being cook ready within 30 minutes, as well as offering a clean burn with no additives.

If you are looking for something a little extra, may we point you in the direction of our Premium Grade Lumpwood Charcoal FSC®  It is made up of only 100% natural Premium Grade FSC certified lumpwood charcoal (a step up form traditional lumpwood) and delivers all the benefits of our regular lumpwood charcoal outlined above.

Now we know some of you might have a penchant for briquettes, that’s why we have created our Au Natural Lumpwood Briquettes .These perfectly compressed beauties bring consistency, control, sustainability and performance to the table. Each briquette is 100% natural made from wood waste with no binders. They are cook ready within 45 minutes and bring you a massive 3-hour cooking time. Plus, due to their super low emissions, they are authorised for use in smoke control areas.

Want to go fruity? We’ve got you! Feast your eyes on our 100% natural Apple Wood Lumpwood Charcoal .Experience grilling on this truly unique and exclusive artisan charcoal and savour the aromatic infusion of apple into your food.

Already salivating at the Big K lumpwood charcoal potential out there? Drool on as we have even more to share. Some peeps want a pro touch when it comes to their BBQs. Big K’s Dura Restaurant Grade Charcoal delivers in spades. Each piece is made from100% natural White Quebracho, delivering a whopping 3 hour cooking time. You can light these babies up and be ready to cook within 30 minutes and they are authrised for use in smoke control areas. You will be winning on all fronts.

Finally we have one question for you. Do you Marabu? Get your hands on our 100% natural Professional Marabu Charcoal and join the sustainable movement. Marabu is an invasive thorn tree with a vey dense wood. This means longer and stronger burns. We’re talking 3 hour cooking times with just a 30 min prep time. Potency doesn’t mean excessive smoke, our Marabu burns clean with little to no smoky emissions.  Sounds totes amaze in our book.

We could go on but why not check out all our lumpwood charcoal for yourself? We sure you’ll find the right lumpwood charcoal to get your grill juices flowing in no time. Ok lovely people, we are off for a little lie down as that was an exhausting trip.

Stay safe and take care until the next time.