The Hottest and Longest Lasting Charcoal Briquettes Out There

The Hottest and Longest Lasting Charcoal Briquettes Out There

In Grill Guides & Buying Advice by marketninjas

Finding a perfect briquette is important, especially if you need one to last you for an extremely long grill or want one for a particularly hot burn. It seems that there are many options to choose from, and a lot of conflicting information. We sifted through user’s reviews and burn times to give you the best brands out there.

What are the hottest and longest lasting charcoal briquettes out there? While everyone has a favorite brand, a few specific lines seem to be the most popular.  We’ll start out with the top three.

(Click to check price from Amazon)

The Hottest and Longest Lasting Charcoal Briquettes Out There

Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes

  • Two, 16.7 pound bags of Charcoal Briquettes
  • Cook time is approx 15 minutes
  • Natural ingredients and real wood
  • Sure Fire Grooves (help coals light faster)
  • More edges for quick, easy lighting

Royal Oak Lump Charcoal

  • Burns very hot for a great barbeque flavor
  • Clean burning, produces very little ash
  • Lights quickly, gets to cooking temperature fast

B&B Natural, Oak Hardwood Lump Charcoal

  • Large Chunks of Hardwood Lump Charcoal
  • Delicious Hardwood Smoked Flavor
  • Lights quickly and burns hotter and longer
  • Restaurant Quality

We have gathered the information for you so you can look and see which brands best fit your grilling style and the taste you are going for. While there are many favorites out there, experimenting with some of the top brands is sure to help you find exactly what you are looking for.

Take note that briquettes are only one kind of charcoal, if they just are not working out for you, take some time to look into other options. Many people really enjoy lump charcoal, and there is a ton of experimental charcoal like coconut shell charcoal. Briquettes are a great option for slow and low burns, but there are a few brands that can burn extremely hot as well.

The Hottest and Longest Lasting Charcoal Briquettes Out There

When you are trying to use charcoal briquettes to light up your BBQ grill, it is important to make the right decision in your purchase. To be more specific, you will want to choose the longest lasting charcoal briquettes that will hold up for the entire duration of your grilling tasks.

Just like any other product that you could think to buy, you will obviously want to find the best quality. After all, no one wants to buy something that doesn’t work how it is intended to.

We will begin this article by going over some of the top brands that you can look into in order to find the hottest and longest lasting charcoal briquettes out there. Take a look at the list down below to get some ideas, and keep reading to get all of the details.

In addition to the top 3 listed above, here are some of the other top brands for charcoal:

(Click to check price from Amazon)

Royal Oak Ridge Briquettes

One of the most talked about brands out there is Royal Oak Ridge Briquettes. In multiple tests, Royal Oak Ridge Briquettes stay at over 900 degrees Fahrenheit  for up to an hour, and can continue to burn for a good two and a half hours.

These briquettes provide amazing results on charring and searing meats, and does not seem to have any of the negative flavoring that can sometimes be associated with briquettes! Also to note, it leaves behind less ash than other popular brands such as Kingsford Original Charcoal.

The one downside to Royal Oaks Ridge Briquettes is that they have added nitrate and/or nitrite. These act as oxidizers, which allows the charcoal to light faster and burn hotter. Some people feel like these can cause the heat of the charcoal to be harder to control. With that being said, people who use Royal Oaks Ridge do enjoy the easy of lighting.

Kingsford Original Charcoal Briquettes

Speaking of Kingsford Original, let’s compare it. It is a popular brand, but when put up against some of these top tier briquettes, it really doesn’t stand up.

In comparison to the Royal Oak Ridge Briquettes, Kingsford Original only burns above 900 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes on average, and stops burning at about an hour and forty-five minutes. That is an immense and significant difference! It is important to note, however, that it is significantly cheaper.

B&B Natural, Oak Lump Charcoal

What you might not have known is that B&B Natural Oak Lump Charcoal l is actually made made from dense American Hardwood, Oak.  Each of the pieces are also hand selected before they are placed into each bag and so it’s the best charcoal chosen by experts.  

B&B Charcoal is a family owned and operated company and has been providing excellent barbecue charcoal since 1961.  The charcoal B&B produces has no additives or filters and is naturally environmentally friendly. 

The Oak mixture is the hottest and longest burning charcoal around, not to mention the cleanest.  The mixture B&B uses will compliment any dish you serve up to your friends and family and is especially mild so that it perfectly adds a savory flavor to poultry and seafood.  


Stubbs Briquettes

Stubb’s 100% All-Natural Bar-B-Q Charcoal Briquettes was an absolute favorite among briquette users, however it seems it is slowly being pulled from shelves, and may be discontinuing.

With that being said, if you happen to see some at your local store, make sure to pick up a stock of it. These briquettes can burn at over 900 degrees Fahrenheit for the entirety of the time they last, which is about two hours and twenty minutes. It has very little ash, and is worth every penny if you can find it.

John Wayne Hardwood Briquettes

Fire & Flavor “John Wayne” Charcoal Hardwood Briquettes are another brand sometimes mentioned. While these do not stand up against Stubb’s or Royal Oaks Ridge in terms of pricing or burn time, they do add a great flavor as they are made from oak and hickory.

While these are more expensive, a portion of all of the sales are donated to The John Wayne Cancer Foundation.

Eco-Friendly Briequettes

Another alternative if you are looking for something that is eco-friendly is Coshell Charcoal COSR33 Coconut Briquettes.

As the name suggests, these are made entirely of coconut shells, and burn hot enough and long enough to stand up to the Kingsford brand. While they are guilt free and burn extremely clean, you do sacrifice any flavor you would get from traditional wood briquettes.

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How Long Do Charcoal Briquettes Usually Burn?

As we explored above, charcoal briquettes can have extreme differences in burn time. Some of the better brands can burn for well over two hours, and still burn hot.

For most brands, you can expect to get at least a little over an hour of burn time. There are, however, some things you can do to try to keep your briquettes burning longer.

How To Help Your Briquettes Burn Longer

  • Keep your briquettes close together and tight. This will help them maintain heat – pieces that end up on the edges alone will end up losing their heat much quicker.
  • If you use lighter fluid, make sure the light the fire soon after the application. The longer you wait to start the fire, the less effective the lighter fluid will be.
  • Don’t forget to maintain air flow on the coals. If you let the briquettes settle, they will cool down and die.
  • Make sure to keep extra briquettes nearby to add every now and then to keep the grill burning hot.
  • Clear ash from your grill often.

It is also important to note that if it is windy, you should make sure to cover your grill slightly with a lid. When doing so, leave a gap so that air still can reach the fire and keep it burning. Your grill may have vents for this already. If you are cooking slow or trying to smoke your meat, you will want to keep the lid closed and use these vents.

There are many methods people use to try to prolong the burn of their charcoal. A large group of people suggest the snake method, where you arrange your charcoal into a C-shaped coil around the edge of your grill.

Then, you place a few lit briquettes at one end of this shape. The theory is that as the briquettes gradually light, you end up with a consistent low temperature. This is a popular method for low and slow barbecue.

All in all, the amount of time that your briquettes will burn is always going to vary between each particular situation, but you can do everything in your power to make them last longer by following the tips that were outlined in this section.

The Best Charcoal Briquettes for Smoking

When smoking, it is more important to avoid charcoals with additives. Anything that is self-starting or has lighter fluids added will leave a significant taste on your food.

If you have trouble lighting charcoal, just invest in a charcoal chimney or other alternative starting tool. You want something that will burn clean and leave your meat tasting great.

With that being said, a lot of the brands we previously mentioned, unsurprisingly, are also great for smoking.

Keep reading through the rest of this section to get an even more detailed list on the best charcoal briquettes for smoking in particular.

Charcoal Briquettes for Smoking:

(Royal Oaks available on Amazon.  Click brand name to check price)

  • Royal Oaks Ridge Briquettes
  • Trader Joe’s 100% All Natural Hardwood Briquettes
  • Weber 100% All-Natural Hardwood Charcoal Briquettes
  • Stubb’s 100% All-Natural Bar-B-Q Charcoal Briquettes (If you can find it)

The biggest difference being that the Kingsford Original would not be at all recommended due to it’s shorter cooking time. An alternative to consider if you are loyal to the Kingsford brand is to try the Kingsford Competitive, however many people prefer the Original.

The biggest difference being that the Kingsford Competitive burns hotter faster, and leaves less ash. Kingsford also has a long-burning variant that doesn’t necessarily perform that much better in terms of burn time.

As we previously mentioned, both the Royal Oak Ridge Briquettes and Stubb’s 100% All-Natural Bar-B-Q Charcoal Briquettes have a very long burn time, and are amazing products. Many people highly recommend them both for quick and hot grills, as well as slow and low smokes. These brands are used competitively, and have a lot of popularity.

Another brand to consider for smoking is the Trader Joe’s 100% All Natural Hardwood Briquettes.

They last usually over an impressive two hours. The only downside to the Trader Joe’s briquettes is that they have a reputation for being crumbly, potentially due to the binder they use.

They are quite a deal, and would be a good bargain option if you can handle the crumbly complaints. Customers have also complained about odd synthetic fibers within these briquettes, which is not a desirable feature.

Weber 100% All-Natural Hardwood Charcoal Briquettes is another option to consider. While more expensive when compared to brands like Kingsford, it has been shown to burn quite a bit longer, sometimes up to and over two hours. One downside is that it leaves quite a bit of ash, even more than Kingsford Original.

At the end of the day, Stubb’s 100% All-Natural Bar-B-Q Charcoal Briquettes are an all-around favorite for those doing high and fast grills, as well as those doing smoking.

If you happen to see some, make sure to stock up and take advantage of this rare line of briquettes. If you can’t get your hands on these favorites, Royal Oak Ridge Briquettes are a close second, and also perform wonderfully in both applications.

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