One of the biggest questions you may ask yourself this summer is what  charcoal you should be putting on your BBQ, lumpwood charcoal or briquettes? Both charcoals have their place in the world of barbecuing for different reasons. In this article we will go through their differences and which charcoal will suit your needs the best. 

Lumpwood Charcoal

Lumpwood charcoal is created by burning wood very slowly without any oxygen, the process is also known as carbonising. The long burn allows all of the moisture and contaminants trapped within the wood to be burnt away, leaving you with pure carbon. Lumpwood charcoal is primarily made from hardwoods, such as oak and beech. These hardwoods offer unique smoked aromas to the charcoal that are often associated with BBQ food

Lumpwood charcoal is easy and quick to light, burning with a high temperature over an extended period of time. Making it the perfect option for professional kitchens and caterers. Our lumpwood charcoal range is natural, meaning you will not end up with food that tastes like lighter fluid. Here at The Green Olive Firewood Company, we only use the highest quality restaurant grade charcoal. So, you can rest assured that you will receive a natural, sustainable lumpwood charcoal that can go the distance. 


Charcoal briquettes are a more compressed version of lumpwood charcoal. They are made by crushing lumpwood charcoal into a fine powder, once this step is complete a natural starch binding agent is added. After the agent has been combined the mixture is then compressed into the briquette shapes that we are so used to. 

Lighting charcoal briquettes is exactly the same as lightning lumpwood charcoal. To get your BBQ started, why not use our natural firelighters? All you have to do is light the firestarter and wait for the briquettes to start glowing red with an ash over them before you start to cook. Briquettes tend to not burn as high as lumpwood charcoal, but they still get extremely hot. The difference is the burn with briquettes is more of a reliable and constant temperature. This allows you to cook low and slow for bigger pieces of meat like brisket and lamb shoulder. Our long burn Charcoal Briquettes are perfect for those home BBQs as well as professional kitchens. 

Which Should You Choose?

Both lumpwood charcoal and briquettes have their advantages, the only thing you need to consider when deciding which to choose is decide what type of cooking you plan to do. If you want to cook a larger piece of meat slowly or need a nice easy consistent heat for cooking with, then briquettes would be the best choice for you. On the other hand if you want to get the food to your guests quickly or you want maximum flavour with a professional longer cook then, lumpwood charcoal is the one you are looking for. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to barbecuing, it’s all about having fun and trying something new. If you can’t decide which to choose, then try both!

Here at The Green Olive Firewood Company, we offer a wide range of natural charcoal including lumpwood charcoal and briquettes that are made from ethically sourced and sustainable wood products. Our natural West Sussex Lumpwood Charcoal is produced at our farm in West Sussex using local British Hardwoods from managed woodlands. All the products we source come from farms, or woodlands with clear woodland management programmes. We pride ourselves on ensuring high quality and responsibility across our entire supply chain, to make sure our customers receive the best possible charcoal. See our natural charcoal range. To stay up to date with everything we do, follow us on Instagram and Twitter