You might have heard rumors that you should not mix lump charcoal with briquettes. The truth is, you can and you should! If your grill has an automatic charcoal bin, then the process is a little easier.
All you need to do is open the lid of the bin and let both charcoal types rest for about 15 minutes so that they can fully exchange air and cool down a bit. After which, put them back into the auto feeder on your grill. You’ll be able to enjoy your favorite barbecue meals without any issues.
But if your grill doesn’t have an automatic coal feed system, then things get a little more complicated…and interesting too! This article will give you all the information that you need to properly mix lump charcoal with briquettes on your own homemade charcoal grill or smoker pit.
What is Lump charcoal?
Lump charcoal is a very coarse form of charcoal that is made by piling up large chunks of coal, wood, and other organic materials to create a light gray, lumpy substance. Lump charcoal is the same as lump coal, but it’s often sold under the generic name of “charcoal”. Lump charcoal is one of the oldest forms of charcoal, used by people all over the world for thousands of years.
The ancient Egyptians used charcoal to create the black pigment called “Wood Black”. Romans and Chinese used charcoal to create glass and paper. In fact, charcoal was one of the first synthetic materials used by humans. The popularity of charcoal grills has made lump charcoal more popular than ever before. It has become a popular choice for home cooks and professional chefs alike.
Differences between Lump and Briquette Charcoal
Lump charcoal has the same ash content as briquette charcoal, which is about 25-35%. But the relative percentage of carbon and ash is completely different. Briquette charcoal contains about 25% carbon and 65% ash. Lump charcoal has about 30% carbon and 70% ash. If you look at briquette charcoal’s chemical constituents, you’ll notice that it has hydrogen, chlorine, and sulfur.
These elements are used to create certain flavors in foods and to make certain chemicals. On the other hand, lump charcoal doesn’t contain these elements at all. That’s why lump charcoal is usually sold at a lower price than briquette charcoal.
How to Mix Lump Charcoal with Briquettes
Simply put, you’ll need to put lump charcoal in an area of your grill where briquettes are already sitting. The briquettes will heat up and burn, creating a lot of smoke. The smoke will be trapped between the two types of charcoal, helping you to get the full benefits of both.
This method has quite a few benefits. It lets you use lump charcoal instead of rich briquettes for less money. It also reduces the amount of ash and CO2 released into the atmosphere when you use lump charcoal.
Benefits of Mixing Lump Charcoal With Briquettes
Less Smoke – If you’re trying to keep the environment safe, but still want the flavor and heat of charcoal, you’ll be happy to know that using briquettes and lump charcoal together reduces the amount of smoke released into the air by about 40%.
More Flavor – The ash that is released when you use lump charcoal with briquettes is usually very fine and doesn’t cause much of a mess. It also has no sulfur, chlorine, or other bad chemical elements that are present in briquettes. So you’ll get a lot of great flavor and aroma from it!
Better Heat Transfer – You’ve probably noticed that lump charcoal burns really hot while briquettes are more towards the middle of the heat spectrum. That’s because lump charcoal is made of a lot more carbon than briquettes.
The problem is, carbon doesn’t transfer as much heat as other elements do. Using briquettes and lump charcoal together solves this problem.
Can’t mix lump charcoal with briquettes?
Yes, you can! It’s actually a good idea to use lump charcoal with briquettes because it lets you use two types of charcoal in the same grill. The lump charcoal will help you get the extra heat that you need from the briquettes while reducing the amount of ash released into the air.
The only thing is that you have to make sure that the grill is thermally balanced. If one type of charcoal is hotter than the rest, it can actually cause the grill to get too hot.
There are a lot of myths and misconceptions when it comes to mixing lump charcoal with briquettes on your own homemade charcoal grill or smoker pit. These are just a few of them.
Myth – You should never mix lump charcoal with briquettes because they explode. The truth is, you should never mix lump charcoal with briquette because briquettes can explode when you light them.
Myth – You shouldn’t mix lump charcoal with briquettes because they are too fragile.
Again, the truth is, you shouldn’t mix lump charcoal with briquettes because they are too fragile to be mixed. Lump charcoal is much more robust. So, mixing both kinds of charcoal is a great idea!
Question – What is the best way to mix lump charcoal with briquettes?
Answer – You can place a hot briquette directly on top of a fresh lump of charcoal. The two types of charcoal will easily absorb the heat from the briquettes and blend together.
Question – What are the best types of grills to use with lump charcoal?
Answer – You can use lump charcoal in most types of outdoor grills that are fueled by charcoal. You can also use lump charcoal in a charcoal grill or smoker pit. Just make sure that the charcoal is heated up and that the lid is sealed properly. You should also keep in mind that lump charcoal burns hotter than briquettes do, so you might want to only use it on the outer part of the grill.
Question – How can I avoid mixing lump charcoal with briquettes?
Answer – Make sure that you only use briquettes in your grill when you’re using lump charcoal. And if you do end up using briquettes, make sure they’re fully ignited before you put them on the grill. Make sure that the coals are as red as they can be and that they aren’t cooler than the briquettes. These are just a few of the most common questions that people have about mixing lump charcoal with briquettes. If you’d like to learn more, check out our FAQ page!