FireCraft recommends using only hardwood charcoal. There are two main types of hardwood charcoal: lump and briquettes. Each type of charcoal has its advantages and disadvantages and should be used in specific circumstances. Here are the differences and uses:
Hardwood Lump Charcoal: Lump charcoal is made by burning chunks of wood at high temperatures with low oxygen levels. This removes the tar and other fluids from the wood and turns the wood black. To the user, lump looks just like black chunks of wood. Never use lump charcoal that includes chunks of building materials like wall-studs, baseboards, decorative paneling, etc. Look for chunks that look like natural chunks of blackened wood.
Advantages: Low ash, burns hotter than hardwood briquettes.
Disadvantages: Burns faster than hardwood briquettes, burns less-evenly than briquettes.
Uses: Ceramic egg-style grills like the Grill Dome, indirect grilling on charcoal grills like the Weber One-Touch, and competition-style smokers.
Hardwood Charcoal Briquettes: Charcoal briquettes are made by taking small pieces of wood and pulverizing them into a dense-dust that is pressed together to form a briquette. Some manufacturers use chemicals for this process and some do not. FireCraft recommends all-natural briquettes made with no fillers or chemicals.
Advantages: Burns very evenly and for longer periods of time than hardwood lump.
Disadvantages: Produces lots of ash and some argue does not give food as much of a smoky flavor as hardwood lump.
Uses: Direct grilling thin meats (burgers, steaks, etc.) on grills like the Weber One-Touch.
FireCraft carries a full line of both hardwood lump charcoal and hardwood charcoal briquettes. If you need help learning about the best way to light your charcoal, please see our lighting charcoal guide.