If you are anything like me, the first time I heard about a big green egg I said to my friend “sorry what? Big green egg? And she said yes. She was telling me how it makes perfect grilled and barbecued meats. I just couldn’t understand how an egg could grill. I later did my research and here’s what I found.
WHAT IS A BIG GREEN EGG
This is the brand name for a ceramic barbecue cooker which acts as a grill, smoker or oven. They come in varieties from small, medium to large.
THE HISTORY OF BIG GREEN EGG
The origin of the big egg is from the southern Japanese kamado. During the world war 2 the Japanese would carry their kamados to war and in 1970 a US veteran returned to the US with his kamado that he had acquired from Vietnam.
He thought of luring people into buying it by using it to cook chicken wings on the streets. The food happened to be so aromatic that it enticed the passers-by. When they tasted the chicken wings, it was rich in flavour and texture which meant he won them over.
From then the big green egg saw its rise on the market. History further indicates that this item was used in China during the Qin dynasty. This means that from Japan to China to the Mediterranean Sea and to other parts of the world, the tool has been used for ages.
With that said,
WHAT IS THE LUMP CHARCOAL
Lump charcoal is a form of charred fuel that hasn’t been made into briquettes (compressed coal dust block). It’s generally made from tree limbs which are charred in a kiln.
Simply, this kind of charcoal is made using the natural hardwoods that are burnt in an oxygen-free environment and it usually looks like burnt or charred wood. This lump charcoal is by far the most natural form of charcoal one can use for their grilling, roasting, barbecuing and smoking.
OUTSTANDING LUMP CHARCOAL FEATURES TO LOOK FOR
The lighting up speed
If you are a beginner when it comes to using the big green egg, you may have a problem lighting up the lump charcoal. However, it shouldn’t take you so long especially if you have good quality charcoal.
How long is the burning time?
Good quality charcoal should last long regardless of whether the pack is made of large chunks or small ones.
The consistency of burning
If you are buying the charcoal for your grills it’s important to adhere to the fact that the taste of your meats will be determined by the consistency of charcoal burning. Additionally, consider the charcoal that produces significant heat. This will give you better tasting meals.
The best lump charcoal will produce less ash remnant. If there’s a lot of ash produced there will be consequent cleaning to be done. Besides, if the ash sticks on your food, you will be bound to lose your appetite.
Do they have additives?
Some brands use additives to enhance the speed of lighting and reduce the ash remnant but this alters the smoky aroma of the barbecues.
Be sure of the content in the bag
Some brands will add fillers that you won’t use once you open the bad. Take your time to ensure that you get only charcoal in the bag and no fillers
What is your budget
While you shouldn’t go for cheap charcoal as this will compromise on the quality, you should never go for very expensive ones either as they will most likely not meet your expectations.
THE TOP 10 PICKS OF LUMP CHARCOAL
This is by far one of the most popular brands of lump charcoal. It’s made from the central American hardwood where the company ensures that they hand-select only good quality pieces of charcoal. The lump charcoal lights quickly, burns very hot and sears the meat locking in its smoky flavours.
The high-quality product is made from the dense hardwood trees trimming without other additives. It’s a natural high-quality product that makes your food acquire the natural flavours and tastes. It burns hot and sears your meat. The good news about the brand is that they practice reforestation.
It contains about 5% dust and chips which is very low.
It has 85% very large pieces of charcoal which means that you will need a harmer to break some.
Its charcoal burns at a temperature of about 459°C.
You have to break the large chunks into small pieces if your Big green egg is a small one.
This is best for your smoking purposes. It is made of 100% all-natural hardwood which is actually true since I recently bought it and used it to smoke my meats. The package has no fillers and it’s made of minimum chips and ash yet it’s a package full of charcoal.
It’s made using the American hardwood from Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. The quality of wood used makes it effortless to light. It further retains a steady and consistent cooking temperature. You will notice that the heat lasts longer and it also helps lock in the flavours.
It injects a mild smoky taste in your meats, fish and veggies.
It produces a minimum amount of ash.
For fuel efficiency, the charcoal burns fully.
It’s predominantly made of small to medium-sized charcoal.
Another handcrafted charcoal that is made from 100% natural hardwood from the South American hardwood. The choice of the wood to be used is handpicked and hand-cut as well as fired in the company signature kiln.
With the above work, the charcoal produced burns for long, it’s usually hotter and purely clean. To emphasize on the high-quality charcoal, the quality control team picks only the larges and intact lumps to keep in your bags. This ensures that you have an even consistency.
The high-performance heat charcoal is known for its low ash burn and minimized waste.
It burns twice as hot and it’s 3 times hotter than your traditional charcoal.
It renders a mild smooth and smoky flavour to your food while never overpowering it.
Has a larger ratio of larger lumps and a reduced amount of chips.
Compared to other lump charcoal, this one has small to medium pieces.
While other brands have strong chemical smelling charcoal that is hard to light and burn, this one is made using 100% natural hardwood. It lights up quickly and produces minimum waste in terms of ash. The natural hardwood used to make it has a blend of apple, cherry and oak to influence the sweet aroma, warm and fruity flavour. This will not darken your meat.
It has no chemicals added and is an eco-friendly product that is sustainable. It produces no smoke or sparks and works best for your barbecues.
Every bag has a 100% sizzling guarantee. This ensures that your barbecues are perfectly cooked and that they acquire a sweet flavour and aroma.
Lighting it is easy
It burns hot and stays on like that for long.
It contains many small pieces
Fewer in the bag than most other brands.
This is specifically created for the big green egg. It’s made of significantly large pieces of charcoal that are easy to light and produces less ash than most other packs. It also doesn’t produce flying sparks. It burns for so long giving your food time to properly sizzle and get cooked.
It uses a variety mix of woods which makes it ideal for most grilled and smoked dishes. It further emphasizes on enhancing the taste of your meal. it burns hotter but slower, clean and pure to produce the bold and crisp flavours of your meal.
It’s specifically made for kamado cooking and big green egg.
Since it works slowly, you can use a single pack for months.
Produces minimal ash and flying sparks.
If you love slow cooking, this is for you.
It contains mostly small pieces with only a few large pieces.
This is also made using the 100% natural Missouri oak, hickory and maple. The product contains no fillers, chemicals and impurities. I love its rich wood aroma which compliments the natural flavour of your fish, poultry and meats.
When it comes to its burning, rest assured that it works for longer hours producing clean fire and less ash. It burns hotter while sealing in your meat juices to produce a meal that is full of flavour. This is best preferred for kamado cooking but it will work for any other kind of grilling and smoking.
It contains mostly medium sized charcoal.
It has a high burning temperature of about 900°F.
It has about 5% chips and dust in the pack.
It produces a mild smoke which would work best for your poultry grill.
It’s a little harder to light. You will need to use more paper in your chimney.
Another lump charcoal that suits your big green egg. It features 100% spruce wood shavings and wax from Germany. It has no other additives, a form of chemicals, sap or any other substance. If you love the charcoal that will not influence the taste of your food, this odourless and tasteless charcoal will serve you best.
Unlike the other newspaper-based fire starters, this lights up faster and with a single bundle. It’s great for grills, smoking and barbecue. You may also use them for lighting your campfire.
They are light in weight and burns long to allow your food to sizzle.
They are made of big chunks of charcoal.
They are easy to light.
Has a minimal amount of ash or waste.
For beginners, you may have a problem lighting it and making it stay lit.
Here is another lump charcoal that is produced using 100% all-natural hardwood tree limbs. Having been born from the traditional culture of cooking food over an open fire to inject it with a sweet aroma and flavours, this lump charcoal gives your meal the smoky aroma and unique taste.
If you will be doing in-house grilling or cooking in the big green egg, this charcoal will suit your needs because it leaves no chemical odour and produces minimal ash. Its supreme heat production works best in searing your pork and poultry.
You use just a few amounts yet it burns really hot.
If you dislike the strong smoky flavour, this will work best for you.
It only adds gentle flavours to your meats.
It burns for a very short time.
The lump charcoal is made from 100% natural trees which not only burn clean but also gives your food the robust wood fire flavour. It burns hot because it is made from hardwood which works well if you want to achieve the searing effect of your steaks.
For those of you who love slow cooking, this charcoal when combined with your ceramic grill uses a small amount of heat to cook the food. You have a few small pieces and large pieces to help you cook at a slower and faster rate respectively.
You may re-use your partially burnt charcoal if you close the grill vents.
It lights quickly and easily.
Produces a neutral smoke which is good for some people.
The bag has a balance of large and small chunks of charcoal but never chips.
Works well for the large sized big green eggs and kamados.
Lastly, this brings the subtle charcoal aroma to your meat. It’s, in fact, good for those who don’t like the smoky flavours in their dish. It is easy to light up the coals and maintain their temperature. If you would love a low and slow smoking, the charcoal will provide a temperature of about 250°F.
It offers a clean burn with a hardwood flavour.
It would work well for your regular grilling searing and roasting.
You only need to use a few pieces.
The bag contains too many small pieces and dust.