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What Is The Best Charcoal

What is the best charcoal to use on a simple grill?

Here are some of the options out there and our thoughts. Just note that we recommend away from lighter fluid and instead use a chimney stack or other device for lighting.:

Kingsford blue

This is the standard bearer and the brand you will find most often pretty much anywhere. Some people will view it as a bit harsh but it can do the job pretty much for any task.


Doesn’t produce much ash. Seems to cook hotter and longer than Kingsford blue.

Royal Oak

One of the easiest to light charcoal on the market. Reaches a cooking temperature quickly. Light on the ash.

local store brand

Buy this for the price point. But expect more ash, harder to light and more smoke.

Trader Joe’s store brand

Trader Joe’s has one of the better store branded charcoals. They use a good hardwood product and tend to last for a good while. Look for Aldi’s to have a similar product as these interconnected chains often have similar products. It will probably be cheaper at Aldi’s if found.

Wicked Good Charcoal

This is a natural charcoal made up of carbonized wood and a natural binder. This brand is noted for as  producing far less ash than many competitors.