Know Your BBQ Fuel: How to Choose The Right One for Your Grill

The greatest pitmasters will tell you that the best BBQ fuel largely rests on individual preference. Some swear by hardwood lumps, while others prefer charcoal briquettes. Whatever your preferred fuel source, understanding the different types out there is a big part of mastering outdoor cooking.

Some fuel types are more convenient and cost effective, while others produce more flavourful meat. Some require longer cooking times, while others are more expensive than the rest. Whether you want to grill like a pro, branch out your grilling techniques, or just want to compare options, we’ve compiled this guide to help you figure out which fuel is the right one for you.



Most BBQ enthusiasts consider charcoal as their go-to fuel. But while it rewards you with superior flavour, it takes some time to master. Everything from the placement of the charcoal to how you light it and how long you let it heat up affects your final output. Once you get the hang of using charcoal, though, you can achieve a high level of control and fine tune your cooking.

Charcoal is produced by burning wood or other organic matter with little or insufficient air. Doing this removes water and volatile elements and allows charcoal to burn at higher temperatures with very little smoke. Burning charcoal can be considered carbon neutral, provided you use high quality lump charcoal or premium briquettes made from pure, sustainable raw material. 

There are two main types of charcoal – lump charcoal and briquette charcoal. Both have unique characteristics that make them ideal for different types of cooking.


Lump Charcoal

Lump charcoal is made from pure natural hardwood. It can reach higher cooking temperatures than briquettes, and produce great and consistent smoke. It lights up quickly, making it good for hot and fast grilling cook ups, but it’s also versatile and can be used for low and slow cooking.

The biggest advantage of cooking with this fuel is the incredible taste. Since it can withstand higher temperatures, it’s ideal for searing meats and will render a subtle smokiness to anything you cook.

When shopping for lump charcoal, choose a pack that specifies the hardwood used. This is important because the type of wood can affect the taste of the protein you’re putting on your grill. You should also look for high-quality lumps, as cheaper ones contain more sawdust and can make it hard to achieve an even burn.

Firebrand’s line of hardwood lump charcoal is produced from super dense, single origin citrus hardwood. You can expect a clean and consistent burn every time. It can reach temperatures up to 400 °C, making it ideal for quick cooking, grilling, and smoking. It also imparts your cooks a lovely, light smokey flavour without overpowering the rubs and spices. You can expect a clean and consistent burn every time.


Briquette Charcoal

Amateur and master grillers alike can’t resist briquettes for their even burn. They don’t influence the flavour of the food being cooked, plus they’re less expensive but burn for longer. Their uniform size allows far greater control than lump charcoal, so you can stack them up with nice, even spaces and optimise airflow.

Briquettes can burn for at least 3 hours and only takes a short time to reach cooking temperature. They’re ideal for cooking food that requires consistent grilling temperature for a prolonged period, like chicken and large steaks. The downside is they can become very ashy, so go for brands that offer long lasting high heat with low ash.

Firebrand’s premium and professional briquettes burn hotter and longer, thanks to their unique hex design and 100% natural wood composition. It does not contain any chemical additives or binders, so you can expect a high performance burn of up to 5 hours! 


Wood pellets

If you want something easy to use that can give you a controlled burn, then this fuel might be for you. Pellets are made from a variety of trees that pair well with different meats. They burn slow and hot with an even flame and can help you achieve thoroughly smoked meat, making them ideal for slow cooking recipes. You’ll also need a grill that’s specifically designed to use them.

For real and authentic smokehouse flavour, choose Firebrand’s BBQ Pellets. It does not contain any binder, filler, or oil, and is produced from 100% hardwood for a long, sustained burn. It also leaves minimal ash residue for fewer cleanups!

Deciding which fuel is right for you will depend on your grilling style and how often you grill. You can even combine fuel sources to achieve greater temperature control while still getting that mouthwatering smokey taste. At the end of the day, what matters most is that you have fun while cooking up a barbecue!

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