I really can’t understand why anyone wants self-lighting/fuel impregnated charcoal.

Yet, in recent years normal lumpwood is much harder to find.

Does anyone have any good recommendations for normal lumpwood charcoal as most items I’ve bought have been poor, and smell nothing like charcoal from 30-40 years ago, unless it’s my olfcatory nerves (yikes!).

I suppose it depends where you live. Some Wildlife Trusts are producing charcoal from their woodlands. There are also a number of small woodlands / coppice workers who the same - worth searching the net for anyone close to you.

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Good thought, I normally buy from supermarkets/garden centres, but for quite some time it doesn’t smell as it used to.

Got some ‘different stuff’ from Amazon last year but that was no better.

I don’t really like briquettes either.

Strangely enough, some of the best lump wood charcoal, and cheap as chips, (sorry!), came from Home Bargains, of all places.

And I never use barbecue starter cubes to get things going, but use the non-impregnated wood shavings … also available from the above.

(Other outlets are available). :joy:


I agree - will expand later - off to work.

Wurk? Whit’s that, then? :joy:

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Shitty shifts since lockdown basically (though I am able to to do it from home).


I like the chimney type starters where you put a cone of newspaper (about four sheets or so) at the base and then fill with charcoal then light the newspaper. 15 minutes or so later the charcoal is ready to be tipped out and topped up (in the barbecue).

I’ve ordered big bags online in the past from catering suppliers, much better than the stuff that stinks of paraffin.

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I recently bought some Cocoshell stuff which is made from discarded coconut shells. I haven’t burned it yet, but I’ll let you know.

When we lived in Berkshire there was a chap who made charcoal nearby. Mad as a basket, but he made first-rate stuff that lit without any effort. I agree about the self-lighting stuff which is doused in petrochemicals - yuck.



Could recommend BigK restaurant lump charcoal, 15kg box from Amazon, burns hot and no acrid odour or impregnated hydrocarbons…used chimney starter and then good to go :call_me_hand:


If not needing the lump intense heat use Weber briquettes - last longer and burn evenly for a more reliable temp. Have had no issues with either of the above and would highly recommend.

May have seen something similar when looking yesterday, though thought it was a bag. Go a standard 5kg BigK bag for £5 in supermarket the other day, but lots of tiny bits, no better than a cheaper Home Bargains bag.

Also got a ‘premium’ BigK 5kg bag for a tenner, bigger lumps but not much.

Not a huge fan of briquettes, but I managed to get some Weber ones a couple of years ago, and they’re certainly better than generic/supermarket ones if yesteryear.

Will be interetsing to know what the Coocshell stuff is like.

Yes, these do work very well, I got the Weber ones many years ago and lit it with the chimney on the lower ‘grille’ which holds the coals. Got distracted by something else and it melted the handle due to bits dropping through to the bottom of the ‘kettle’!

Gosh, I’ve had one of those for maybe ten years and have used it a lot without problems.

I’ve always used it (I think) as you describe and often with the charcoal remains from the last barbecue pushed to one side on the lower ‘grille’ of the Weber kettle barbecue. It often gets too hot to hold the handle but it’s never melted, guess I’ve been lucky since I generally light the barbecue while I’m doing something else (and since something else often includes ‘fiddling with stuff in my garage’ I’m often distracted.)

Yes, I’ve had it for ages too, think it was £17.99 (sticks in my mind) in Homebase - copies available for £5-6 these days.

I think the charcoal was mostly tiny bits and lots fell through and the heat from the bits underneath melted the bottom of the handle - starting it on an old paving slab seemed a compromise until bits dropped out as I transferred to BBQ and I stood on one barefoot once!

I really like Cowboy brand charcoal. Resl charcoal. Not oil infused briquettes.

Meijer carries it. Walmart on occasion

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Couldn’t see it on Amazon UK - my search turned up some raunchy romantic novel for the ladies!

B & M briquettes - £3.99 for 5kg bag. Easy to light with non-toxic natural fire lighters, about 30 minutes to cooking, last for at least 2 hours, burns away to fine ash, no lumps left.

That’ll do for me!



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