I came across a new brand of lump charcoal at my local Winn Dixie grocery store and wanted to try it out. Most of the lump charcoal I find is full of dust and trash so the prospect of finding a quality supply was exiting.
The brand is “Fire and Flavor” and appears to be a relatively new company based out of Georgia.
Disclosure: This review is not sponsored by anyone. I bought these products with my own money.
I did a couple of cooks to check out the quality of this lump charcoal. I did a “Low and Slow” cook with some smoked chicken quarters and followed that up with some serious High Heat grilling with some skirt steak fajitas.
Here is how it went down!
Low and Slow
For the Low and Slow cook I filled a charcoal basket with Fire and Flavor lump and banked it on the left side of my Weber kettle and used a propane torch to light the back corner of the charcoal bed.
When the charcoal was lit I added a handful of hickory chips onto the charcoal bed for a little extra smoke flavor.
Oh, by the way…those hickory chips were also from Fire and Flavor 🙂
I placed some chicken quarters on the cooler, indirect side of the grill and let them smoke for about two hours.
The lump charcoal burned evenly and smoothly with no wild temperature spikes. The single full charcoal basket lasted just long enough to get the chicken quarters to my target internal temperature of 185F.
The meat was tender and juicy with just a kiss of hickory. The smoke level was just about perfect.
I was impressed with how little ash was produced and overall, just how clean burning the lump was!
High Heat Grilling
Next up we flipped the script and went out for some serious high heat grilling!
I filled up a chimney with lump and used some newspaper to start the flames. The lump lit easily and was ready for the grill in a little over 15 minutes.
I dumped the charcoal into the kettle and let the scorching coals burn the cooking grate clean. I threw on about three pounds of marinated skirt steak, stepped back and inhaled the amazing aroma of steak searing on a grill.
The skirt steak wasn’t very thick and it cooked pretty fast over the lump charcoal. I didn’t get a chance to measure how hot the grate got but I could tell it was a heck of a lot hotter than it ever gets when I am grilling with briquettes.
I spent my time at the grill flipping and repositioning the steaks to get as even of a char as possible across both sides of all of them. Tending steaks that are searing over scorching lump charcoal is a fun game!
Once the steaks were down we let them rest, sliced against the grain, etc.
I could not have been happier about the color and flavor of the steaks. There were no off notes from the flavors of chemicals, additives and binders that you get with a lot of brands of charcoal briquettes.
We made some pretty amazing fajitas with onions, peppers, corn tortillas and a few other toppings.
My only regret about this cook was that we made these fajitas for lunch and it was just too early in the day to drink a few ice cold beers.
The Final Verdict
Fire and Flavor lump charcoal lights easy, burns consistently and lets the flavor of the meat shine through. The charcoal performed equally as well for Low and Slow smoking as it did for High Heat grilling.
The lump I used had relatively evenly sized pieces, minimal dust and showed no evidence of trash wood in the mix.
Fire and Flavor lump charcoal treated me just fine and I will be glad to buy more bags in the future!