A charcoal review? Really? Just how big of a of a grill geek am I?!?
Pretty darned big, thank you very much.
Forestlumps is a new lump charcoal on the market. It’s claim to fame is that it is made from 100% European beechwood – no scrap lumber, no trash woods. It’s also sifted and packed in such a way that you get more uniform medium-sized chunks of lump and fewer huge or tiny pieces.
You remember the “Contents may settle due to handling” statement on your cereal box? The same things can happen to lump charcoal, which is pretty brittle. To protect the charcoal from damage during shipping, Forestlumps uses a neat packing method of putting 2 – 10 pound bags of charcoal in a sturdy box.
I’ve cooked my way through a 20-pound box of Forestlumps charcoal, doing both low and slow cooks and hot and fast ones. In all cases the charcoal was more medium-sized and consistent in size than I’ve see using Big Green Egg, Royal Oak, or Nature-Glow charcoal. There was almost no dust and very few tiny pieces (fines).
The charcoal lights easily and the fire spreads quickly with not much sparking and no popping from the MAPP torch. I noticed that even during the white smoke phase, where a lot of nasty volatile organics are getting burned off, the smoke still smell good. No bitter or sharp odors. When the smoke switched over to blue, it got sweeter and nuttier.
This is a hotter-burning lump and I did have the heat get ahead of me a couple of times, so you might want to close your vents down a little more than you normally would.
I like the boxes for storing the charcoal and the smaller bags for handling it. At $25 for 20 pounds, and free shipping if you order 2 or more boxes, it is comparable with what I pay for any other brand.