Can You Use Regular Charcoal In A Big Green Egg (Answered)

The big green egg is one of the fanciest as well as most versatile outdoor cooking equipment one can buy. But for a new user, it is quite a bit complicated to know the dos and don’ts.

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The biggest confusion comes from the type of charcoal that is to be used. Can you use regular charcoal in a big green egg? Or do you need to go for briquettes? 

Fear not as I have brought the answer to that and more:

Can You Use Regular Charcoal In A Big Green Egg?

The one rule you need to follow with your Big Green Egg is that always use Lump Hardwood charcoal. 

That is indeed the regular charcoal to most but to avoid any confusion Big green egg clearly states on their website that products with chemical fillers in them like charcoal briquettes and especially self-starting charcoals are never to be used inside a big green egg. 

This is mostly the case because the big green egg is made of ceramic and briquette-like products containing petrochemicals will leave a nasty smell on your food if you cook anything other than a hotdog or burger using them. However, there is a lot more to know about this so just read on!!!

Can You Use Kingsford Charcoal In A Big Green Egg?

Kingsford is a well-known brand around the grilling/BBQ community and they have made quite a name for themselves selling good quality pellets and briquettes. 

As high quality as their products are, since they do not sell any sort of lump charcoal, You can not use them in a big green egg.

High-quality briquettes like Kingsford may seem just as usable as lumps, but they produce a lot of ash and can fill your big green egg up with flavor contaminants. 

The important thing to note here is that this only comes into play for a long cook so if you are grilling a quick burger or hotdog, Kingsford is alright to use. 

Even then I do not recommend it and you would do good to only use Kingsford or other briquettes in times of desperation.

What Type Of Charcoal Do You Need For Big Green Egg?

If you take a quick look at all the products the big green egg is selling, you will notice that they heavily advertise their 100% natural charcoal. 

That is just their fancy branding and what they really mean is fully natural lump charcoal made from hardwood. 

The big green egg heavily advertises this product as this is the only kind suitable for their grills. Proper Lump Charcoal.

Now, this does not mean you can only use first-party charcoals in the egg. There is a world of options in the market and you can pick any flavor/brand as long as it is one hundred percent lump charcoal and does not have any contaminants like briquettes.

Where To Buy Big Green Egg Charcoal?

The answer to this question will vary depending on your geographical location. So the safest bet is Amazon. Amazon will always have a huge selection and you can order right from the comfort of your couch. 

Their return policy also happens to be pretty great and whether you are looking for the first-party big green egg charcoal or any other third-party product, amazon will carry them.

If amazon is not available to you or you do not have many reasonable options, and for those who like to be out and about and have their shopping done in person, a visit to the local Walmart or other super shops will take care of your charcoal needs. If you need a particular product,  just remember to call beforehand.

Why Do You Have To Use Lump Charcoal For Big Green Eggs?

It’s not so much as why lump charcoal should be used but why briquettes and other kinds shouldn’t be used. Briquettes are usually compressed wood products that are pressed together into taught balls using various fillers. 

This makes them cheap and readily available. However, since they are not 100% hardwood, they burn easily at a lower temperature and produce lots of ash while doing so.

These additive petrochemicals (much like lighter fluids which also shouldn’t be used) leave a scent when they are burnt. And due to the construction of the big green egg, this unappetizing stench will linger behind and contaminate your food. 

On the other hand, excessive ashes created by burning briquettes will also cause unnecessary hassle during your cooking period.

The same thing can be said for other chemically produced charcoal products like self-starting charcoal or chemical-based fire starters. 

Lump charcoals have none of these issues. They light slowly but burn at super high temperatures and give you a clean flame without any chemical residue and ash. 

This is precisely why only lump charcoal should be used inside any big green egg.

Can You Use Regular Charcoal With Lump?

Mixing different types of fuel inside a big green egg is typically not a good idea. As the egg only calls for lump charcoal and explicitly tells you to avoid other kinds. You should not mix any other kind of fuel with your charcoal other than pellets for smoking.

Can You Reuse Charcoal In Big Green Eggs?

Yes, leftover lump charcoal can be used again at a later time. In fact, on their website, the big green egg says that almost 80% of the charcoal can be reused. In my experience, that number does seem a bit exaggerated. 

However, once you are done with cooking, you can easily extinguish the flame by closing all the airways and since lump charcoals will burn into almost nothing, leftover fuel will not be contaminated. 

Once they cool down you can store them as you usually do and use them again whenever you want. 

Or if you have a foolproof method of storing your egg while not in use, you can just leave the leftover fuel inside and reuse it whenever necessary. Just do not forget to top it up.

Is Royal Oak Lump Charcoal Good For Green Eggs?

Fun fact, the first party big green egg charcoal is produced by Royal Oak following a different recipe than their own. 

Either way, to answer the original question, yes you can definitely use Royal Oak Lump Charcoal. In fact, you can use any lump charcoal of your choosing.

In my experience, the Royal Oaks’ big downside is that the smoke is not very aromatic. Their blend tends to give you a more natural charcoal flavor and if that is what you want then by all means use Royal Oak. 

Another piece of advice I would like to pass along is that always do an experimental cook with a new brand you are testing just so that you can understand the characteristics of the brand before potentially ruining expensive cuts of meat.

Can You Use Charcoal Briquettes In A Big Green Egg?

A big fat no! As I explained many times before, briquettes are not a good fit for equipment like the big green egg. These types of fuel will burn fast but leave tons of ashes that will be a serious hassle to clean up, meaning your airways will also be blocked and the coals will burn unevenly. 

Additionally, briquettes can fill your egg up with an unpleasant chemical smell. You should always avoid charcoal products like this in favor of 100% hardwood lump charcoal.

Can You Use All Natural Hardwood Briquettes In A Green Egg?

Hardwood briquettes are advertised to be the best of both worlds in terms of fuel but they retain so much of the regular briquettes’ characteristics that I really can not recommend them for any serious cooking inside the big green egg.

It is still better than regular charcoal briquettes and can work well in a pinch. You just need to know what you can and can not use it for. 

For example, burgers, hotdogs, salmon, or anything with a short cook time can be done well enough with hardwood briquettes. But things like steak or ribs take so long that the ash problem will persist and you will not get an even temperature throughout the entire cook.

Are Briquettes Better Than Charcoal?

Briquettes were introduced as a modern equivalent to charcoal and they do serve that purpose in some cases. They are incredibly easy to work with meaning you will not face much trouble trying to light them or keep them lit. 

While the temperature can also be controlled easily. Overall it is definitely more convenient than lump charcoal.

Nevertheless, you will not get the same results with briquettes. The very things that make them so convenient also make them unusable in certain cases. So, while briquettes are more convenient, lump charcoal is still the superior fuel. 

What Burns Hotter Briquettes Or Lump Charcoal?

Briquettes always have a lot of additives in them. Their purpose is to slow down the burning and give more evenness in terms of heat. This is done through the additives lowering the temperature and keeping everything stable.

On the contrary, lump charcoal is nothing but 100% carbon, very unwieldy but boy do they burn. Lump charcoals tend to live their lives in the wise words of John Derek, “Live fast, Die young”. 

No joke though, lump charcoals will give you temperature unlike anything else but they will not last as long as briquettes. So to answer the original question, Lump charcoal burn a lot hotter than briquettes.

What Company Makes Big Green Egg Charcoal?

The big green egg sells its own brand of lump charcoal that is basically custom-made to work with its products. But since the company’s area of expertise is not necessarily fuel, they offload the work to a well-known manufacturer called Royal Oak. 

Royal Oak is given a recipe or blends by the green egg and they produce the Big green egg charcoal exactly according to that recipe.

Are There Any Big Green Egg Charcoal Substitutes?

The BGE charcoal definitely works the best with any big green egg but that does not mean that it is the only option. You can literally try any lump charcoal of your choosing and get acceptable results at the very least. 

All you need to do is always use 100% hardwood lump charcoal and experiment with different brands until you find one that is readily available to you and the results are upto your standards.

Here are some great alternative brands for lump charcoal:

  • Royal Oak
  • Rockwood
  • Cowboy Hardwood 
  • Jealous Devil
  • Fogo Premium
  • Kamado Joe

These only happen to be some we tested and found satisfactory results. Experiment with what is available locally to you and who knows maybe you will find a diamond. Get it? Cause carbon? No?….. We’ll see ourselves out!

What Kind Of Fuel Does A Big Green Egg Use?

Natural lump charcoal is the best and only fuel that should have a place inside your big green egg. It will burn fast, bright, and with minimum ash giving you perfect results in everything you fire up your egg.


Aside from the grill itself, fuel is perhaps the most important part you need to pay attention to while cooking up on a bbq. Hopefully, by now we have answered the question “can you use regular charcoal in a big green egg.” Equipped with this knowledge, we want you to produce a bbq that will bring tears of joy to the eyes of your friends and family. You can thank us later!