7 Simple Steps to Producing Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal

by | Apr 28, 2022 | 2 comments

Hardwood lump charcoal is a favorite among BBQ enthusiasts for its pure, smoky flavor and high heat. It’s essential to distinguish it from coconut charcoal briquettes, which often contain additives or binders. Hardwood lump charcoal is made by burning wood until it becomes carbonized, resulting in irregular chunks that ignite quickly and provide an authentic, natural taste to your grilled dishes. Because of its versatility and clean burn, it is the go-to pick for barbecue enthusiasts who want to capture that signature smoky flavor. Remember that real hardwood lump charcoal, not charcoal briquettes, provides the best grilling experience possible.

Here at Grand Royal Coco, we produce hardwood lump charcoal at its finest while keeping environmental sustainability in mind. We only use wood waste from the lumber industries as our raw materials so that no new trees are cut down for production purposes. We source the best types of hardwoods that produce a high heat level with a long burning time such as mahogany, acacia, tamarind, fruitwoods, and teak wood. They have high calorific values of up to 4,000 calories with a long burning time of up to 4 hours, making them perfect for heating and grilling applications.

We strictly adhere to our production standards from the raw material selection to the packaging process to yield the best quality hardwood lump charcoal with a high fixed carbon of up to 80%, minimum ash below 2%, and low moisture of less than 5%. These specifications translate to a long burning time, and a high heat level and do not produce any sparks or smoke when burned. In addition, our hardwood lump charcoal releases a naturally pleasant wood aroma that generates a calming effect, enhances the flavor and elevates your barbeque experience.

Crafting Excellence: The Secrets Behind Our World-Class Hardwood Lump Charcoal

So let’s get down to business. How do we make one of the world’s best hardwood lump charcoal in the market? What we are about to share with you are truly tried-and-true methods that have been perfected over many years, making sure that every piece of charcoal we make is of the highest quality. Here are the long-kept-secret steps:

1. Choosing Raw Materials for the Hardwood Lump Charcoal

Hardwood Lump Charcoal Raw Materials Indonesia
Hardwoods are the best material when it comes to producing high-quality lump charcoal. Selecting the right hardwood is fundamental to producing top-tier lump charcoal, and we have found that certain hardwoods stand out as exceptional choices. Some of the most popular hardwood trees for this purpose include mahogany, tamarind, acacia, fruitwoods (coffee and rambutan), and teak wood. 

We use mahogany wood waste, particularly the branches and twigs as our raw material in our charcoal production because it produces a high heat level with a long burning time. In addition, mahogany woods are relatively more readily available than any other types of hardwood such as teak. Mahogany trees are also known to have a shorter harvest period compared to teak trees, contributing to a more sustainable and efficient production process. Acacia wood, known for its durability and excellent burning properties, has also earned its top place among our preferred hardwoods.

It is worth noting that not all types of hardwood trees are suitable for making hardwood lump charcoal. Take rubber trees, for instance. Although classified as hardwoods, it contain a lot of sap with high moisture content that lowers the heat output, reduces burning time and causes sparks when burned. Therefore, careful selection of hardwood material is crucial in crafting the highest-quality lump charcoal.

2. Placing Hardwood Lumps into the Charcoal Kilns

Lump Charcoal Ready for Burning Carbonization
Once the raw materials have been prequalified, they are then transported into the dome-shaped kilns for carbonization. These kilns are specifically designed and optimized to allow maximum carbonization of the hardwood lumps. They are powered by mixed wood twigs that are shuffled and burned inside the kilns as fuel.
Careful attention must be paid to the way these woods are arranged inside the charcoal kiln. They should be organized in a circle and not too tight with respect to each other so that the hot steam resulting from the combustion of the wood fuel could circulate effectively throughout the kiln making even carbonization possible.
If the hardwood arrangement is too tight, the hot steam circulates only in certain areas of the kiln causing some parts of the hardwood lump to stay uncarbonized. This partially carbonized charcoal appears to be black on the outside but remains woody brown inside.

3. Sealing the Charcoal Kilns

How To Make Hardwood Lump Charcoal Sealing the Kiln

Once the hardwood waste is properly arranged, we start laying bricks to completely seal the kilns with the aid of sand and cement while leaving a hole at the front for burning the wood fuel and small holes at the sides to vent out any residue resulting from the burning process.

It is important to properly seal the kiln to block any wind and minimize the amount of oxygen present in the carbonization process to ensure the resulting charcoal contains a high percentage of fixed carbon and high calorific values.

4. Burning the Hardwood Lumps

Burning Hardwood Lumps

Once sealed, the carbonization occurs indirectly through the hot steam produced by the combustion of the wood fuel at 400°C for 5 days in a low oxygen environment. The dome shape of the kiln helps keep the temperature constant throughout the process for optimal carbonization.

As the hot steam gradually carbonizes the hardwood lumps, methane, hydrogen and tar residues are released and vent out through the holes at the sides of the kilns.

5. Cooling the Hardwood Lump Charcoal with the “Dry Method”

Hardwood Lump Charcoal Cooling Down Process
After 5 days, the fuel combustion is put to a halt for the cooling process to begin. At Grand Royal Coco, we implement the “dry cooling method” whereby the charcoal is left to cool down to room temperature on its own for 7-9 days without external interventions.
During the cool-down process, no leaks should be present either at the kiln door or from any other parts of the kiln. If a leak is present, oxygen will go into the kiln and directly ignite the lump charcoal causing it to be completely burned and turn into ashes.
Although the “dry cooling method” takes a relatively long time to cool down, this dry approach is proven to yield high-quality hardwood lump charcoal with low moisture content. Some producers often spray or splash water into the lump of charcoal to speed up the cooling process. However, the water will be absorbed by the charcoal and deteriorate the shape and quality of the charcoal at the end. It will not have a solid shape and contain a high water content that results in sparks when burned and a shorter burning time as the charcoal is not completely burned when in use for heating or grilling.


6. Removing the Hardwood Lump Charcoal from the Kiln

Hardwood Lump Charcoal Carbonized Export Quality
Before we unseal the charcoal kiln for harvest, care must be taken to ensure the kiln has completely cooled down to room temperature by touching the outside part of the kiln. This is to avoid any ignition of the lump charcoal by a sudden increase of oxygen from the ambient that could turn the charcoal into ashes.
Once the hardwood lump charcoal has properly cooled down, it will be removed from the charcoal kiln and trimmed according to size classifications for each grade. Hardwood lump charcoal with Grade A has a uniform chunk shape with a size of ± 5 cm (± 2.0”) for export. Grade B contains sticks with a size of ± 20 cm (± 7.9”) typically for domestic use and occasionally exported based on client’s order request. Lastly, Grade C covers small chunks with mixed sizes used as a raw material for hardwood charcoal briquettes.

Hardwood Lump Charcoal Sizes and Grades

7. Packaging Process

Hardwood Lump Charcoal Packaging
Once ready for packing, the hardwood lump charcoal is then classified according to the wood types and grades and packed into polypropylene or brown kraft paper bags each weighing around 10 kg -15 kg (22 lb – 33 lbs). Each bag contains hardwood lump charcoal with the same grade, size, and wood type to ensure the high consistency and quality of the end products we deliver to our clients.

At Grand Royal Coco, we accept custom packaging requests tailored to your market needs. We offer a wide range of packaging materials and custom labels that give added value to your business. Here are some amazing packaging inspirations from the top-reviewed hardwood lump charcoal for BBQ and grilling for your consideration when designing your custom packaging.

If you are looking to create the perfect charcoal product for your market at scale and take your charcoal business to the next level, get in touch with us now for a free consultation and find out how we can best help you. We’ll work closely with you to come up with a plan that best fits your goals and strategy. From helping you choose the best hardwoods for your lump charcoal to coming up with custom packing solutions and reliable shipping services, we are here to ensure your success. Let us help you turn your charcoal business into a thriving market-leading enterprise starting today.