Lump charcoal looks more like chunks of burnt wood than compressed briquettes. It has irregular shapes and sizes, making it difficult to layer evenly. It’s less ashy and tends to burn hotter and faster, which makes for effective searing but can require the addition of more fuel over time. Some types of lump charcoal are made entirely of a single kind of wood, such as mesquite, oak, pecan, hickory, oak and apple making it ideal for smoking. Grillers who prefer it praise lump charcoal as the more natural charcoal. Lump charcoal is clean-burning and produces high heat, making it the preferred type of charcoal for many grillers. It’s made by burning wood in a kiln with very little oxygen over a long period of time to carbonize it without turning it to ash. Unlike briquette charcoal, lump fuel has no fillers or additives that can give food a charred, oily taste with excessive smoke and unpleasant odors.