Humphrey's Natural Lump Charcoal


humphreys charcoal bagI came across Humphrey's Natural, 100% Hardwood Lump Charcoal on another review site.  It had gotten good user reviews so I decided, hey, why not give it a shot...

So I forked over $18 (plus an insane amount for shipping) to get my hands on a 20lb bag.  I've worked my way through two thirds of the bag so far and, well, let's just say I feel a bit let down...

The charcoal burns well - it's not the hottest I've used or the coldest; I'd put it at about average for heat and burn consistency. 

And it produces an average amount of ash - more than high quality charcoals like Ozarks Oak, less than cheap charcoals like Cowboy Lump.

What irks me is that I hadn't even gotten a third of the way down the bag before hitting a ton of smaller, walnut-sized pieces.  And anyone who has used lump charcoal before knows that the smaller the pieces, the tighter they nest together in your grill, chocking off air flow - making you work far harder and longer to get a decent burn going...

Every bag of lump charcoal will naturally have some small pieces near it's bottom - but two-thirds of the bag, come on, that just sucks!  Escpecially when I can drive 10 minutes down the road and get two 10lb bags of Wegman's lump charcoal - which burns just as hot if not slightly hotter - for $12.

Humphreys Charcoal lump size

And that's why Humphrey's Natural, 100% Lump Charcoal only gets 3 flames out of 5 instead of 4 out of 5.

Who knows, maybe I was just unlucky enough to get a freakishly unsual bag - one filled with pieces from the bottom of Humphrey's burn pit or something.  It's totally possible this bag was the exception and not the norm...

So, I won't totally write off Humphrey's just yet.  But I sure as hell won't be throwing money away on shipping for more.  Unless I come across another bag in person somewhere, this is one lump charcoal that won't be gracing the bottom of my grill again...

To sum it up:

  • Price: $18 for a 20lb bag +  $12 shipping, $22 for a 40lb bag + $13 shipping
  • Quality:  sub-par - small lumps in two-thirds of my 20lb bag, no rocks
  • Performance:  average - burns hot but takes longer to get a good burn going (too many small pieces restrict air flow), leaves behind average amount of ash


Charcoal Rating: 

Average: 2 (1 vote)
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