When it comes to grilling, there are many different types of fuel you can use. Some are better than others, and some have more advantages than others. This blog post will discuss the different types of solid fuels you can use for your grill and what makes them unique. We'll also talk about the pros and cons of each class so that you can make an informed decision when choosing the best fuel for your needs!

Solid fuels like charcoal are very popular because they are inexpensive

What are Solid Fuels?

Solid fuels are any fuel in a solid form, including charcoal briquettes, lump charcoal, hardwood, pellets, and more. In contrast, liquid fuel for grilling would include natural gas and propane. Each fuel type has advantages and disadvantages you'll need to consider before deciding.

Generally, liquid fuel is cleaner and easier to work with than solid fuel. It's also easier to control the heat with liquid fuel, which can be important when grilling delicate foods. However, solid fuels often create a more intense flavor that many cooks prefer. They can also be less expensive than liquid fuels, making them a great option if you're on a budget.

Type of Solid Fuels

Charcoal briquettes are probably the most common fuel type

Charcoal Briquettes

Charcoal briquettes are the most common type of charcoal used for grilling. They're made by compressing coal dust and other materials, giving them their uniform shape. Briquettes usually contain chemicals that help them light more efficiently and burn evenly.

One advantage of briquettes is that they're easy to find and relatively inexpensive. Their uniform size makes them easier to regulate and use, whether cooking at low or high temperatures. However, briquettes are more challenging to control than other fuels, including pellets and liquid fuels, producing a lot of ash. Briquettes often need a little help to get started, like a chimney starter.

Lump Charcoal burns cleaner and hotter

Lump Charcoal

Lump charcoal is made from wood that has been burned down to charcoal. It's then crushed into pieces of various sizes. Lump charcoal is a natural product, and it doesn't contain any chemicals or additives. Most hardwood lump coal comes as a mixture of several types of wood, but some options will specify single varieties.

Charcoal lumps are one of the most flavorful fuels available, producing great and consistent smoke, ideal for "low and slow" cooking methods and high-heat grilling. A "purer" form of fuel than briquettes, lump charcoal, can light quickly and burn very hot. Due to the irregular shapes and sizes, working with lump coal can be tricky to keep a consistent fire and temperature.

Hardwood is aromatic and fresh


Hardwood is an excellent fuel for grilling, especially if you want to add smoke flavor to your food. Hardwood comes in different sizes, and the most common types used for grilling are hickory and oak. You can find hardwood at most hardware stores or get it from a tree service if you have your source.

Hardwood is a great option for grilling because it burns hot and produces a lot of smoke. This makes it ideal for smoking meats and adding flavor to your food. However, hardwood can be difficult to light and control, so it's essential to use a starter or other method to get it going. Once it's lit, hardwood can also burn quickly, so you'll need to keep an eye on it and add more as needed.

Wood pellets are a newer flexible fuel source


Pellets are made from compressed wood or other materials, and they're a common type of fuel used for grilling. Wood pellets come in different sizes and varieties, including hickory, mesquite, apple, and more. You can find pellets at most hardware stores or online.

Pellets are another great option for grilling because they're easy to light and control. They also produce less smoke than hardwood, making them ideal for grilling delicate foods. Pellets can be more expensive than other fuels, but they're a great option if you want the convenience of liquid fuel with the flavor of solid fuel.

Choosing the Right Fuel

Now that you know the different types of solid fuels available, you can decide which is right for you. Consider the type of grill you have, the foods you'll be cooking, and your budget when deciding.

How to Choose Which Fuel to Use

The fuel choice is primarily dictated by the type of grill you have and whether it supports different fuels. Beyond what your grill can handle, choosing the right fuel will come down to personal taste and preference. Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding:

  • Do you want to add smoke flavor to your food?
  • Are you cooking delicate foods that can be easily overcooked?
  • Are you grilling at high or low temperatures?
  • How much time do you have to prepare your grill?
  • What's your budget for fuel?

Once you've answered these questions, you should better know which fuel is right for you. If you're still unsure, try out different fuel types and see what you like best. With the proper fuel, you'll be able to create delicious meals that everyone will enjoy.

There's Another Option: Hybrid Grills

The Muscle Grill is a luxury hybrid grill ready to burn any fuel

If you can't decide which fuel is right for you, there's another option: hybrid grills. Hybrid grills use both liquid and solid fuels, giving you the best of both worlds. You can use gas to get the grill started quickly and add wood or charcoal for flavor. Or, you can use charcoal or wood to get the grill going and finish with gas.

Hybrid grills are ideal for people who can't decide which fuel to use. They give you the convenience of liquid fuel and the flavor of solid fuel, all in one grill. A hybrid grill is the way to go if you're looking for the best of both worlds.

Check out the hybrid grills from American Made Grills for the best options on the market. We create high-end grills for luxurious grilling experiences. Our grills are made in the USA and use the highest quality materials. Visit our website to learn more.

Whatever fuel you choose, the important thing is to have fun and enjoy your time grilling. So, get out there and start grilling! With the proper fuel, you'll be able to create delicious meals that everyone will enjoy.

August 08, 2022 — Jason Klein