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Kingsford Charcoal In A Kamado: Can It Be Done?

Kingsford Charcoal Kamado

The thermal efficiency of a kamado grill and the long burn life of Kingsford charcoal briquettes makes them a good pairing. If you can’t immediately find high-quality jumbo lump charcoal, Kingsford is your next best option.

Jumbo lump charcoal tends to add more smoke to the cooking equation inside a kamado. It also tends to leave less ash behind.

If you frequently use Kingsford charcoal briquettes, you should be prepared to give your kamado grill a thorough deep cleaning more often.

Just note, that you should never use Kingsford Matchlight or lighter fluid in your kamado grill. The petroleum residue can permeate the porous ceramic walls giving off a butane-like aroma for several future cooks.

When you light charcoal briquettes in a charcoal chimney and pour them into a kamado grill with the dampers wide open, it can reach a maximum temperature of 500 degrees or more. Though their true strength is their ability to burn consistently at low temperatures in a kamado-style grill.

Can You Use Charcoal Briquettes in a Kamado?

Charcoal briquettes will work just fine as the primary fuel source in a kamado grill. Though you need to use classic briquettes, and not ones with accelerant in them. 

This means staying away from charcoal briquettes like Kingsford Matchlight or even starting your charcoal with lighter fluid. Petroleum products are prone to saturating the ceramic sidewalls of a kamado grill, giving them an artificial aroma.

Should You Use Kingsford Charcoal in a Kamado?

One of the nice things about using Kingsford charcoal in a kamado grill is that it burns consistently. This is great for helping you dial in a precise temperature when you are smoking slow and low.

Kingsford also makes charcoal briquettes with accent woods like hickory and mesquite in them. This is great for times when you want to pair a specific cut of meat with a traditional smoking wood.

Though you might want to think twice about using Kingsford’s charcoal briquettes with seasonings in them. Things like basil, chili powder, and other artificial flavors tend to create smoke with a strange odor in a kamado grill.

You should also stay away from Kingsford Matchlight. The petroleum-based accelerant tends to linger in the porous ceramic sidewalls of a kamado grill for several cooks afterward.

What Type of Charcoal Is Best for Kamado Grill?

Ideally, jumbo lump charcoal is the best fuel for a kamado grill. Though high-quality briquettes like Kingsford are a good fallback option.

What Temperature Does Kingsford Burn?

With a properly established coalbed and the dampers on your kamado grill wide open, Kingsford original charcoal briquettes can get up to 500 degrees or more.

Though you could argue that Kingsford briquettes shine the most when you set your kamado grill up for low-temperature smoking. The consistent burn of briquettes makes for more precise temperature control at low temps.

If you need to add more smoke to the equation, you can add chunks of your favorite smoking wood, or use one of Kingsford’s briquettes with real hickory and mesquite fibers in them.

Final Thoughts 

The impressive thermal efficiency of kamado-style grills and the consistent, long-burning performance of Kingsford classic charcoal briquettes is nearly a match made in grilling heaven. While jumbo lump charcoal is the preferred fuel for most kamado grills, Kingsford’s charcoal briquettes stand as the top alternative option. 

Kingsford’s charcoal briquettes can burn as hot as 500 degrees or more. They also do a great job of burning consistently at a low temperature, which is something kamado grills are frequently asked to do. 


Kingsford’s classic charcoal briquettes are the top option in their lineup. Though they do offer briquettes with accent wood fibers in them such as mesquite and hickory to add more authentic wood smoke to your kamado grilling experience. 

Just keep in mind that Kingsford charcoal briquettes, also tend to leave more ash behind than jumbo lump charcoal. So, be prepared to give your kamado grill a thorough deep cleaning more often.

Though not every type of Kingsford charcoal is good in a kamado grill. Kingsford Matchlight can leave an off-putting petroleum residue in the porous ceramic walls of the kamado grill, which can give off an artificial odor to the smoke for the next few cooks to come

For this same reason, you should never light your charcoal using lighter fluid. A lot of experienced kamado grill chefs will also warn against using the Kingsford charcoals that have seasonings in them, as they tend to create a burned odor, rather than flavorful smoke.