Skip to Content

Kingsford Charcoal VS Royal Oak: Which One Is Better?

Kingsford Charcoal vs Royal Oak

Kingsford and Royal Oak are two of the top charcoal briquette brands in the United States. Each has its own strengths, weaknesses, and value considerations.

Kingsford Classic charcoal briquettes tend to light faster, burn a little hotter, and last longer than Royal Oak briquettes. They also tend to leave less ash behind.

However, these are not drastic differences. Royal Oak is still a quality brand of charcoal.

Where Royal Oak shines brightest, is that the price per pound tends to be lower, for superior overall value. As a brand, Royal Oak sells true lump charcoal, as opposed to Kingsford’s so-called “Lump Briquettes” which aren’t truly traditional lump charcoal.

Royal Oak is also an all-natural type of charcoal briquettes. They purport to only use charcoal fibers and natural vegetable starch as a binder. 

Kingsford uses largely natural ingredients in their briquettes. Though there is some coal dust and other artificial additives.

When it comes to choosing between the two brands, it comes down to your budget, as well as the type of charcoal you need for the occasion.

If you want authentic jumbo lump charcoal, or you have a limited budget for charcoal briquettes, then Royal Oak is the better brand. If you need high-performance charcoal briquettes, and you have the available budget, then Kingsford is the better brand choice.

Kingsford also sells charcoal briquettes that have accent smoking woods in the briquettes. This is handy if you want to grill a classic cut of meat with a traditional smoking wood like hickory or mesquite.

When you set a grill’s dampers to the lowest settings you can expect to get 3 to as much as 4 hours of burn time out of Kingsford’s charcoal briquettes. Whereas you will only get at most 2.5 to 3 hours out of Royal Oak briquettes. 

Is Royal Oak better Than Kingsford?

Royal Oak charcoal briquettes are slightly slower to start, don’t burn quite as hot, and leave behind a little more ash than Kingsford Classic charcoal briquettes.

However, these are minor performance differences. You can still expect Royal Oak charcoal to do everything you can do with Kingsford.

One important thing to note between these two brands is that Royal Oak also offers a lineup of real jumbo lump charcoal that is relatively easy to find at most major retail stores. 

Whereas Kingsford has a very limited volume of so-called “Lump Briquettes” which most people argue aren’t lump charcoal at all.

Which Is the Best Brand of Charcoal?

Kingsford’s classic charcoal briquettes ignite faster, burn hotter, last longer and leave a little less ash behind than Royal Oak. This makes them the best charcoal briquettes on the US domestic market.

However, Royal Oak is still a good brand of charcoal briquettes. They also sell jumbo lump charcoal, at a great price, that arguably outperforms even their own charcoal briquettes.

Royal Oak charcoal products also tend to cost less than Kingsford, which arguably makes them the best value brand of charcoal. Especially if you want jumbo lump charcoal.

Is Royal Oak Charcoal All Natural?

Royal Oak charcoal is touted for being 100% all-natural. It’s made from real wood fibers and organic vegetable starch binders.

What Makes Kingsford Charcoal a Good Choice?

Kingsford charcoal briquettes are a good choice their ability to light easily and burn consistently for a long time. All while producing very little ash.

They also offer charcoal briquettes with named accent woods in them like hickory and mesquite. This appeals to barbecue purists who want to pair traditional cuts of meat with traditional types of smoking wood, but still want the consistent long-burning of charcoal briquettes.

What Makes Royal Oak a Good Choice?

Royal Oak is a good choice for budget-conscious backyard chefs who still need quality charcoal briquettes at a low price per pound.

Royal Oak also sells quality jumbo lump charcoal at a great price. Which is something Kingsford can’t say.

Royal Oak’s Chef’s Select and other premium charcoal briquettes stand up to Kingsford’s Classic briquettes, but the price per pound ends up being higher.

Kingsford Charcoal vs Royal Oak Price

Kingsford Classic charcoal briquettes come with a higher price tag attached to them than the same size bag of Royal Oak. You can usually find a 16-pound bag of Kingsford classic charcoal briquettes for around $10.99 to $12.99.

You can usually find Royal Oak charcoal briquettes in a 20-pound bag for $10.99. Sometimes you can find their smaller 16-pound Bag for between $7.99 to $9.99. 

However, Royal Oak’s lump charcoal is much cheaper than Kingsford’s so-called “Lump Briquettes” at a price of $7.99 to $12.99 for a 16-pound bag. Whereas Kingsford Lump Briquettes has an average cost of around $24 for a 10.6-pound bag. 

Kingsford Charcoal vs Royal Oak Quality

Kingsford charcoal briquettes are of a higher quality than Royal Oak. Though Royal Oak’s jumbo lump charcoal is a better-quality value than Kingsford’s lump briquettes.

Kingsford Charcoal vs Royal Oak Burn Time

Kingsford’s classic charcoal bright burn for 3 to 4 hours with a grill’s dampers set to low. Though even on a high flame, you can still get 60 to 90 minutes out of a coalbed made from Kingsford charcoal briquettes

Royal Oak charcoal briquettes will burn for 2.5 to 3 hours with a grill’s dampers on the lowest setting. You can get 60 minutes or so of good flame out of Royal Oak briquettes with the dampers wide open, and another 15 to 30 minutes of smoldering flame after that. 

Though Royal Oak’s Restaurant choice and Chef’s Select charcoal briquettes can burn for up to 4 hours or more. Albeit at a much higher price per pound than Kingsford Classic briquettes.

Final Thoughts 

A lot of backyard chefs debate over which charcoal briquettes are best Kingsford or Royal Oak? Kingsford and Royal Oak are two of the top charcoal briquette brands in the United States. Each has its own benefits and potential drawbacks to consider, before trying to declare which is best for your grill style. 

Kingsford Original charcoal briquettes tend to light faster, have a slightly higher maximum temperature, and tend to last longer than Royal Oak briquettes. Kingsford also tends to leave less ash behind.

However, Royal Oak is still a quality brand of charcoal, that you can find for a lower price per pound. They also sell authentic lump charcoal, whereas Kingsford only sells “Lump Briquettes” which most don’t consider to be traditional lump charcoal.

It’s also worth noting that Royal Oak briquettes are made using all-natural ingredients such as charcoal fibers and natural vegetable starch as a binder. 

Kingsford’s charcoal briquettes use a high volume of all-natural ingredients. However, there is still some coal dust and other artificial additives.

Budget and performance tend to be the top two criteria a lot of backyard chefs use to determine which is better Kingsford briquettes or Royal Oak.

If you have a somewhat limited budget for charcoal briquettes, or you want to grill using authentic jumbo lump charcoal, then Royal Oak is probably the best brand of charcoal for you. 

If you have the available budget, and you want high-performance charcoal briquettes for grilling or establishing a consistent coalbed in a charcoal smoker, then Kingsford is probably the best brand of charcoal for you.

If you’re a barbecue enthusiast, but you have trouble sourcing smoking woods in your area, Kingsford also sells charcoal briquettes infused with accent woods like hickory and mesquite. They are a great alternative for pairing specific cuts of meat with traditional smoking wood flavors. 

When it comes to the maximum burn time, Kingsford’s classic charcoal briquettes can burn for 3 to 4 hours in a grill with the dampers set to low. In exactly the same setup, you will only get around 2.5 to 3 hours out of Royal Oak briquettes.