FOGO All-Natural
Coconut Charcoal Briquets       Home       Lump Review Index      

Quick Stats
Date Of Review: September, 2023
Purchased From: Supplied by manufacturer
Date Purchased: August, 2023
Price: $34.95 for 2 bags
Advertised Weight: 15.4 pounds per bag
Type of Wood: Coconut shell
Strange Material?: None
Scrap Lumber Pieces?: None
Smell: Fairly mild and pleasant, close to the typical coconut charcoal smell
Country of Origin: Vietnam

Key Performance Indicators

Compared To Lump Charcoal
Compared To Coconut Charcoal
Chips and Dust: Chips and Dust:
Lighting: Lighting:
Max Temperature: Max Temperature:
Burn Time: Burn Time:
Ash Production: Ash Production:

Quick Links
Statements From The Bag: Click Here
Lighting Instructions: Click Here
Safety Instructions: Click Here
Photo of UPC Code: Click Here
Contact Information: Click Here
Rate And Comment On This Charcoal: Click Here


We realize that coconut briquet charcoal isn't really lump charcoal, but have always been drawn to quality charcoal made from coconut because of it's very mild smoke, even steady burn and low ash. High quality coconut charcoal is a wonderful thing, burning with high heat and a sweet smell. And when extruded or formed into briquettes, it also burns with a constant even heat which endears it to the cook who is doing long overnight low and slow cooks.

FOGO Coconut Charcoal Briquettes are made from carbonized coconut shell, not the husks or the flesh of the coconut. We'll show you a little more about the process later on. They are made in Vietnam and so we include at right for you viewing pleasure, a map of Vietnam.

One word about the comparisons we'll be making between this charcoal and others. We now have reviewed a number of different coconut charcoals and have enough data points to draw comparisons among the different brands. So we have shown the star ratings at the top of the review to reflect both how this charcoal performs against lump charcoals and how it compares to other coconut charcoals. Note that if you view our comparison page of all brands and types of charcoal, the star ratings there will reflect just the comparison with all lump charcoals.

What Is Coconut Shell Charcoal?
For those of you new to this somewhat unusual form of charcoal, we'll describe a typical process that is used to manufacture coconut shell charcoal.

  1. Raw coconut shells are cleaned. (Not coconut husks or coconut flesh, known as copra.)
  2. The cleaned shells are then carbonized.
  3. The carbonized shells are cleaned again.
  4. These cleaned and carbonized coconut shells are then ground.
  5. Food grade tapioca and water is added to the ground carbonized coconut shells.
  6. The mixture is sent to a roller-type briquette machine. Under high pressure, the powder is formed into briquettes.
  7. The formed briquettes are then bagged.

Raw coconut shells.

Carbonized coconut shells.

Making coconut shell briquettes.

The Charcoal -- Packaging, Condition, Appearance
Our charcoal arrived via Fedex delivery. The box arrived in good condition. Inside the box, the bags of charcoal were in perfect condition. The charcoal is packaged in extremely tough woven plastic bags. There were no tears or punctures.

The charcoal arrived in good shape after its voyage from Vietnam to America. As you can see in the photo below, only a few pieces in the bag were broken. Also below you will see a photo of the crumbs of charcoal found in the bottom of bag. The amount of powder/dust/granules in the bottom of the bag was quite small, 38 grams. The charcoal is solid, dense and obviously holds together well. Here's are photos of the bag contents.

And here is the usual table showing the weights of the various size pieces:

Whole Pieces 15.0 pounds 96.7%
Broken Pieces 0.4 pounds 2.8%
Powder/Chips 0.1 pounds 0.5%

Total 15.5 pounds

And here is how FOGO Coconut Charcoal Briquettes rate on chips and dust compared to all other lump charcoals and all other coconut charcoals that we have tested:

Chips and Dust
Compared to Lump CharcoalVery Low ()
Compared to Coconut CharcoalVery Low ()

Now let's look at the individual briquettes. They are square in shape, about 2 inches on a side. They are roughly 1⅛ inches thick. The briquettes hold together quite well as we found only 6 briquettes in the bag that were broken and a very small amount of powder at the bottom of the bag.

Lighting The Charcoal
Lighting extruded coconut charcoal and briquettes is usually a challenge as they are so dense, but this was a bit of a surprise to us. We used our standard chimney starter test and it took only 4 sheets of newspaper to light this charcoal.

Ease of Lighting
Compared to Lump CharcoalLow ()
Compared to Coconut CharcoalVery Low ()

Needless to say, there was no sparking or popping during the lighting process. And the smoke given off by the charcoal is a fairly mild smoke. We'll have more to say later when we cook something with it.

Maximum Temperature And Reusability
The maximum temperature we were able to obtain with this charcoal in a ceramic cooker was 995°F which is awfully good for briquettes. In fact that is very good for any type of charcoal:

Maximum Temperature
Compared to Lump CharcoalVery High ()
Compared to Coconut CharcoalVery High ()

This charcoal will definitely get hot enough to do anything you could want to do in a ceramic charcoal cooker, and compared to other charcoals, both lump and coconut, it really stands out. Again, during the test there were no sparks or pops and the smell was again a very mild and pleasant smoke.

Also, after we let the charcoal burn for about half an hour or more, we then snuff the fire and wait for it to cool down. At that point, we give the charcoal a gentle stir to see if the remaining charcoal will hold together or turn to powder. Some of the inferior brands (and most briquettes) would indeed crumble to useless powder because the binder that holds them together breaks down from the heat. FOGO Coconut charcoal is quite reusable. We had our test sample in a Kick Ash Basket and we were able to gently shake off all the ash with only a few briquettes breaking in half.

Burn Time
Burn time was surprisingly short, both compared to lump charcoal as well as compared to coconut charcoals. Truth be told, most coconut charcoal doesn't burn terribly long when you compare it to lump charcoal, but as far as coconut charcoals go, this one only did Average. We suspect the ratio of starch binder to charcoal granules is pretty high in this charcoal, and starch just doesn't burn as long as carbon.

Burn Time
Compared to Lump CharcoalLow ()
Compared to Coconut CharcoalAverage ()

Ash Production
Probably one of the more disturbing aspects of inferior coconut charcoals sold is the monumental amounts of ash they produce, in some cases, even more ash than briquettes. So, one sign of quality coconut charcoal is low ash. The volume of ash produced when we burned a standard amount of FOGO Coconut Charcoal Briquettes was quite high compared to lump charcoal but quite low compared to the many brands of coconut charcoal we have tested.

Something you will hear any time that briquettes are mentioned in the context of kamado-style cookers is that they produce so much ash that it will block the airflow. We decided to see if this is actually true. We did a 24-hour burn at 250°F in a large Big Green Egg cooker to simulate the longest reasonable cook one might do. We controlled the temperature using a SMOBOT controller which doesn't use a blower to control the temperature. (A blower would force a gap in the ash to allow airflow.) Would the ash block the airflow and snuff the fire? Well during most of the test, the SMOBOT had the damper at 31%. At the end of the test the damper was at 40% indicative of the airflow being slightly restricted by the ash and the SMOBOT having to open the top vent a bit more. But how much was the airflow restricted? Here are some photos:

As you can see, there was plenty of room left for more ash and the airflow was not significantly blocked. So yes, Virginia. You CAN use this charcoal in a ceramic charcoal cooker.

Ash Content and Production
Compared to Lump CharcoalVery High ()
Compared to Coconut CharcoalLow ()

Smoke, Odor and Food Flavor
Bad coconut charcoal smells like a bad cigar. Good coconut charcoal has a mild and slightly sweet smoke. The smoke that comes off this charcoal is somewhere closer to the mild and sweet end of the scale. The smoke is indeed mild and pleasant. As for the taste it imparts to your food, we tried cooking two different meats at two different temperatures.

The first cook was a chicken breast roasted at 385°F in a Big Green Egg Minimax cooker. There was no rub, no sauce. It was just fire and meat. You don't expect much smoke from the charcoal at this higher temperature and indeed the chicken turned out with just the slightest hint of smoke. We found the chicken to have a very pleasant flavor to it.

The second cook was a pair of pork steaks cooked at 250°F, again in a Big Green Egg Minimax cooker. Again, there was no rub and no sauce, just fire and meat. At this lower temperature, there was more smoke during the first half of the cook. And again, we found the flavor of the pork to be quite pleasant, with a moderate amount of smoke flavor to it.

Use For Grilling
Since this charcoal is essentially just charcoal briquettes (except, of course, for the coconut), we are sure that many cooks would want to use this charcoal in a grill such as a Weber kettle. So for this test, we measured the temperature in a Weber Smokey Joe grill at the grid level with the lid off when burning a single layer of charcoal pieces. Here is how the grid temperature with this coconut charcoal compared to a quality briquette, a popular lump charcoal, and two brands of extruded coconut charcoal:

Charcoal BrandGrid Temperature
Blazing Coco extruded coconut charcoal624°
Komodo CoCo Char extruded coconut charcoal600°
FOGO coconut charcoal briquettes546°
Royal Oak Lump Charcoal515°
Wicked Good Charcoal Briquettes 450°

While the early average temperature measured 546°F, we saw spikes as high as 660°F and dips to as low as 496°F. However, this was only for the first 15 minutes. After that, the temperature averaged only 416°F for the next 35 minutes. This was because, as we have seen, this charcoal generates quite a lot of ash and the briquettes ashed over quickly. This layer of ash then acts like insulation and keeps some of the heat from radiating outward. However, 416°F is only slightly lower than the Wicked Good Charcoal briquettes, a very good brand of briquettes.

You can purchase this charcoal from the FOGO website in 15.4 pound bags. You can also purchase this charcoal from Ace Hardware.

If you want to use briquettes and are aware of the advantages they bring while tolerating the disadvantages they can bring, these FOGO Coconut Charcoal Briquettes are certainly comparable, if not better, in performance to most briquettes. While they are quite a bit more expensive than the ubiquitous Kingsford briquettes, they are not that much more expensive than the higher-quality B&B briquettes. If you are looking for reasonably-priced coconut charcoal, this is certainly one to try. If we regularly reviewed charcoal briquettes, we would be inclined to give these briquettes our Recommended rating.

But of course in the end, when assigning our ultimate rating to any charcoal, be it lump, briquette or coconut, we rate it in comparison to all other brands of lump charcoal. Looking at FOGO Coconut Charcoal Briquettes compared to all other lump charcoals, while doing remarkably well on lighting, chips/dust, and max temperature, it stumbles on burn time and ash production. We give it our Above Average rating.

To the left is the rating that our readers have given this charcoal. If you have used this charcoal and would like to rate it and leave your comments, Click Here

To view reader ratings of all brands, Click Here.

Contact Information

FOGO Charcoal
610 W 18th Street
Hialeah, FL 33010

Telephone: 877-700-3646

Statements From The Bag

"Made From Coconut Shells", "For Everyday Grilling", "Premium All-Natural Charcoal", "Low Smoke", "2X Heat & Duration", "Less Ash", "The First Ingredient"

"Why Our All-Natural Coconut Charcoal Briquets?", "2X Superior Burning", "Clean Burn", "Natural Binder", "Wood-Fire Flavor", "Enhance Your Grilling Experience", "Made in Vietnam"

"100% Satisfaction Guaranteed
If you are not fully satisfied with your purchase please return the bag to us and we will issue a full refund to you or send you a replacement bag!"

Lighting Instructions

"Master The Fire The Natural Way Following Three Simple Steps:

1 – Place 2 FOGOstarters inside your FOGO Blazaball and light them up! The All-Natural FOGOstarters light easy and fast.

2 – Locate your Blazaball inside of your grill and pile your favorite FOGO Charcoal on top of the lit starters.

3 – Enjoy The Experience. Grab an ice cold beverage while the FOGO gets ready in about 15 minutes."

Safety Instructions


Photo of UPC Code

About This Review

If you are unfamiliar with our testing procedures, you may wish to read How We Review Lump Charcoal before reading this review. Also, you can read How We Score Lump Charcoal to learn about our scoring system.

Prices listed in our reviews are current as of the date of the review. We do not attempt to keep these prices current.

The conclusions and final rating given any charcoal are based upon the opinion of the author. We recommend that you use our rating only as a guide. You should read the entire review and decide what is important to you in making any buying decision.

Performance ratings are designated with stars, 1 star being the worst and 5 stars being the best:

= Performance is Far Below Average
= Performance is Below Average
= Performance is Average
= Performance is Above Average
= Performance is Far Above Average

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon at the bottom right corner. Click on the icon to display the image in a new larger window. If you wish to ensure that you are seeing photographs the same way that we are seeing them, we recommend that you calibrate your monitor to a PC-normal gamma of 2.2. You should be able to see the difference between blocks A, B and C below, as well as the difference between blocks 3, 4 and 5.


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