Publix Greenwise Lump Charcoal       Home       Lump Review Index      

Quick Stats
Date Of Review: February, 2009
Purchased From: Publix
Date Purchased: October, 2008
Price: 4.99
Weight: 8.8 pounds
Burn Time:
Ash Production:
Type of Wood: Unknown
Strange Material?: Scraps of paper
Scrap Lumber Pieces?: None
Smell: Moderately strong American hardwood smoke
Country of Origin: Unknown

Quick Links
Other Information: Click Here
Unusual Or Unique Statements: Click Here
Statements From The Bag: Click Here
Lighting Instructions: Click Here
Photos of Contents: Click Here
Other Photos: Click Here
Photo of UPC Code: Click Here
Contact Information: Click Here

Rate And Comment On This Charcoal: Click Here


We found this charcoal in a Publix store when visiting Hilton Head Island this past year. We were prepared to strap it on top of the car in order to get it back home for a review, but fortunately, it fit on top of all the other crap we have to take. Actually things were a bit tight since we now take our dog to Hilton Head, but we digress....

As far as the contents and size of pieces go, this was truly a tale of two bags. For reasons unknown, we had to open one of the bags to extract a sample, leaving the other bag for the sorting and weighing task. Since we had a bag open, we dumped it out to grab the quantities needed for the maximum temperature test and the burn time test. We were quite disappointed to find nothing larger than the small to medium size. Nothing big and nothing truly medium. Thus it was that we grumbled a bit as we dumped out the second bag for the official sorting only to find a marvelous distribution of sizes. This table shows the results from the "good" bag:

Large 2.0 pounds 20.9%
Medium 3.6 pounds 38.4%
Small 2.8 pounds 30.4%
Chips/Dust 0.5 pounds 5.1%
Uncarbonized Wood 0.5 pounds 5.2%

Total 9.4 pounds

Note that there was 5% by weight of uncarbonized pieces. This was quite high and if you combine it with the 5% small chips and dust, you end up with 10% of the bag not really being usable. However, the "bad" bag, having a lousy distribution, also had no uncarbonized pieces. So there you have the tale of two bags. But, 10% unusable ranks "low" compared to other charcoals, while 5% would rank "very low".

While sorting the "good" bag, we found one small rock and a small piece of charred paper. Otherwise, there was no scrap and no other funny stuff. (We didn't really sort the "bad" bag, but we didn't find anything funny in it.)

As for the type of wood used, we don't know for sure, but we suspect this is your typical blend of various American hardwoods.

In our chimney starting test, this charcoal took 3.5 sheets of newpaper to get going which is low compared to other charcoals. The smell of the smoke was the typical American hardwood smoke. While burning in the chimney starter, the charcoal sparked very little with no popping. When we used a MAPP torch to start this charcoal, we did get significant sparking and some serious popping, so as always, exercise care if using any type of torch to light charcoal. One other observation was that this charcoal seem to be smokier than most American hardwood charcoals we've tried. This was noticed when burning the charcoal in the chimney starter and there was no bark or other uncarbonized pieces involved as we had manually removed these pieces during sorting.

In our maximum temperature test, the charcoal burned at about 880 degrees which is only average compared to all other charcoals. And again, it sparked a little with almost no popping. The fire spread relatively quickly as the fire grew and came up to temperature.

When it came time to test the burn time, this charcoal did a great job and burned a very long time compared to other charcoals. And finally, the ash production of this charcoal was very low compared to other charcoals. So, in trying to determine what rating to give this charcoal we are a bit perplexed over the two very different bags we bought. If we could have taken the best aspects of both bags, Publix charcoal would have easily gotten a highly recommended rating. In view, though, of the fact that you just can't guarantee that you will be getting a good bag every time you make a purchase, we feel we can only give this charcoal our Recommended rating. Still, a very good charcoal.

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Other Information


Unusual or Unique Statements


Statements From The Bag

"100% Natural Wood Charcoal", "100% Natural", "Great For All Grills", "Quick Starting", "Hotter Fire", "All Natural", "No Chemicals Added"

"It's Only Natural. You want a natural, smoky flavor when you grill out. Publix GreenWise Lump Charcoal is made from real wood, with no artificial binders or petroleum additives, so it burns clean and gives food a smoky flavor. We recommend using a chimney starter or crumpled newspapers to keep things tasting wholesome."

"What's The Difference Between 100% Natural Wood Charcoal And Briquettes?

100% Natural Wood Charcoal looks like wood burned after a campfire. No two are alike, whereas, Charcoal Briquettes look like pressed pillows of charcoal and are uniform in shape.

100% Natural Wood Charcaol is 100% wood, made from oak, hickory, maple and other hardwoods. Charcoal Briquettes are made up of a blend of woods and filler, only 100% wood if stated on bag.

100% Natural Wood Charcoal cooks hotter than regular briquettes and great for searing in food flavor. Charcoal Briquettes last longer for extended cooking.

100% Natural Wood Charcoal takes 15 minutes to get to cooking temperature. Charcoal Briquettes takes (sic) about 30 minutes."

"Grill Safety Tips

  • Never grill indoors. Make sure grill is away from items that could accidentally ignite.
  • Never leave grill unattended.
  • Keep children and pets away from hot grill.
  • Always use fire retardant mitts and aprons to protect against burns.
  • Follow grill manufacturers (sic) instructions for use and safety.


    "PUBLIX GUARANTEE: We will never knowingly disappoint you. If for any reason your purchase does not give you complete satisfaction, the full purchase price will be cheerfully refunded immediately upon request."

  • Lighting Instructions

    "Lighter Fluid Method
    1. Arrange GreenWise Natural Wood Charcoal in a pile. Sprinkle with lighter fluid.
    2. Wait one minute for the fluid to soak in. Light the pile in several places.
    3. Wait 10-15 minutes or until natural wood is ashed over. Spread charcoal before barbecuing.

    Optional Light Method
    1. Open air vents on grill. Tightly crumble or twist 3-4 newspaper sheets and place on bottom of grill below bottom grate.
    2. Place natural wood charcoal on top of grate. Leave at least 1-2 inches of air space between paper and charcoal.
    3. Ignite paper. When coals are ashed over, begin cooking (10-15 minutes). Add more GreenWise 100% Natural Wood Charcoal as needed."

    The Ruler Used In The Following Photographs

    We use the following ruler in the photographs which follow. The blocks are 1 inch wide. The
    upper scale is in inches, while the lower scale is in centimeters. The distance between the
    centers of the two targets is precisely 9 inches.

    Photos Of Contents

    This is the contents of the bag. Those are 1 inch squares on the measuring bar.

    Here is a closer view.

    Here are the larger pieces we found in the bag.

    Here are the uncarbonized pieces we found in the bag.

    Here is the one rock found in the bag and the piece of charred paper. The lines
    are ¼ inch apart.

    Here are the contents of the bag sorted into medium, small, and too small/chips/dust.

    Other Photos


    Photo of UPC Code

    Here is a photo of the UPC code on the bag:

    Contact Information

    Publix Super Markets Inc.
    Lakeland, FL 33802

    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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