Dragon Breath
Mexican Lump Charcoal

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Quick Stats
Date Of Review: May, 2017
Purchased From: Supplied by manufacturer.
Date Purchased: January, 2017
Price: $13.00-$18.00
Advertised Weight: 20 pounds
Type of Wood: Mexican Oak and some Mesquite
Strange Material: See review commentary
Scrap Lumber: None
Smell: Moderately strong smelling smoke
Country of Origin: Mexico

Key Performance Indicators
Chips and Dust:
Max Temperature:
Burn Time:
Ash Production:

Quick Links
Other Information: Click Here
Statements From The Bag: Click Here
Lighting Instructions: Click Here
Safety Instructions: Click Here
Unusual Or Unique Statements: 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


At the beginning of this year, we received a question from a sharp-eyed reader asking us if the bag of Dragon Breath they had recently found was a knockoff because it said "Made in Mexico" on the bag. We sent an enquiry to the manufacturer and found out that at some time in 2015, Dragon Breath lost their supplier of "North American hardwood" charcoal and made a switch to Mexican Oak and Mesquite. This review is of this new Dragon Breath charcoal which is made in Mexico. In light of recent current events, we doubt that we really need to show you where Mexico is on a map, but just in case, we provide the map to the right.

So, continuing on, we first dump the contents of the bag out onto the ground on a plastic sheet for sorting and observing. As you can see from the following table, Dragon Breath charcoal consists of quite a nice mix of large and medium pieces with a small percentage of small pieces. The amount of chips and dust was low, compared to other brands of charcoal we have reviewed.

Large 8.0 pounds 40.0%
Medium 8.4 pounds 42.2%
Small 2.4 pounds 11.8%
Chips/Dust 1.2 pounds 6.0%

Total 20.0 pounds

We found a few small pieces of uncarbonzied wood, but unfortunately we also found a piece of plastic rope, two small strips of plastic, and some sort of spongey material. Click here to view a photo of the things we found. Dragon Breath needs to take more care in keeping such items out of their charcoal.

In our lighting test, Dragon Breath took 3.5 sheets of newspaper to get a fire going in our chimney starter. This is low compared to other brands of charcoal we have tested. While lighting there was very little sparking and no popping. The smoke coming off the charcoal as it was started was moderately strong, probably to be expected from any charcoal with some mesquite in it.

As far as a maximum temperature goes. Dragon Breath lives up to its name, getting up to 958°F, which is very high compared to other brands. While it burned, there was again a small amount of sparking and a few small pops, but nothing to cause concern. The smoke, while burning, was again moderately strong. Some cooks may find the smoke from this charcoal adequate, requiring no additional smoking wood be added.

Finally, in our burn time test, Dragon Breath burned an average length of time compared to other brands, and the ash it produces is also average compared to other brands.

So, Dragon Breath Mexican charcoal is a bit of a mixed bag. It did well on the size distribution, quantity of chips and dust, maximum temperature and ease of lighting, but it only did average on burn time and ash production. And there was the assortment of odd things in the charcoal that we'd prefer not to find in bags of lump charcoal. All things considered, we would probably give this charcoal an Above Average rating, but when you compare it to other mesquite-based charcoals, it actually compared quite favorably. So we'll give it our Recommended rating with an asterisk, the asterisk meaning that you will probably be happier with this charcoal if you are a fan of mesquite, but perhaps not so thrilled otherwise.

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.

Other Information


Statements From The Bag

"All Natural Lump Charcoal"

Lighting Instructions


Safety Instructions


Unusual or Unique Statements


The Ruler Used In The Following Photographs

We use the following ruler in the photographs which follow. The black and white segments are
1 inch long. 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 photo is an overall view of the contents of the bag.

Here is a closer view.

Here are the larger pieces we found in the bag.

Here is a closeup of the four uncarbonized pieces we found (left), a piece of plastic rope, two pieces of plastic strips and a piece of some type of spongey material.

Here is a closeup of the piece of spongey material.

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

Other Photos

This is how the bags arrived.

Photo of UPC Code

Contact Information

Highland Products

Phone: 999-999-9999

Email: sales.highlandent@frontiernet.net
Web: www.dragonbreathcharcoal.com
Facebook: www.zzz.com"

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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