Harder Charcoal
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Quick Stats
Date Of Review: April, 2021
Purchased From: Amazon
Date Purchased: March, 2021
Price: $39.99
Advertised Weight: 33.1 pounds
Type of Wood: Quebracho Blanco
Strange Material: 1 rock
Scrap Lumber: None
Smell: Moderate smoke
Country of Origin: Paraguay

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


This charcoal was recommended to us by one of our readers.

Aspidosperma quebracho-blanco
They spoke of hard, dense charcoal with lots of reasonably-sized peices. So we popped on over to Amazon which carries this charcoal (free shipping with Prime!) and ordered a bag.

Harder Charcoal is made in Paraguay (see the map at left) next to the Chaco Forest along the border of Argentina by a German family that emigrated there in 1947. The charcoal is made from a South American wood called Quebracho Blanco, a wood we have run into a few times before. If you are wondering about the word "quebracho," it is derived from quiebrahacha, or quebrar hacha, meaning "axe-breaker". As for a description of the wood, we get this from Wikipedia:

"Quebracho blanco wood is uniformly yellow-ochre, without differences between hardwood and sapwood. It is quite heavy (relative density = 0.885 g/cm³) and hard, and responds well to bending and shock. Upon drying it tends to collapse, producing deformations and cracks, so the drying process is slow; the wood must be treated with fungicides. It is easy to work and has many uses in carpentry (carts, wheels, floors, shoes, tool handles, furniture); it is also good for chess pieces, skis, etc. Preserved with creosote it can be used outdoors. In some places it is widely used as coal, since it does not produce sparks or large amounts of ash, and it burns strong and slowly."
Deforestation is a serious issue in the Chaco, so it is good to know that all of their charcoal has been ethically, legally, and fairly sourced utilizing only forest leftovers. They claim they have never cut a single tree to create their charcoal. More information about their process can be found on their website.

Let's move on now to seeing how this charcoal performs. The first thing we do is to dump the bag out onto the ground and sort it into large, medium, and small pieces, as well as the chips and dust at the bottom of the bag. We found one rock the size of a large golfball, but no scrap, trash or other undesirable items. The charcoal itself is very very dense. (We'll see in a bit if this denseness translates to the long burn times that so many folks seem to think results from dense charcoal.) Here is what we found in the way of size distribution:

Large 10.3 pounds 31.2%
Medium 12.4 pounds 37.8%
Small 8.6 pounds 26.1%
Chips/Dust 1.6 pounds 4.9%

Total 32.9 pounds

As we said, we found one rock about the size of a large golf ball in the bag. If you include the weight of the rock, the bag was just barely over the advertised weight. If you omit the rock, the bag was just barely under the advertised weight. Otherwise, the distribution of sizes was exceptional. Even the small pieces were on the large side. There was very little waste in this bag.

In our lighting test, Harder Charcoal took 4 sheets of newspaper to get started. This is average compared to other brands we have tested. There was no sparking or popping while the charcoal was lighting. The smell of the charcoal is moderate and pleasant. One thing we did note that we don't usually see is that some of the charcoal burned with a yellow flame rather than just glowing red until it gets really hot and then burning with a pale blue flame. This indicates that the charcoal was cooked to a lower temperature than most and thus less of the volatile components of the wood were driven off.

Harder Charcoal certainly burns hot. In our maximum temperature test, it hit 1229°F which is a new world record for us. Needless to say this is very high compared to all other brands. Also, the fire spread very quickly after we dumped the charcoal into a cooker and then added more for the test.

Next we come to the burn time test. There were no sparks or pops when lighting with a MAP/Pro torch, but as always, exercise care when using a torch of any kind to start lump charcoal. The burn time for Harder Charcoal was only average when compared to other brands, which again dispels the myth that denser charcoal burns longer. We have seen this over and over. Dense charcoal doesn't burn that long and some less dense charcoals can burn nearly forever.

And finally we come to the ash results. The amount of ash produced per hour of burn time by Harder Charcoal was average when compared to other brands.

So to sum up, with Harder Charcoal we have a charcoal that is moderately easy to light, burns extremely hot, but only has an average burn time and produces an average amount of ash. However, you get quite a bit for your money as the size distribution was excellent with a very low amount of unusable chips and dust. We give Harder Charcoal 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.

Other Information


Statements From The Bag

"From the kiln to your grill   No middleman", "Est, 1988", "German Made - Directly Sourced", "100% Natural Handmade", "˜30% Harder and Heavier", "XL Pieces Hand Selected", "Longest and Cleanest Burn", "Premium Restaurant Quality", "Made in Paraguay", "Handmade in Paraguay"

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 one rock we found in the bag. It was about 2 inches by 1½ inches.

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

Other Photos

This is how the bag arrived from Amazon.

Photo of UPC Code

Contact Information

German Quality GmbH LLC
7950 NW 53rd Street, Suite 337
Miami, Florida  33166

Phone: 305-600-2439

Email: sales@hardercharcoal.com
Web: www.hardercharcoal.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/hardercharcoal"

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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