Cowboy Mexico Hardwood
Lump Charcoal       Home       Lump Review Index      

Quick Stats
Date Of Review: September, 2022
Purchased From: Ace Hardware
Date Purchased: September, 2022
Price: $23.99
Advertised Weight: 20 pounds
Type of Wood: "Hardwood Mix"
Strange Material: None
Scrap Lumber: None
Smell: Very mild
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


There has been a lot of negative comment on Cowboy's "Mixed Hardwood" lump charcoal recently, so we purchased a bag in order to see if all the negativity is warranted. We should note that this is NOT Cowboy's lump charcoal that is made from American hardwoods. This Cowboy Hardwood Lump Charcoal comes from Mexico and is made from what Cowboy says is "mixed hardwood." (Cowboy's American lump charcoal is called "Cowboy Oak and Hickory Hardwood Lump Charcoal." We'll be reviewing that lump charcoal in a later review.)

Cowboy doesn't specify which types of hardwoods are used, but based on other brands that come from Mexico and are called hardwood mixes, we suspect a mix of mesquite and oak. (Based on how it burns, we definitely would guess there is mesquite in this charcoal.) The map at right shows where Mexico is, in case you didn't know. The charcoal comes in a tough woven plastic bag, much like the blue tarps you can buy in any hardware store.

We dumped the bag of charcoal onto the ground for inspection and sorting. We found no scrap, no plastic, no strange things. As you can see from the following table, the distribution of sizes was pretty dismal:

Large 2.1 pounds 10.4%
Medium 5.4 pounds 26.8%
Small 9.8 pounds 49.1%
Chips/Dust 2.8 pounds 13.7%

Total 20.1 pounds

The 13.7% chips and dust ranks Average () compared to all other brands we have tested. Almost half of the entire bag were small pieces which is pretty high.

Our lighting test took 4 sheets of newpaper to get a fire going in a standard Weber chimney starter. This is Low () companred to other brands. The smell of the charcoal as it burns is surprisingly mild. When it comes to sparking and popping, at first there was very little but once the fire got going in the chimney starter all hell broke loose. Needless to say, there were lots and lots of both sparks and pops.

Cowboy Hardwood Lump Charcoal burned at a surprisingly low maximum temperature of 796°F. This ranks Average () amongst all the other brands we have tested. Again there was a large amount of sparking and popping and the fire was moderately slow to spread.

As for burn time, once again, Cowboy Hardwood Lump Charcoal burned an Average () length of time compared to other brands. Lighting with a MAP/Pro torch was pretty exciting, generating lots of sparks and pops if you hit the right pieces of charcoal with the flame. As always, take care when using a torch of any type to start lump charcoal.

Finally, in our ash production test, this charcoal produced an amount of ash that was High () compared to other brands.

So, in conclusion we give this charcoal our Average rating. The only thing about this charcoal that wasn't average or below average was its relatively easy lighting. It's a very mediocre charcoal and its rating reflects that.

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

"Real Wood Flavor", "Long Cooking Times", "100% Natural Lump Charcoal", "Mixed Hardwood", "Made in Mexico"

Compare Cowboy Lump Charcoal to Briquets

  1. All natural, 100% charcoal, no coal, fillers, or chemicals!
  2. Quicker, hotter fire, with more heat than briquets!
  3. Easy lighting, starts in half the time of briquets!
  4. Great taste with no starch or petroleum off-taste and flavor!
  5. Charcoal can be added to fire without smelly fumes!
  6. All natural charcoal means less ash, clean up is minimal!"
Griling over an open fire is the oldest method of cooking known to man. On the Western Frontier it was the only way to feed hungry cowhands. Frontier food was prepared over glowing wood embers and was characterized by its hearty flavor and inviting aroma. It was over those traditional fires that "cowboy cuisine" was born!"

Lighting Instructions

"Lighting Instructions
Cowboy Charcoal is an all natural charcoal product. It burns cleaner, lights easier, and cooks hotter than briquets. This allows you to use less charcoal and cook quicker.

Charcoal Tips
Cowboy charcoal is sensitive to air and will light and burn quite readily! NOTE: Make adjustments in your air vents and grill lid to control the rate of burning.

Suggested Starts
We suggest using starts such as a charcoal chimney, an electric starter, or paraffin coated sticks. They are economical, ecological, and easy to use!

Using a Charcoal Chimney
We highly recommend starting your fire with a charcoal chimney. It uses newspaper as a starter, so it is easy to use and does not give food an after-taste."

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

Other Photos


Photo of UPC Code

Contact Information

Cowboy Charcoal
P.O. Box 1230
Stockton, CA  95201-1230


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.


This review is protected by Copyright and may not be reproduced in part or as a whole in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author. You can use the "Email The Whiz" link at the bottom of any of our webpages to contact us about using material from this review.       Home       Lump Review Index       Search Our Site       Email The Whiz       Listen To Whizcast       Buy Whiz Gear       Privacy Policy
All Contents ©2001, 2022 The Naked Whiz

You can support this website by shopping at The Naked Whiz Website Store and