Lazzari Mesquite Charcoal       Home       Lump Review Index      

Quick Stats
Date Of Review: November, 2005
Purchased From: Donated by manufacturer
Date Purchased: November, 2005
Price: $3.99-$4.99
Weight: 6.75 pounds
Burn Time:
Ash Production:
Type of Wood: Mesquite
Strange Material?: None
Scrap Lumber Pieces?: None
Smell: Mild mesquite smell
Country of Origin: Mexico

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


NOTE: This is an update, or re-review, to our original review which was done in October of 2002. Since that time we have started performing more testing on each brand, and since we had the opportunity to get our hands on some of this charcoal again, we decided to conduct a new review using our current standards and methods. We also have a lot more brands of charcoal for comparison now, placing many of the observations in clearer context.
This charcoal comes in a 6.75-pound bag, a bag which has been slightly modified since our first review. According to their website, Lazzari Mesquite charcoal can also be purchased in 15, 20 and 40-pound bags.

Upon opening the bag, we found only a small amount of uncarbonized wood. We found no scrap, no rocks, no funny stuff. As you can see from the following table, the size of the pieces is fairly evenly distributed, with the chips and dust being about 12% of the bag by weight. This is a little better than average. We opened a second bag which had 42% large pieces.

Large 1.8 pounds 25.3%
Medium 1.8 pounds 26.4%
Small 2.5 pounds 36.2%
Chips/Dust 0.8 pounds 12.1%

Total 6.9 pounds

The charcoal took 2.5 sheets to start in our chimney starter test, which is again, a little better than average. As it burned in the chimney starter, there were significant sparks and popping, however this disappears when placed in a cooker and the airflow is reduced. The fire was very very quick to spread in the cooker. The smell was a mild smell of mesquite. The maximum temperature we were able to achieve was 890 degrees which is above average.

Burn time was low and ash production was average. (Mesquite charcoal, in general, seems to burn for shorter times and produce more ash than other hardwood charcoals.) We give this charcoal our Above Average rating.

To the left is the rating that our readers have given this charcoal. Now that you have read our review, 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

We have had a nice correspondance with a Lazzari representative via email. Here are some excerpts of the conversation which you might find interesting:

About quality control:

"Our company sends its charcoal from the production sites (kilns in the fields of Sonora, Mexico) to a central production facility (also in Mexico) where it is examined, screened, sized, packaged and weighed. Any partially charred wood, foreign objects, or real large pieces are hand picked out of the lot as the charcoal travels up a conveyor belt toward the screen. Our packaging plant and machinery are new and modern. Although there is still a potential for human error, we are confident that the quality control that is applied to the retail bags of Lazzari charcoal is by far the best in the mesquite lump charcoal industry."
And this about responsible harvesting:
"FYI Lazzari began importing mesquite lump charcoal to the US from Mexico in the 1960's and has sold to Safeway, other grocers and specialty retailers since the 70's.

One of the issues related to our industry that we are proud of is the leadership role that Lazzari took in addressing the ecological threat posed by tree harvesting. A brief history:

In the 1970's tracks of land in Sonora, Mexico were cleared to make way for planting of crops. The mesquite waste wood from this process was made into charcoal. During the 1980's, ranchers who clear-cut land for the purpose of planting grass began to make charcoal from the cut mesquite, which helped finance the grass propagation program. Problems arose when others began to cut trees and make charcoal solely for the purpose of generating cash, which cannot be justified because of the ecological costs. In the 1990's Lazzari, in conjunction with environmental groups and the Mexican department of Forestry, developed a mesquite harvesting method that utilizes thinning and pruning of mesquite trees. This ecological approach has become the standard in the industry.

Mesquite lump charcoal is made from the wood of the mesquite tree. It is widely regarded as the highest quality grilling charcoal available because of its high cooking temperature and the delicate, natural wood flavor it imparts to grilled foods.

Unlike commercial charcoal briquettes, which contain coal, nitrites, chemicals, fillers and additives, mesquite lump charcoal is 100% pure, natural wood.

In order to produce mesquite charcoal in a responsible manner, consistent with conservation of the earth’s natural resources and ecosystems, Lazzari Fuel Company utilizes an ecologically sound method to harvest mesquite wood by pruning and selectively thinning the mesquite tree.

Lazzari’s five mesquite harvesting techniques are: pruning heavy mature branches that are low to the ground, pruning branches that are infested with mistletoe, cutting the weakest of a cluster of trees, cutting a percentage of dead standing wood and taking a percentage of dead fallen wood.

Each Lazzari harvesting program is developed by a biologist, who first performs a field study of a given habitat and then prepares a report which dictates what green and/or dead wood will be harvested from each micro- area.

As a result of these common sense practices, Lazzari’s mesquite harvests are non-detrimental to the mesquite tree and the ecosystem and habitat that surround it."

Unusual or Unique Statements


Statements From The Bag

"Since 1908", "Mesquite Charcoal", "100% Natural Hardwood", "Better than Briquets!", "The Original Lump Charcoal", "The Gourmet's Choice"

"Delicious Flavor...
Lazzari mesquite wood charcoal burns hotter than briquets. The higher cooking temperature sears the outside of the food, retaining natural juices and succulence, while savory mesquite wood smoke brings out the very best flavor in grilled foods."

"All Natural - No Chemicals or Additives...
Lazzari mesquite wood charcoal, a five-hundred year old tradition of the Southwest, is handmade from the mesquite tree, the premium grilling hardwood of the world. This natural charcoal contains no chemical additives, fillers, coal or petroleum by-products. It is simply 100% natural wood from the mesquite tree."

"Ecologically Responsible...
In keeping with our desire to support responsible management of the earth's natural resources and ecosystems, we carefully prune the mesquite tree and selectively thin clustered and dead trees. Lazzari's pioneering technique is a model for the conservation of arid land ecosystems and habitats."

"Easy To Use...
Try Lazzari mesquite wood charcoal to grill fish, vegetables, steaks, chicken, and all of your favorite food specialties. Preserve the natural wood flavor of your mesquite wood charcoal by starting with fire sticks, electric or chimney starters. Mesquite wood charcoal can also be started with liquid starter.

For best grilling results, start cooking when coals begin to turn gray.

Mesquite wood charcoal is reusable: After cooking, place a covered lid over your grill. Relight for the next use."

"The Gourmet's Choice...
The natural freshness of mesquite hardwood charcoal produces a grill of incomparable flavor!"

"Also available in other sizes", "Product of Mexico", "Turn a barbecue into a gourmet meal with Lazzari mesquite wood charcoal!"

Lighting Instructions


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 larger pieces we found in the second bag.

Here are the small pieces of uncarbonized wood we found. We also found a
couple of twigs.

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

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

Contact Information

Lazzari Fuel Company
PO Box 34051
San Francisco, CA  94134


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

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