Best Of The West Mesquite Lump Charcoal       Home       Lump Review Index      

Quick Stats
Date Of Review: May, 2012
Purchased From: Supermarket
Date Purchased: May, 2012
Price: 4.59
Weight: 6.6 pounds
Burn Time:
Ash Production:
Type of Wood: Mesquite
Strange Material?: None
Scrap Lumber Pieces?: None
Smell: Strong 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


Update (05/27/12): It has been almost 7 years since our latest update to this review, so we decided to see if the charcoal is still as bad as it was then. Yes, it is still that bad, perhaps a little worse. While the burntime improved slightly, the ash produced is still as bad as before. And the amount of fines was higher. Nearly one third of the bag was unusable fines. So we see no reason to change our rating of this charcoal.
NOTE: This is an update, or re-review, to our original review which was done in April of 2003. 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 mesquite charcoal comes to us from Two Trees Products. You can also get it in 20 pound bags, according to their website. The charcoal comes in a plastic lined bag, which is always a good thing when it comes to charcoal, as it helps to keep dust in the bag and off of you. As you can see from the following chart, there were a lot of large pieces and a lot of chips and dust, but a relatively small amount of small and medium-size pieces. We sorted a second bag that had a more even distribution of large, medium and small pieces, but the second bag contained an even larger amount of chips and dust.
Large 2.3 pounds 35.1%
Medium 1.5 pounds 22.8%
Small 1.1 pounds 16.2%
Chips/Dust 1.7 pounds 25.9%

Total 6.6 pounds
Much of the charcoal seemed to be brittle and/or crumbly, which probably accounts for much of the chips and dust. However, we suspect that it is also a matter of the manufacturer not screening the charcoal so as to remove much of these small fines. Also, much of the charcoal seemed to have some faint brown color to it, giving the appearance that the wood wasn't completely carbonized. As you can see from the photo below, there were several pieces that clearly were not carbonized. We found no scrap, rocks or other funny stuff in the bags.

The charcoal was extremely easy to light, taking only 2 sheets in our chimney starter test. Once lit, the fire was quick to spread. When burning under airflow, it was quite sparky (see the photo below of the five-foot shower of sparks coming out of the top of our cooker), but there was very little popping. We were able to achieve a relatively hot 825 degrees in our maximum temperature test. The smell when burning was a fairly strong mesquite smell.

The burn time was average compared to other charcoals and the ash production was high compared to other charcoals. Considering these poor results in conjuction with fully a quarter of the bag being unusable, we can only give this charcoal our Below Average rating.

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Other Information


Unusual or Unique Statements


Statements From The Bag

"100% Pure Mesquite Charcoal", "The Secret To Gourmet Barbecue", "All Natural", "Product of Mexico", "For special offers, new products, and product information visit our website @"

"You've Bought the Best. The secret to gourmet Bar-B-Que is Best of the West natural mesquite charcoal. The finest reestaurants in the worl grill over 100% natural mewquite charcoal. Mesquite charcoal burns clean and hot; much hotter than "charcoal" briquettes. That's why steaks, ribs, seafood, and chicken are so much juicier and more delicous when grilled over 100% natural charcoal. Best of the West mesquite charcoal lasts longer, too. You use less and can often reuse by putting the closed lid over your kettle. Best of the West is 100% natural charcoal; no waste material or petroleum additives to spoil the flavor of your food."

"100% Guarantee. If for any reason you are not fully satisfied with our product, return the unused portion with sales receipt and a breif (sic) explanation to the address below. Your money will be refunded promptly."

Lighting Instructions

"Directions. For best lighting, use a chimney style charcoal starter using paper as fuel, or mound charcoal in the shape of a cone. use an electric starter of charcoal lighter fluid as usual (follow directions on can). Light. mesquite charcoal is ready to grill when the coals are grey around the edges."

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 in the bag.

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

Other Photos

This shows the shower of sparks coming out the top of the cooker while under full airflow.

Photo of UPC Code

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

Contact Information

Two Trees Products
P.O. Box 615
Tujunga, CA 91043

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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