Harris Teeter Lump Charcoal
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Quick Stats
Date Of Review: January, 2009
Purchased From: Donated by manufacturer
Date Purchased: October, 2008
Price: $5.49
Weight: 6.6 pounds
Burn Time:
Ash Production:
Type of Wood: Ebony, Limoncillo, Tenaza, Hueso de tigre, Mezquite
Strange Material?: None
Scrap Lumber Pieces?: None
Smell: Mild to moderate wood smoke
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


Harris Teeter 100% Natural Hardwood Charcoal is brought to you by Nature's Grilling, the same folks who brought you Nature's Grilling Hardwood Blend 100% Natural Wood Charcoal. We are always pleased to see lump charcoal for sale in grocery stores since it means that more and more people can have easy access, and we were pleasantly surprised to find this new lump charcoal at our local Harris Teeter store.

When we dumped the charcoal out for sorting and examination, it was pretty obvious that the charcoal is being screened and sorted with the goal of no wasted charcoal and lots of usable pieces. As you can see from the following table, almost all the charcoal was medium to large and there was only 3 ounces of chips and dust in the bottom of the bag, a miniscule 2.6% of the bag:

Large 1.9 pounds 28.0%
Medium 4.6 pounds 65.8%
Small 0.3 pounds 3.6%
Chips/Dust 0.2 pounds 2.6%

Total 7.0 pounds

We are almost inclined for the first time ever to ask for a little bit more of the small stuff to fill in the gaps between the larger pieces. If you were trying to build a fire for a all night low and slow cook, we think you'd do well to spend a little time arranging the lump so that there are no large gaps between pieces. (Not to jump ahead, but we can tell you that we had no problem keeping the fire going during our burn test with a BBQ Guru in control.)

We found no scrap, no rocks, and no other "funny stuff" in the bag.

During our chimney starter test, this charcoal took 6 sheets of newspaper to get started. This is very high compared to other charcoals. The "startability" of the charcoal may be been hampered a bit by the relatively large size of the pieces. While burning hot in the chimney, there was virtually no sparking or popping. The smell of the charcoal while burning was a pleasant woodsy sort of smoke, as opposed to the slight perfumed smell of many charcoals from south of the border.

In our maximum temperature test, the charcoal got up to about 900 degrees which is average compared to other charcoals. The speed that the fire spreads is slow to medium. The charcoal itself is dense which means it will be harder to start and for the fire to spread. While burning at maximum temperature there was virtually no sparking or popping, except for one short spell. It seems that perhaps a single piece of wood began sparking and shedding flying ash and grit. This lasted about 30 seconds, depositing a small amount of ash and grit 18 inches away from the cooker's upper vent. You can see a photo below. Then, as soon as it had started it was over. We would recommend that if you use this charcoal for searing steaks, you should make sure the fire is established before putting the meat on the grill. However, this was not an issue for normal cooking temperatures.

And finally, in our burntime test the charcoal burned an average length of time. The ash production was also average compared to other charcoals. So, all in all we have a pretty good charcoal here. A lot of the attributes of the charcoal rank average compared to other charcoals, but you get virtually 100% usable product with virtually all the pieces of a decent size. We have no trouble giving this charcoal our Above Average rating.

And one final word. If you are concerned about carbon feet prints, sustainability, and things like that, you should visit the Nature's Grilling Products web site and have a read. These folks take this sort of thing seriously.

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

"Harris Teeter proudly stands Together in Education with the schools in our community. When you purchase select Harris Teeter brand products using your VIC card, Harris Teeter will contribute a portion of those sales to the school of your choice. For program details, please contact your local school, Harris Teeter or harristeeter.com."

Unusual or Unique Statements


Statements From The Bag

"100% Natural", "Pure Hardwood!", "No fillers", "No chemicals"

"Our Commitment to the Environment

On behalf of Harris Teeter,® our supplier will donate a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of each bag of it's 100% natural hardwood charcoal to the worldwide tree-planting initiative, Trees for the Future. TREES teaches and inspires communities to do more than just plant and grow trees, but also how to use their trees to feed and sustain themselves economically, with land-use systems that integrate local agriculture, trees, people, and animals for better soil and water, higher crop yields, and improved standards of living. We at Harris Teeter are proud to sponsor TREES and are deeply committed to the health of our environment and to the future of our planet."

"Trees for the Future", "No trees were cut down to produce this 100% natural charcoal. We prune and cull, sustaining our trees."

"Superior to Briquets!", "Harris Teeter's 100% natural wood charcoal dos not contain any mineral coal, chemicals, or other fillers, and does not contain any construction scraps or other foreign wood found in other brands."

"Burns HOTTER and LONGER!"

100% natural wood charcoal is a low smoke, slow burning charcoal that maintains a high cooking temperature."

"Satisfaction Guaranteed 1-800-432-6111", "This bag is fully recyclable."

"CAUTION: This is a natural product and can throw off sparks. Use only in a safe place."

"Safety Tips

  • Never use gasoline to light charcoal.
  • Do not add lighter fluid directly to burning or hot charcoal.
  • Keep out of reach of children and pets.
  • After cooking, make sure ashes are completely cool before discarding."

  • Lighting Instructions

    "Directions (If using starter fluid, refer to manufacturer's instructions)

    1. Begin stacking the charcoal in a pyramid.
    2. Add in natural starter sticks; OR (Natural Grilling Tip: crumpled papers saturated with vegetable oil).
    3. Complete pyramid on top of starter sticks/papers.
    4. Light the starter sticks/papers in several places (always keep grill uncovered until ready to cook).
    5. What charcoal is mostly ashed, spread evenly in a single layer."

    The Ruler Used In The Following Photographs

    We use the following ruler in the photographs which follow. The blocks are 1 inch wide. 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 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 contents of the bag sorted into medium, small, and too small/chips/dust.

    Other Photos

    This is how the bags arrived.

    You can see grit/ash that landed about 18" from the cooker during a short sparking
    period when the charcoal was burning full tilt. (See the commentary section for
    details about this.)

    Photo of UPC Code

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

    Contact Information

    Harris Teeter, Inc.
    Matthews, NC 28105



    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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