Blazing Coco
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Quick Stats
Date Of Review: July, 2023
Purchased From: Amazon
Date Purchased: July, 2023
Price: $35.90
Advertised Weight: 20 pounds
Actual Weight: 18.5 pounds
Type of Wood: Coconut shell
Strange Material?: None
Scrap Lumber Pieces?: 3 sticks of wood
Smell: Biting, not the typical sweet coconut charcoal smell
Country of Origin: Mexico

Key Performance Indicators

Compared To Lump Charcoal
Compared To Coconut Charcoal
Chips and Dust: Chips and Dust:
Lighting: Lighting:
Max Temperature: Max Temperature:
Burn Time: Burn Time:
Ash Production: Ash Production:

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We realize that extruded coconut charcoal isn't really lump charcoal, but have always been drawn to it because of it's very mild smoke, even steady burn and low ash (if it is quality coconut charcoal). We could write a book about the history of extruded coconut charcoal as it relates to ceramic cookers, but we'll try to keep it to a few short paragraphs. High quality extruded coconut charcoal is a wonderful thing, burning with high heat, low ash and a sweet smell. It also burns with a constant even heat, much like briquettes, which endears it to the cook who is doing long overnight low and slow cooks.

To date, the gold standard for extruded coconut charcoal has always been Komodo Kamado Coco Char. They went on a bit of a journey to get to their final product. They wanted to bring high quality coconut charcoal to the marketplace and attempted to do so in 2009, but discovered it is almost impossible to get suppliers to deliver what they say they will deliver. So Komodo Kamado decided to make the charcoal themselves. They purchased and/or made all the necessary equipment to start their own manufacturing operation. And back in 2011 they were producing some extremely good extruded coconut charcoal. But now in 2022, Komodo Kamado has improved their manufacturing process and the final result is extremely hard to beat.

That said, Komodo Kamado coconut charcoal can be a bit pricey since it is made in small batches in Indonesia and has to be transported to the US by ship. So, can another brand available on Amazon be a good substitute at a lower price? That's where Blazing Coco comes in. At this time of writing, Komodo Kamado extruded coconut charcoal is available on Amazon for about $2.27/pound. Blazing Coco is advertised at $1.80/pound, but as we shall see, the boxes are underweight and the actual cost is $1.94/pound. Folks have been asking for a review on Facebook, so let's see how it compares.

One word about the comparisons we'll be making between this charcoal and others. We now have reviewed a number of different extruded coconut charcoals and have enough data points, if you will, to draw comparisons among the different brands. So we have shown the star ratings at the top of the review to reflect both how this charcoal performs against lump charcoals and against other coconut charcoals. Note that if you view our comparison page of all brands and types of charcoal, the star ratings there will reflect just the comparison with all lump charcoals.

What Is Extruded Coconut Shell Charcoal?
For those of you new to this somewhat unusual form of charcoal, we'll describe a typical process that is used to manufacture extruded coconut shell charcoal.

  1. Raw coconut shells are cleaned. (Not the coconut husk or the coconut flesh, known as copra.)
  2. The cleaned shells are then carbonized.
  3. The carbonized shells are cleaned again.
  4. These cleaned and carbonized coconut shells are then ground.
  5. The ground carbonized shells are sorted into fines, medium and large granules.
  6. Specific weights of these different size particles are blended into a mix.
  7. Food grade tapioca is added to the blend of particles.
  8. The blend of charcoal and tapioca is extruded under high pressure by machine.
  9. The extruded pieces are then dried and boxed.

Carbonized coconut shells.

The final extruded "briquettes".

The Charcoal -- Packaging, Condition, Appearance
Our box of charcoal arrived via Amazon delivery. We neglected to take a photo of the exterior packaging, but the Blazing Coco box was placed in an Amazon box that was only slightly larger than the retail box. The box arrived in good condition.

The charcoal is contained in a paper bag, and when you open the bag you find the charcoal is loaded inside. It isn't stacked like some brands, rather it is just dumped in.

The charcoal arrived in good shape after its voyage from Mexico to America. As you can see in the photo below, none of the pieces in the box were broken. Also below you will see a photo of the crumbs of charcoal found in the bottom of box as well as three scraps of wood we found. The amount of powder/dust/granules in the bottom of the bag was quite small compared to most lump charcoals, 164 grams. This is Low () compared to all other coconut charcoals and Very Low () compared to all other lump charcoals. The charcoal is solid, dense and obviously holds together well. Here's a photo of the box contents as well as the usual table showing the weights of the various size pieces:

Whole Pieces 18.0 pounds 97.6%
Broken Pieces 0.0 pounds 0.0%
Powder/Chips 0.4 pounds 2.0%
Scrap wood 0.1 pounds 0.4%

Total 18.5 pounds

Once again, we find a vendor selling product that is significantly under the advertised weight. The box says you get 20 pounds, but the scales say you get 18.5 pounds. We'd contact the manufacturer, but we cannot find any sort of contact information on their packaging or website. In addition, their advertising on Amazon says you get 105 logs, while in fact we only got 59.

Now let's look at the individual pieces. The pieces range in length from 2" to 4¼". They are supposed to be hexagonal in cross section, but the individual pieces have been formed so sloppily that some bear no resemblane to a hexagon. We believe that their intended diameter is about 1⅞ inches across. They weigh anywhere from 3 ounces to 6.3 ounces. This variation in size will make it difficult for anyone who wants to use this charcoal like briquettes where you count the number of briquettes you need to achieve a certain heat. If you are at all familiar with other brands of extruded coconut charcoal, you are probably as surprised as we are to find that there is no hole down the center of each piece to aid in ignition and combustion. (Their website claims that the pieces have a hole and their photos show a hole, but we didn't get any holes.) And if you look at the example photo we provided above, you can see how Blazing Coco pieces are sloppy and ill-formed compared to quality extruded coconut charcoal.

And finally, we got a little unexpected "bonus" in our box of charcoal. As we showed you above, we found three sticks of wood. Hopefully, others have not found other less desirable objects in their charcoal. This, the sloppily formed pieces of charcoal, and the woefully under weight contents make you question the quality control in place at Blazing Coco.

Burn Time
Burn time was Very High () compared to the other coconut charcoals we have tested but only High () compared to all other lump charcoals we have tested. Truth be told, most coconut charcoal doesn't burn terribly long when you compare it to lump charcoal, but as far as coconut charcoals go, this one did well enough.

Ash Content and Production
Probably one of the more disturbing aspects of the truly inferior coconut charcoals sold is the monumental amounts of ash they produce, in some cases, even more ash than briquettes. So, one sign of quality coconut charcoal is low ash. The volume of ash produced when we burned a standard amount of the charcoal was Low () compared to lump charcoal, but when you compare it to all other extruded coconut charcoals the amount is Very Low ().

Lighting The Charcoal
Lighting extruded coconut charcoal is usually a challenge as it so dense. We used our standard chimney starter test and it took 8 sheets of newspaper to light this charcoal. This was High () compared to all brands of lump charcoal, and only Average () compared to other coconut charcoal. In our opinion, the best way to light this charcoal regardless of how you intend to use it is to use a chimney starter to start a small amount of charcoal, then use it to start the rest of your charcoal. Another method is to pile a small amount of lump charcoal on top of the coconut charcoal, light the lump, and then let the lump ignite the coconut.

Maximum Temperature And Reusability
The maximum temperature we were able to obtain with this charcoal was only 814°F which is only Average () compared to other lump charcoals. Compared to other extruded coconut charcoal, this was Low (). This charcoal will definitely get hot enough to do anything you could want to do in a ceramic charcoal cooker, but compared to other charcoals, both lump and coconut, it really wasn't all that impressive.

Also, after we let the charcoal burn for about half an hour or more, we then snuff the fire and wait for it to cool down. At that point, we give the charcoal a gentle stir to see if the remaining charcoal will hold together or turn to powder. Some of the inferior brands (and most briquettes) would indeed crumble to useless powder because the binder that holds them together breaks down from the heat. Blazing Coco is somewhat reusable, but you must be fairly gentle with the logs or else they will indeed crumble to powder.

Smoke, Odor and Food Flavor
Bad coconut charcoal smells like a bad cigar. Good coconut charcoal has a mild and slightly sweet smoke. The smoke that comes off this charcoal is somewhere in between. The smoke is mild but it is also a bit acrid or burning when you try to smell it. It definitely lacks the delicate sweetness of quality coconut charcoal. It won't give your food a bad flavor, but it just isn't the same as the best coconut charcoal. But of course, you can also control the flavor of your food by adding your favorite smoking wood chunks to the fire.

Use For Grilling
We don't know that you would want to use this charcoal in a grill such as a Weber kettle, but if you do, it will take a little adjustment in the way you build your fire, assuming you are used to using ordinary briquettes. This charcoal burns very hot given enough air and you will probably need to use less charcoal than you might be accustomed to.

For this test, we measured the temperature in a Weber Smokey Joe grill at the grid level with the lid off when burning a single layer of charcoal pieces. Here is how the grid temperature with this coconut charcoal compared to a quality briquette, a popular lump charcoal, and Komodo Kamado coconut charcoal:

Charcoal BrandGrid Temperature
Blazing Coco extruded coconut charcoal624°
Komodo CoCo Char extruded coconut charcoal600°
Wicked Good Charcoal Briquettes 450°
Royal Oak Lump Charcoal515°

While the steady state temperature hovered around 625°F, we saw spikes as high as 710°F and dips to as low as 525°F. So if you do use this charcoal for grilling, just be aware how hot it burns and adjust accordingly.

You can purchase this charcoal from the Blazing Coco website in 9 and 20 pound boxes, although as we have found out, the boxes are likely to be underweight. You can also purchase this charcoal on Amazon using the following link. If you are interested in the best extruded coconut charcoal, we have also provided a link to Komodo Kamado CocoChar:

We started out this review by comparing Blazing Coco's price to Komodo Kamado's price. So we'll go ahead and compare their performance before we give Blazing Coco a final rating.

Compared to Lump Charcoal

Blazing CocoKomodo Kamado CocoChar
Chips and dust:
Max Temperature:
Burn Time:
Ash Production:

Compared to Extruded Coconut Charcoal

Blazing CocoKomodo Kamado CocoChar
Chips and dust:
Max Temperature:
Burn Time:
Ash Production:

As you can see, Komodo Kamado CocoChar performs much better than Blazing Coco when you compare them to other extruded coconut charcoals and other lump charcoals. And if we compare Blazing Coco directly with Komodo Kamado CocoChar, we find that Komodo Kamado displays superior performance in 5 out of 6 catagories: less waste, easier to light, higher max temp, longer burn time, and less ash. Blazing Coco does achieve a slightly higher temperature in a Smoky Joe, but unlike Komodo Kamado CocoChar, the logs are sloppily made and random sizes. And finally, Blazing Coco doesn't hold together after a burn as well as Komodo Kamado CocoChar, so it isn't as reusable. So if performance is your main concern, Komodo Kamado CocoChar is the clear choice and still the gold standard for extruded coconut charcoal. If money is your main concern and you can overlook the false labeling, Blazing Coco should suffice. However, if you look at the price per hour of burn time, Komodo Kamado Coco Char is only 13% more expensive than Blazing Coco.

But normally, when assigning a rating to an extruded coconut charcoal, we compare it to all other brands of lump charcoal. Looking at Blazing Coco charcoal compared to all other lump charcoals, while it burns a relatively long time and produces relatively little ash, it stumbles on difficulty of lighting and it doesn't burn all that hot in a closed cooker. It looks to be clumsily made and of course, there is the issue that the manufacturer is falsely advertising that the box contains 20 pounds when it doesn't come close. We give it our Above Average rating, but with a big fat asterisk due to the false labeling.

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

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Contact Information


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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