Lump charcoal can burn hotter and can be made with specific woods that impart desirable flavors on food. Andy Ciordia/via Flickr hide caption itoggle caption Andy Ciordia/via Flickr The Salt The Great Charcoal Debate: Briquettes Or Lumps? May 24, 2013 Does the kind of charcoal you use really make a difference when it comes to grilling up a tasty steak or other food on the grill? Yes — but deciding which one to use depends on what you're after. Both briquettes and lump charcoal — aka "natural" hardwood charcoal — have their advantages and disadvantages.