For a lot of people 3 Kings coals are the first charcoal they are exposed to.

Coconaras are the current king of the hill for natural coconut charcoal.

There are a lot of differences between these two charcoals and this article is to help you compare without spending a bunch of money on a charcoal that might not be right for you.

3 Kings:

  • A quick light charcoal that many consider to be the standard for QL coals.
  • Crumbly, fragile and will leave a lot of charcoal dust behind.
  • They come in the standard disk shape that is most associated with QL charcoal.
  • Made from compressed wood.


  • A natural charcoal, meaning that you will need a constant heat source to light them.
  • Very dense and durable. Almost no charcoal dust on my hands.
  • They have a square shape.
  • Made from compressed coconut shells.

I lit up one of each, put them on the same bowl and compared their performance. I started the 3 Kings coal after the Coconara was fully lit and ready to smoke. Right off the bat we notice that the Coconara take much longer to light because it is a natural style coal. The 3 Kings produce the usual nasty stink that QL coals produce when lighting. That’s nothing surprising and it’s not as bad as some other QL coals. A couple of the last 3 Kings coals that I have experimented with didn’t completely light themselves until I blew on them for a few minutes. They finally sparked up again and were completely red.

The Coconara seems to give of a little more heat which I prefer. The 3 Kings seem to have a tendency to split and crumble that I really don’t like. I smoke outside but, if I smoked in my house my carpets would have lots of little burns from 3 Kings breaking up. The Coconara stays completely solid and I have never had one fall apart.

For duration, the Coconara wins again. The 3 Kings coal was pretty much gone 45 minutes into the session. The Coconara, on the other hand, was putting off good heat up to an hour and probably could have gone longer.

Lastly is ash production. Coconara wins again. I’ll be uploading some pictures in a little bit to show the different amounts of ash but you can trust me that the Coconaras produces less ash.

If you are smoking at home and have access to a stove then I would recommend Coconaras ( is one of our trusted stores). If you are on the road or don’t have access to a stove then Coconaras are a little useless (perhaps then use Three Kings). That’s why I keep a Coleman Propane Grill in my trunk! I’m always ready to start natural coals.

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