Prime 6 Charcoal: What Happened After Shark Tank

Prime 6 Charcoal: What Happened After Shark Tank

In the wake of Prime 6 Charcoal’s appearance on Shark Tank, the eco-friendly grilling innovation engineered by Riki and Oron Franco faced a pivotal moment of scrutiny and opportunity. Seeking a $ 200,000 investment for a 10% equity stake, the founders navigated the shark-infested waters of the tank with hopes of securing a game-changing deal.

This article delves into the aftermath, exploring how Prime 6’s trajectory unfolded post-Shark Tank, examining its market reception, notable partnerships, and the impact of the strategic decisions made during that pivotal televised pitch. Join us on a journey through the post-tank evolution of Prime 6 Charcoal.

What Is Prime 6 Charcoal:

Prime 6 stands as a noteworthy eco-conscious alternative to traditional charcoal, offering a distinctive grilling experience [1]. What sets this product apart is its ability to eliminate sparks and smoke during the grilling process. Crafted from carbonized hardwood sawdust, Prime 6 charcoal takes sustainability to a new level by transforming this natural resource into robust charcoal blocks.

The eco-friendly nature of Prime 6 stems from the utilization of hardwood sawdust, a renewable material that aligns with environmentally conscious practices. The manufacturing process involves shaping the sawdust into substantial blocks of charcoal, ensuring a product that not only performs well but also minimizes its impact on the environment.

Tailored explicitly for outdoor grilling scenarios, Prime 6 charcoal extends its utility to outdoor smokers and ovens, adding versatility to its repertoire. Despite the dense composition of these charcoal blocks, users have the flexibility to break them into smaller pieces, adapting to various grilling setups with ease.

What Is Prime 6 Charcoal


An intriguing design element of Prime 6 is its hexagonal shape, a deliberate choice that enhances air circulation during the cooking process. This thoughtful design contributes to a more efficient and controlled grilling experience, allowing users to achieve optimal results with their outdoor cooking endeavors.

Each block of Prime 6 charcoal possesses remarkable longevity, capable of being utilized up to seven times before requiring replacement [2]. This longevity not only adds economic value for users but also reinforces the product’s commitment to sustainability by reducing waste.

In essence, Prime 6 charcoal emerges as a multifaceted solution for eco-conscious grill enthusiasts, offering not only a cleaner and more efficient grilling experience but also a commitment to environmental responsibility through its use of renewable materials and thoughtful design.


Long Burn Time:

One of the standout features of Prime 6 Charcoal is its impressive burn time. The charcoal logs are densely packed, allowing for a slow and steady burn. This extended burn time is a major plus for grillers who enjoy low and slow cooking, such as smoking meats or roasting large cuts.

Consistent Heat:

Prime 6 Charcoal provides consistent and even heat, which is crucial for achieving precision in grilling and barbecuing. The uniformity of the burn ensures that food is cooked evenly, preventing hot spots and cold zones on the grill.

Minimal Ash Production:

Unlike traditional charcoal, Prime 6 Charcoal produces minimal ash. This is a significant advantage for users who appreciate a cleaner grilling experience. Less ash means less mess to clean up, contributing to a hassle-free cooking process.

Environmentally Friendly:

Prime 6 Charcoal prides itself on being an eco-friendly option in the world of grilling. Made from hardwood sawdust and natural binders, it avoids the use of chemicals and additives commonly found in traditional charcoal products. This makes it a more sustainable choice for environmentally conscious consumers.

No Sparks or Popping:

The charcoal logs are designed to burn without sparks or popping. This is not only safer for the user but also helps maintain a serene grilling environment, particularly important during social gatherings or when grilling in close quarters.


Prime 6 Charcoal is versatile and suitable for various grilling techniques, from high-temperature searing to low-temperature smoking. Its adaptability makes it an excellent choice for grillers who like to experiment with different cooking styles.

Compact Packaging:

The charcoal logs come in compact, easy-to-store packaging. This is a practical feature for those with limited storage space or for those who want to take their charcoal on the go for outdoor events and camping trips.


Price Point:

One of the primary concerns for potential buyers is the price. Prime 6 Charcoal is generally more expensive than traditional charcoal options. While the quality and performance may justify the cost for some, budget-conscious consumers may find it a deterrent.

Limited Availability:

As of 2023, Prime 6 Charcoal may not be readily available in all regions. Limited distribution channels could pose a challenge for consumers who want to try this product but don’t have easy access to it.

Learning Curve for New Users:

Some users may find a learning curve when transitioning to Prime 6 Charcoal, especially if they are accustomed to traditional charcoal. Adjusting to the burn rate and heat characteristics may take a few grilling sessions.

Not Ideal for Quick Grilling:

While Prime 6 Charcoal excels in low and slow cooking, it may not be the ideal choice for quick grilling sessions. Users who prefer a rapid heat-up time for spontaneous barbecue sessions may find other charcoal options more suitable.

Size Variability:

The size of the charcoal logs can vary, which might impact the user’s ability to estimate the required amount for a specific grilling session accurately. Some users may need to experiment to find the optimal amount of charcoal for their grill.

Who May Benefit From Using?

Who May Benefit From Using?

Barbecue Enthusiasts:

For individuals who take their barbecue seriously and engage in slow cooking techniques such as smoking or roasting, Prime 6 Charcoal’s long burn time and consistent heat make it an ideal choice. The extended burn ensures a stable temperature throughout the cooking process, allowing for precision in achieving that perfect smoky flavor [3].

Eco-Conscious Consumers:

Prime 6 Charcoal caters to environmentally conscious consumers who prioritize sustainable and eco-friendly products. Made from hardwood sawdust and natural binders, it avoids the use of chemicals and additives commonly found in traditional charcoal. This makes it a suitable option for those who want to reduce their environmental impact while enjoying outdoor cooking.

Grillers Seeking a Clean Experience:

The minimal ash production of Prime 6 Charcoal sets it apart from traditional charcoal options. Users who appreciate a cleaner grilling experience, with less mess and easier cleanup, will find this feature particularly appealing. It adds a level of convenience to the overall grilling process.

Users Embracing Different Cooking Styles:

Prime 6 Charcoal’s versatility makes it a great fit for individuals who like to experiment with various grilling techniques. Whether it’s high-temperature searing, slow smoking, or anything in between, this charcoal adapts to different cooking styles, providing users with the flexibility to explore and refine their outdoor culinary skills.

Consumers with Storage Constraints:

The compact packaging of Prime 6 Charcoal makes it a practical choice for individuals with limited storage space. Its portability is also an advantage for those who enjoy grilling on the go, such as camping or outdoor events. The easy-to-store packaging ensures that users can keep the charcoal on hand without taking up excessive space.

Safety-Conscious Users:

Prime 6 Charcoal’s design, which minimizes sparks and popping during combustion, caters to users who prioritize safety during their grilling sessions. This feature not only enhances the safety of the cooking environment but also contributes to a more enjoyable and relaxed grilling experience.

About Founders Of Prime 6 Charcoal

Prime 6, the New York-based purveyor of premium charcoal, is the brainchild of the dynamic husband-and-wife duo, Oron and Riki Franco [4]. The genesis of this innovative venture occurred in 2018 when the couple, anticipating the arrival of their second child, conceived the ingenious idea of crafting a sustainable and natural charcoal briquette.

Before venturing into the world of premium charcoal with Prime 6, Riki underwent an academic journey, earning her master’s degree in Business Administration and International Management from Columbia Southern University between 2009 and 2012. During her college years, she concurrently served as a global financial controller with Diamonds International.

About Founders Of Prime 6 Charcoal

However, in 2013, Riki decided to transition away from this role. In the intervening period before founding Prime 6, she engaged in various professional pursuits, including co-founding The Private Chef NYC and FeedMe by Cookila Inc.

The culmination of her entrepreneurial endeavors led to the establishment of Innovation Partners NYC in January 2018. Presently, Riki juggles multiple roles, serving as a mentor for three companies, co-founder of Alpha Cats, and the founder and CEO of Prime 6.

Oron’s path diverged into the culinary arts, where he pursued studies at the International Culinary Center from 2005 to 2010, earning a diploma in culinary arts. While in college, Oron worked with Diamonds International but in the capacity of the loss prevention and security director.

Similar to Riki, Oron wore multiple hats in the business landscape, co-founding and serving as CEO for FeedMe by Cookila Inc. He also held long-term positions with The Private Chef NYC and Westville Restaurant Group. Currently, Oron dedicates his full-time efforts to Prime 6, serving as a co-founder and COO.

Prime 6, conceived by Riki and Oron, was officially launched in September 2018. In a remarkably short span, the dynamic duo secured a partnership with Western Beef, a collaboration that paved the way for Prime 6 charcoal to be accessible through Instacart. The product is available for purchase on their official website and in major retailers such as Lowe’s and Walmart. Notably, Prime 6 has gained recognition among culinary professionals, with esteemed establishments like Group Manhattan, Union Square Hospitality Group, and Star Restaurant Group opting for Prime 6 charcoal in their culinary pursuits.

In an insightful interview with Riki Franco, the CEO and co-founder of the company, she revealed that the decision to embark on this entrepreneurial journey was intricately tied to their growing family. As they deliberated on their financial plans and contemplated building a lasting legacy for their children, the Francos drew inspiration from a product they had encountered during a trip to Vietnam [5].

While the initial encounter left a latent impression, it wasn’t until this pivotal moment that they recognized the potential of a similar-looking product for their venture.

With a passion for barbecuing coursing through their family’s veins, the Francos became increasingly intrigued by the concept of clean and long-lasting charcoal. Motivated by this newfound interest, they took the bold step of collaborating with a factory to bring their vision to life, resulting in the creation of a prototype. 

To gauge the product’s efficacy, they enlisted the expertise of chefs and pitmasters from various restaurants, a move that ultimately yielded resounding success and laid the foundation for Prime 6’s journey in providing a premium, sustainable grilling experience.

The Pitch Of Prime 6 Charcoal At Shark Tank

On the November 20, 2020, episode of Shark Tank, Season 12, Episode 6, Riki and Oron Franco stepped into the tank with high hopes for their eco-friendly charcoal, Prime 6. Seeking a $ 200,000 investment in exchange for a 10% equity stake, the founders valued their company at $ 2 million [6]. The pitch unfolded with Riki providing a demonstration of the unique features of Prime 6 charcoal, capturing the interest of the sharks with both the product and their presentation.

At the time of the Shark Tank appearance, Prime 6 had achieved notable success, boasting $ 300,000 in sales within a year since its launch. Furthermore, the Francos had secured a substantial order worth $ 130,000 from Lowe’s before entering the show. The eco-friendly charcoal, packaged in 9-pound boxes and priced at $ 18.99, boasted a production cost of approximately $ 3.39 for the founders.

The Pitch Of Prime 6 Charcoal At Shark Tank

Kevin O’Leary was the first shark to extend an offer, proposing $ 200,000 for a 25% equity stake with the promise to assist in boosting sales. However, the entrance of the sharks also marked the exit of some. Mark Cuban bowed out, citing a prior investment in a similar business, Instafire, while Lori Greiner expressed concerns about a potential conflict of interest, leading her to decline participation. Guest shark Blake Mycoskie followed suit, stating that he didn’t see it as the right business venture for him.

With most investors opting out, a second offer came from Daymond John, mirroring Kevin O’Leary’s proposal of $ 200,000 for a 25% equity stake [7]. Faced with two identical offers, Riki and Oron ultimately chose to accept Kevin O’Leary’s deal, confident in his ability to contribute to the growth and success of Prime 6.

Prime 6 Charcoal After The Shark Tank

In a recent interview with NYC BBQ, Riki Franco, one of the co-founders of Prime 6, shared her exhilarating experience on “Shark Tank,” describing it as a blend of thrill, stress, and an overall enjoyable adventure. Subsequent to the initial airing of the show, a follow-up “Shark Tank” episode unveiled a significant surge in both sales and exposure for the business.

During the initial pitch to the Sharks, Prime 6 had already achieved $ 300,000 in sales [8]. However, within a mere three months post-“Shark Tank” airing, this figure skyrocketed to an impressive $ 1.3 million, accompanied by a surge in purchase orders. Notably, the company, through its collaboration with the non-profit organization One Tree Planted, also contributed to the planting of over 20,000 trees.

Navigating the challenges posed by the pandemic, which impacted restaurant service sales, Prime 6 pivoted to target homebound customers, capitalizing on the increased interest in home cooking and grilling. The company successfully extended its reach, making its product available in an additional 5,000 stores after the “Shark Tank” episode.

Prior to the airing, Prime 6 had already secured placement in 1,200 stores nationwide. The association with Kevin O’Leary continued to flourish, with Chef Wonderful actively endorsing Prime 6 through a social media video and offering exclusive discounts.

The Franconian entrepreneurs, Riki and Oron, outlined their post-“Shark Tank” strategy as a relentless pursuit of growth, and their actions have aligned with this vision. Prime 6 has not only sustained its momentum but has flourished, securing placement in major retailers like Walmart, Lowe’s, and Kroger. Additionally, the product is available for purchase through its official website and on Amazon.

Prime 6’s expansion goes beyond mere retail presence, with active participation in food shows across the nation and notable appearances at food festivals such as Pig Island. The product’s acclaim extends to various media platforms, earning it a spot among the best eco-friendly products to buy, as recognized by publications like Reader’s Digest.

Charcoal At Shark Tank

Diversifying its product line, Prime 6 now offers its charcoal in boxes weighing nine and 22 pounds, alongside the introduction of fire starters and fire logs. These recycled compressed wood fire logs, suitable for pizza ovens, signify Prime 6’s strategic move beyond the realm of traditional barbecues. Upholding its commitment to environmental sustainability, Prime 6 has planted an impressive 120,000 trees and repurposed over 2.5 million tons of sawdust, solidifying its position as a leader in providing eco-friendly grilling solutions.

Prime 6 is on a rapid expansion trajectory, demonstrating unwavering momentum. In January 2023, the company unveiled a strategic alliance with Vesta Foodservice, dispersing Prime 6 environmentally conscious charcoal in regions encompassing California, Arizona, and Las Vegas. Following this, in July 2023, Prime 6 forged a collaboration with Halperns’ Steak & Seafood to cater to chefs across the culinary landscape of Georgia, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, and South Carolina [9].

In the realm of entrepreneurship, Riki Franco not only serves as the founder and CEO of Prime 6 but also assumes the role of a mentor for burgeoning international startups, as outlined in her LinkedIn profile. Furthermore, she is a co-founder of Alpha Cats, a networking hub in New York tailored for professional women. Oron Franco, the co-founder, dedicates his full-time efforts to Prime 6 as its Chief Operating Officer.

Emerging from a humble beginning of selling products from the trunk of their car, the Francos, in just three years of business, confidently proclaimed that the “finest moments are yet to unfold” (via Instagram). This assertion gains credence as Prime 6’s trajectory remains on a steadfast upward climb. As the enterprise continues to burgeon and evolve, its future appears just as resilient and enduring as the remarkable quality of its charcoal.

Prime 6 has garnered praise from numerous chefs who are impressed with its performance. Todd Lean, a chef from Philadelphia, expressed his admiration, stating, “Using Prime 6, especially in Japanese cooking, elevates the finished product and enhances the overall flavor”. Other culinary professionals have commended the product’s extended burning time, effective heat conductivity, and space-saving capabilities.

While professional chefs, well-versed in the intricacies of grilling, have overwhelmingly positive experiences with Prime 6, home cooks present a mixed picture with both favorable and critical feedback. Despite an appreciation for the sustainability concept and the charcoal’s prolonged burn time, some Amazon reviewers have noted challenges in lighting the charcoal. Similar sentiments have been echoed in reviews on the Lowe’s website. However, those who successfully ignited the charcoal generally acknowledged its effectiveness once lit.

Ultimately, Prime 6 emerges as a compelling choice for grill enthusiasts seeking an environmentally conscious charcoal option. From its reputation as a cleaner burning alternative to its commitment to tree planting initiatives, some users may find the product’s higher price and lighting effort justified. The positive trajectory of Prime 6, undoubtedly bolstered by its exposure on “Shark Tank,” reinforces its standing as a noteworthy fire starter in the world of grilling.

Prime 6 Charcoal

The Net Worth Of Prime 6 Charcoal

The company made $ 1.3 million in sales in just the first three months after their Shark Tank debut.

As of September 2023, Prime 6’s net worth is approximately $ 2.5 million, with an impressive annual revenue of $ 1.3 million. This growth trend appears to be continuing which also estimates the company’s net worth at $ 2.5 million [10].

The company’s success can be attributed to the unique features of its product. Not only is Prime 6 Charcoal made from hardwood waste, but it also burns longer and leaves no ash residue, as noted by Walmart. These characteristics have led to favorable market reception and substantial sales, contributing to the company’s noteworthy net worth.

Alternatives To Prime 6 Charcoal:

Kingsford Original Charcoal:

A longstanding favorite among grillers, Kingsford Original Charcoal is known for its affordability and widespread availability. It offers a reliable and consistent burn, making it suitable for various grilling applications. While it may produce more ash compared to Prime 6, it remains a cost-effective and popular choice.

Royal Oak All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal:

For those who prefer lump charcoal over briquettes, Royal Oak provides an all-natural hardwood option. Lump charcoal tends to light faster and burn hotter than briquettes, making it ideal for high-temperature grilling. It may not have the extended burn time of Prime 6, but it offers a unique flavor profile appreciated by many grilling enthusiasts.

Jealous Devil All-Natural Hardwood Lump Charcoal:

Jealous Devil is a premium lump charcoal option known for its high-quality hardwood and consistent burn. It produces minimal ash and imparts a distinct smoky flavor to the food. While it may come at a higher price point compared to some traditional options, its performance and flavor benefits appeal to serious grillers.

The Net Worth Of Prime 6 Charcoal

Weber Briquettes:

Weber Briquettes are designed to provide consistent heat and a long burn time, similar to Prime 6. They are made from natural ingredients, and the pillow-shaped briquettes are engineered for uniformity. This alternative is often praised for its reliability and is compatible with both low and slow cooking as well as high-temperature grilling [11].

Fogo Super Premium Hardwood Lump Charcoal:

Fogo Super Premium Lump Charcoal is another high-quality option for users who prefer lump charcoal. It is made from dense hardwood, providing a clean and hot burn. Fogo is well-regarded for its large chunks and minimal sparking, catering to those who appreciate the safety and performance aspects of their grilling experience.

B&B Charcoal Oak Lump Charcoal:

B&B Charcoal offers a hardwood lump charcoal option made from oak. It is known for producing a robust flavor and a consistent burn. While it may not have the same eco-friendly claims as Prime 6, it remains a solid choice for users seeking high-quality lump charcoal.

Cowboy Charcoal Hardwood Briquettes:

Cowboy Charcoal provides hardwood briquettes that are easy to light and offer a steady burn. While not as long-lasting as Prime 6, Cowboy Charcoal is a budget-friendly option that provides a reliable performance for various grilling applications.


  1. How is Prime 6 reusable?

Prime 6 charcoal is reusable due to its unique composition. The dense blocks of carbonized hardwood sawdust can be used up to seven times before needing replacement. This reusability not only makes Prime 6 environmentally friendly but also offers an economical advantage for users.

  1. How is Prime 6 saving money?

Prime 6 contributes to cost savings through its extended burn time and reusability. With a single block capable of being used up to seven times, users can achieve longer grilling sessions, reducing the frequency of charcoal replacements and ultimately saving money.

  1. What makes Prime 6 sustainable?

Prime 6 is sustainable as it is made from carbonized hardwood sawdust, a renewable resource. The manufacturing process prioritizes eco-friendly practices, and the company is committed to tree-planting initiatives. This dedication to sustainability sets Prime 6 apart as an environmentally conscious choice.

  1. How come Prime 6 burns for so long?

The extended burn time of Prime 6 is attributed to its dense composition and the use of carbonized hardwood sawdust. This combination allows for a slow and steady burn, making it ideal for various grilling techniques, including low and slow cooking.

  1. Is it chemical-free?

Yes, Prime 6 is chemical-free. It is made from carbonized hardwood sawdust and natural binders, avoiding the use of chemicals and additives commonly found in traditional charcoal products. This makes it a cleaner and safer option for grilling.

  1. What does “No Smoke” of Prime 6 mean?

“No Smoke” of Prime 6 means that the charcoal produces minimal smoke during combustion. This feature not only contributes to a cleaner grilling experience but also enhances safety, making it suitable for various outdoor cooking environments.

How is Prime 6 reusable?

  1. Who owns Prime 6 charcoal grills?

Prime 6 charcoal grills are owned by the users themselves. Prime 6 is a premium charcoal product designed for use in various grills, smokers, and outdoor ovens. Users can incorporate Prime 6 charcoal into their existing grilling setups.

  1. How do you stop Prime 6 charcoal?

To stop Prime 6 charcoal, simply extinguish the flames and close off the airflow to the charcoal. The dense composition of Prime 6 allows for easy extinguishing, providing users with control over the grilling process.

  1. How long does Prime 6 last?

The longevity of Prime 6 depends on usage, but each block can be used up to seven times before needing replacement. This prolonged usage contributes to its reputation for lasting longer than traditional charcoal options.

  1. Why does Prime 6 stop working?

Prime 6 may stop working when it has been fully burned or when the user decides to extinguish the flames. It is a natural and controllable process that aligns with the user’s grilling needs.

  1. How do you use Prime 6 charcoal?

Using Prime 6 charcoal is simple. Light the charcoal using preferred methods, wait for it to ash over, and then distribute it in the grill or smoker. Adjust airflow for the desired temperature and start grilling. The versatile nature of Prime 6 makes it suitable for various grilling techniques.

  1. What are the 5 types of charcoal?

The term “charcoal” typically refers to the product derived from burning wood or other organic materials. However, Prime 6, specifically, is a premium charcoal made from carbonized hardwood sawdust. Traditional classifications of charcoal include lump charcoal, briquettes, extruded charcoal, Japanese binchotan, and coconut shell charcoal.

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