Charcoal or Briquettes?

Charcoal or Briquettes?

Postby aris » Fri Apr 29, 2005 3:17 pm

Which is best, and why?
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Postby sausagemaker » Fri Apr 29, 2005 5:15 pm

Don't know I use gas
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Postby Platypus » Fri Apr 29, 2005 5:18 pm

Oooooh!!!!! Real can 'o worms is that question.

The BEST has to be handmade british charcoal, produced from environmentally sound, sustainable, coppiced woodland sources. 8)

The WORST is that cheap cr*p that all the DIY stores sell, factory produced from the waste left over from the deforestisation of the Amazon :twisted:

However, being a bit more practical about it;

Briquettes are harder to light, will take longer too get to the 'even burn stage', but will burn for longer.

Charcoal is easier to light, and gets to temperature quicker, but has a tendancy to burn very quickly, especially if the charcoal pieces are small, as tends to be the case with the cheaper stuff.

Some people like the fact that you can count out a certain number of briquettes for a certain size BBQ and get repeatable results. But for me this is less important and I am VERY suspicious of the material used to make them. I was told that they are often made from coal dust, wood dust, and very small chips of charcoal, all bound together with cement :?

I have always prefered the real thing, good quality charcoal is great to use, lighter to carry, and somehow just seems right :)

But to be honest I have used all sorts of charcoal and briquettes and would have to say that as far as flavour of the finished banger or steak goes, I doubt if I could tell the difference.

Now just DON'T get me started on gas BBQ's :D
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Postby aris » Fri Apr 29, 2005 6:33 pm

Yes, I've got gas too - but sometimes you want to do a good charcoal BBQ - it just tastes better. Gas is convinient - that is for sure.
Last edited by aris on Sat Apr 30, 2005 4:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Spuddy » Fri Apr 29, 2005 9:36 pm

Mine's a gas one too but I've got into the habit of using woodchips (usually oak) to give a smoke flavour which I find is superior to charcoal alone. However I think charcoal and woodchips would probably be best (though I've never done a side by side comparison).
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Postby aris » Sat Apr 30, 2005 4:51 am

I've tried the woodchips thing on gas, with varity results. I put the wodchips in a packet made of aluminum and punched some holes in it - then put this directly above the flames. It did smoke nicely, but didn't last very long - about 20 minutes - so I had to make a fair few of them.

The technique only works if you put the lid on the BBQ essentially using it as an oven.
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Postby Deer Man » Sat Apr 30, 2005 8:38 am

Platypus wrote:Oooooh!!!!! Real can 'o worms is that question.

The BEST has to be handmade british charcoal, produced from environmentally sound, sustainable, coppiced woodland sources. 8)

The WORST is that cheap cr*p that all the DIY stores sell, factory produced from the waste left over from the deforestisation of the Amazon :twisted:

However, being a bit more practical about it;

Briquettes are harder to light, will take longer too get to the 'even burn stage', but will burn for longer.

Charcoal is easier to light, and gets to temperature quicker, but has a tendancy to burn very quickly, especially if the charcoal pieces are small, as tends to be the case with the cheaper stuff.

Some people like the fact that you can count out a certain number of briquettes for a certain size BBQ and get repeatable results. But for me this is less important and I am VERY suspicious of the material used to make them. I was told that they are often made from coal dust, wood dust, and very small chips of charcoal, all bound together with cement :?

I have always prefered the real thing, good quality charcoal is great to use, lighter to carry, and somehow just seems right :)

Now just DON'T get me started on gas BBQ's :D


Well said platypus! I don,t do gas either :twisted:

99.9% of the BBQs you see in the UK are Grills, chuck your charcoal on and wait for it to reach 2-400f and away you go. SHAME :wink:

Some of the best charcoal I have seen is made by at http://www.kamado.com/New_Kamado_Charcoal.htm

I would love one of there BBQS! :D Shipping costs are way to high! :(
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