Historically, charcoal has been one of the most traditionally used sources of fuel. Today we are more familiar with its use in cooking, such as in the backyard or camping grill.
Charcoal is basically composed of tiny particles of carbon. The charcoal is produced by burning hard woods to create a brittle and black substance. Based on the mix of ingredients, coals used in cooking can be of different types based on the ingredients present in them.
About 90 percent of Charcoal briquettes are made of up of 2 primary ingredients. The first one, Char, is the primary reason briquettes produce the smokey wood flavor, and it allows the briquettes to easily light. Coal is the second primary ingredient which produces the high-temperatures, and continuous burn required in grilling. The last 10 percent of charcoal briquettes is generally made-up of minor ingredients which act as accelerants, and binders.
Charcoal briquettes are used in place of standard firewood since briquettes are much more efficient at burning and have a much lower moisture content, up to 60 percent lower. Users usually prefer briquettes as their main source of cooking fuel due to their stable heat and uniform size. Other grillers prefer lump charcoal over the briquettes due to concerns with the additives and taste that they may impart during the cooking process.
Here's a few guidelines on how to properly light and use your charcoal briquettes.
- Instead of using lighter fluid to ignite the briquettes, crumple a few pages of paper and place in the compartment under the charcoal. It can take about 15 minutes to see the coals properly heated. Also know, when it's windy out, Charcoal briquettes can burn much hotter and faster. Compared to a normal day, wind can cause them to burn close to a third as fast.
- With practice, you can control the temperature by removing or adding the hot briquettes. Base the amount you need on the rate that the food is cooking.
- Be sure to have water nearby to put out any fires. Even after putting out with water, if the briquettes are allowed to dry they can usually be used again.
There are pros and cons to using charcoal briquettes compared to other alternate fuel sources such as natural gas or propane. The taste that is produced in the food has more of a savory smoked flavor compared to gas grills. Charcoal grills generally come in smaller sizes to be transported to sporting events or camping. Briquettes tend to be less expensive to cook with than comparable sized gas and propane grills.
Some of the least favorable aspects of charcoal briquette grills are the effort it takes in lighting and maintaining the heat. Gas and propane are convenient in getting started by the 'flip' of a switch. Charcoal grills also tend to be more of a clean-up process due to the residual ash and soot.
Hopefully you try adding charcoal briquettes or also try