Wed 20 Jun 2018
Read other related stories: Charcoal Grilling , Outdoor Cooking
WHY CHAR-WOOD IS THE BETTER OPTION OVER CHARCOAL
Binchotan charcoal is made from the Japanese direct fire method of making charcoal with Kiln! Japanese charcoal making has been around for centuries and burns longer than lump hardwood charcoal! We have replicated their process and make our Char-wood from our North American hardwood blocks! Carbonization is key to Char!
Frankly, the term “charwood” may be a new one for you. Although its function is like charcoal, the benefits clearly outweigh those of charcoal. Let’s examine the key reasons why charwood may be the better option for outdoor cooking over standard charcoal.
Hopefully, if you’ve been engaging in outdoor grilling and/or smoking for some time. You’ve understood the need for a fuel material that burns evenly and hot. You’ve likely also heard the controversy that’s brewed for years about what is the best product to use for the fuel. Products range from briquets, lump hardwood charcoal, specialty wood charcoal, and compressed woods like pellets and compressed wood blocks. The key is to understand that some of these products could contain binding agents as well as accelerants to make for easy lighting.
Carbonization is the conversion of an organic matter into carbon. Carbon is an element that forms when the organic matter is heated to a high level without oxygen, burning off the volatile gases, leaving the pure carbon behind. Although commercial material production, whether briquet, hardwood charcoal, or standard charcoal have different percentages of carbonization in the outcome, most are above 90%. That high level of carbonization is what allows for heat to be produced for outdoor cooking.
When you use straight charcoal briquets, you are getting heat only with no flavor as that is a fully carbonized or charred product. Many prefer to use briquets because they are uniform in size and give the same outcome every time they are used. Fill a chimney starter with briquets, and you’ll have the same number of briquets fit in the chimney every time.
When you use lump hardwood charcoal, you will get variation in sizing from small, chip-like pieces to half-log size pieces. Here’s information you need to know. Although the label may read “hardwood”, there is no information on where that hardwood derived from. Often, manufacturers of lump hardwood charcoal produce their product from recycled materials such as old pallets, lumber scraps from flooring, cabinet, and furniture makers. They may take in scraps from lumber mills. When this material is carbonized, it will do so at various levels due to the variation in material sizing.
That means when you cook with it or for that matter when you lite it, expect great variation from use to use due to all the inconsistency in sizing. The inconsistency will produce a lower percentage of carbonized material than briquets. So know you may get some minimal flavor from lump hardwood due to poorly carbonized larger pieces of product. This is the reason there is more ash production with lump hardwood charcoals.
Specialty charcoals, generally made in other countries, are a particularly hard substance, light in weight product, that can be a challenge to lite. Once they are ignited, however, they produce a lot of heat – often more than the standard briquet. Very little ash is produced and there is no flavor from this product.
Benefits of SmokinLicious® Charwood
When SmokinLicious® made the decision to manufacture a charwood product, we researched extensively why the Japanese binchotan charcoal, also called white charcoal, was so popular and expensive. We found that though it could be a challenge to lite, it burned extremely hot, clean, leaving little to no ash, produced no smoke and no flavor. We produced a similar set up to the Japanese direct-fire method with our charwood production. Instead of using miniature branches, we use consistently sized wood blocks. Unlike the binchotan, we do not do a complete carbonization. The result is you get the ease of lighting like a lump hardwood charcoal, the flavor of premium hardwood. Plus, the reduced ash production of a briquet, and reduced smoke output than burning wood alone. We see this as the best of all the options out there.
Now, instead of viewing your charcoal as just a heat generator, when you use SmokinLicious® charwood you have one product that can be used as fuel for temperature while the reduced carbonized center portion produces the flavor. A premium product that gives premium results!