The Most Comprehensive Guide of BBQ Charcoal

Jan 26


Ivy Zhang

Ivy Zhang

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As a senior barbecue enthusiast, I would like to share with you some practical barbecue charcoal selection skills, charcoal lighting tips, BBQ charcoal firepower control, and barbecue charcoal cleaning tips. I hope to bring you some help.

Barbecue Charcoal Classification and Selection

At present, The Most Comprehensive Guide of BBQ Charcoal Articles the common barbecue charcoal fuels on the market can be divided into four categories: natural trees, log charcoal, machine-made charcoal and natural granular charcoal. These four fuels are slightly different in composition, production method, burning time, burning heat, burning time, etc.

1. Natural trees

Natural trees are the most primitive and long-lasting barbecue fuel. They are often various fruit trees, such as applewood, pear trees, jujube wood, litchi wood and so on. After cutting the trees directly, they are sawn into sections and then cut into suitable sizes to dry. Then they can be used directly during the barbecue. They are mostly used in traditional cuisines such as roast duck, roast suckling pig, roast whole lamb, etc.

The characteristics of natural trees: It’s suitable for barbecue food with a special flavor. However, the raw materials are scarce, its use environment is relatively limited and inflexible and its burning fire is difficult to control with more smoke and sparks during the barbecue, so it’s not suitable for ordinary household.

2. Log charcoal

Log charcoal is a barbecue fuel that is processed after cutting down logs, including all kinds of hardwoods, fruit trees, miscellaneous woods, etc. This fuel is currently the closest to the original ecological and practical barbecue charcoal, and it is easy to ignite.

The characteristics of log charcoal: It is smokeless and easy to ignite. However, its burning time is slightly shorter than that of machine-made charcoal.

3. Machine-made charcoal

Machine-made charcoal is widely used for grilling nowadays. There is a wide range of raw materials for machine-made charcoal, such as rice husks, cotton husks, corn cobs, corn stalks, sorghum stalks, beanstalks and other wooden scraps. The spherical machined charcoal is the most combustible and resistant to burning.

Machine-made charcoal features: high density, high calorific value, long burning time. It is very convenient for commercial and domestic use. It is recommended to ignite machine-made charcoal with ignition wax.

At present, the quality of machine-made charcoal on the market is uneven, so be careful when choosing them. Some black-hearted businesses will add some leaves, plastic products and other sundries to the scraps to reduce costs. This kind of charcoal will have some peculiar smell and is also harmful to health. It is not possible for us to directly judge the material of the machine-made charcoal just by looking, but some low-quality charcoal can be avoided from the price. Therefore, you should not be greedy for cheap charcoal, just choose the barbecue machine charcoal of formal brands.

4. Natural granular charcoal

Natural granular charcoal is a new type of grilling fuel. It is a barbecue fuel that mixes various natural wood chips in a certain proportion according to the needs and then presses them into small particles.

Natural granular charcoal is a new type of grilling fuel. It is a barbecue fuel that mixes various natural wood chips in a certain proportion according to the needs and then presses them into small particles.

The granules made of different mixing methods can produce different fragrances in the burning process. It is mainly used for smoking in the smoking oven. It adopts intelligent feeding with time controllable, and the baked food is especially delicious.

The characteristics of granular charcoal: It has a unique fragrance but large smoke. It is suitable for smoke-roast with a professional smoking grilling stove.

Of course, there is also a thing called steel charcoal, which you've probably heard of. The so-called steel charcoal is hard coke (harder than bituminous coal and yellow coal) that is smoldered with big charcoal. The sound of the finished products colliding together is similar to the sound of metal colliding, so it's called steel charcoal. Because of its high combustion value and high burning temperature, it is generally used for steelmaking or other industrial production. It smells of sulfur when it burns. Generally, the charcoal purchased from regular channels at normal prices will not be steel charcoal.

The Burning Skills of Barbecue Charcoal

Choosing the barbecue charcoal suitable for yourself is just the first step before grilling. How to ignite the barbecue charcoal quickly, simply and effortlessly is also very knowledgeable. At present, the commonly used auxiliary equipment for igniting BBQ charcoal includes the flame gun, ignition wax/solid alcohol and ignition barrel.

  1. The flame gun is the most direct way of charcoal burning. The snap-on gas tank flame gun is very common both in outdoor and daily life. When grilling, especially when using machine-made charcoal, you can directly arrange the charcoal in a pyramid shape, and then use a flame gun to spray fire at the charcoal gap at a 45-degree angle. Note that the flame nozzle of the flame gun should be kept at a distance of about 15 cm from the charcoal to prevent the flame nozzle from being damaged by high temperature.
  2. Common ignition media are ignition wax and solid alcohol. The igniting wax, an igniting material made of artificial mineral oil, has a higher heat and lasting firepower.

Let me share with you the specific steps of using ignition wax to burn charcoal:

  1. Place the charcoal on the charcoal net in a pyramid shape, pay attention to keeping it ventilated, and then take an appropriate amount (usually 5-6 packs) of igniting wax and plug it into the gap of the charcoal pile.
  2. Ignite the ignition wax. The flame of combustion can drive the burning of surrounding charcoal.
  3. Add other charcoal blocks around the burned charcoal blocks to ignite them together.
  4. After about 10 minutes, the charcoal is fully lit and you can start grilling.
  5. The ignition barrel is a cylindrical barrel with good ventilation. Its bottom and surroundings are mostly hollow.

Igniter wax and igniter barrel are excellent igniter combination equipment. Let me share with you the specific steps:

  1. Take an appropriate amount (generally 5-6 packets) of ignition wax into a small pile and then ignite it.
  2. Put the charcoal in the ignition barrel with good ventilation, and then place the barrel on the burning ignition wax stack.
  3. The flame of the ignition wax can drive the burning of the charcoal in the ignition barrel.
  4. After about 10 minutes, the charcoal is fully ignited. Pour it into the charcoal net and you can start the barbecue.

PS: If it is a long strip of charcoal, you can ignite the charcoal without a fire barrel, just pile the charcoal into a hollow trapezoid underneath, and then put a few packs of igniting wax to ignite it.

In addition to being used as an auxiliary tool for igniting and burning charcoal, in an outdoor environment, find some dry branches as energy sources, and the ignition bucket can be used directly as a stove to boil noodles and boil tea, and it can even be used with pots for cooking, etc. It is very practical outdoor equipment. You can always keep one in the trunk of your car in case of need.

Fire Control of Barbecue Charcoal

It is difficult to control the temperature of the fire when using a charcoal grill. How to balance direct heating at high temperature and indirect heating at medium temperature directly affects the taste of the barbecue. The following ways to control the charcoal fire may help you!

1. Slope heating method

This heating method can provide a larger heating area. The specific method is to pile up charcoal on one side of the charcoal basin and leave the other side empty and pile up the charcoal on a slope at the middle transition.

2. Semi-zone heating method

This method is very suitable when you want to grill directly at a high temperature but need a safe grilling area to prevent overheating. You can fill half the bottom with charcoal and leave the other half empty.

3. Canyon heating method

This is one of the favorite grilling techniques of many grilling masters. Pile the charcoal on both sides of the charcoal pot for direct high-temperature grilling and indirect grilling in the middle low-temperature area to ensure that your barbecue can be evenly heated.

4. Island heating method

Put a small pile of charcoal in the corner of the stove to form a charcoal island, cover it and let it heat up. This method is very suitable for long-term low-temperature and slow-roasting of large pieces of meat, and for grilling meat in an ordinary oven.

Cleaning up the barbecue charcoal

After grilling, the charcoal needs to be handled carefully. If not cleaned up in time, the charcoal basin is easy to rust. When you have enough time, wait for the charcoal to cool down before cleaning. If time is tight, you can wrap the charcoal in aluminum foil, cool it in water, and then throw it in the trash can. Remember not to pour water directly into the charcoal basin.