Having a BBQ grill in your backyard brings about a plethy opportunities. First, a barbecue can be the centre-piece of any family gathering, community event or party. It offers double benefits – the potential to gather everyone you dear and hold close as well as enjoy delicious meals. However, most people believe it’s all down to the grill itself and doesn’t focus much attention towards the fuel for the grill. We’re here to tell you that it’s essential to choose the right fuel. Nothing beats that smokey smell and flavour of BBQ ribs or a medium-rare patty for the burger. This is why you should look at charcoal for BBQ grills and buy BBQ coal as your first choice.
But wait, there’s more. You shouldn’t just march into the first store and purchase the first bag you see. To get the best product for your grill, you should be able to distinguish the different types of charcoal. Some of them are cheap, others cost a lot and you, of course, have the options in between. But which type suits you best?
There’s also the grill itself, to factor in. A particular type of charcoal might not work great on a specific grill. This is why some consumers will have to consider hardwood or entirely natural BBQ coal as their choice.
The story won’t end there. Every consumer needs to know about proper storage too. To make the most of even a small bag of charcoal for a BBQ, you have to be aware of basic storage rules and not disregard safety.
What kinds of BBQ charcoal is there?
In general, BBQ coal is divided into two major categories. You have charcoal briquettes and hardwood lump charcoal. But what are the differences between them, and where is one better than the other?
Charcoal briquettes are small, dense lumps of coal that are a bit more familiar to most users. In general, the briquettes are used for grilling food more often. They allow for a more controlled and stable fire which emits long-term heat. This is crucial to have when grilling a steak or larger chunks of food that need slow-cooking. One of the most distinguishable features of briquettes is that even though there is a lot of wood in the composition, wood doesn’t make up all 100% of the briquette. Manufacturers have to add some binders that allow hardwood-based BBQ coal briquettes to retain their shape. The other noteworthy fact is that briquettes are the cheap option from the two. So, overall – barbecue charcoal briquettes are a more economical and practical choice that allows you to cook with more simplicity. It isn’t 100% eco-friendly, but if you’re seeking for the cheaper, more reliable option, the pieces that are called ‘briquettes’ should be your go-to option.
Moving on to hardwood lump charcoal. It’s a more natural choice of charcoal for your grill. On the other hand, it costs slightly more, but it has that “X” factor as it adds flavour to your cooking. The first difference that you will notice (besides the cost, of course) is that you won’t find any binding agents or not-too favourable fillers that are present in briquettes. The composition is usually 100% hardwood or softwood in very rare cases. This isn’t just for environmentally friendly, and it also delivers that smokey, lovely flavour to your cooking. If you use hardwood charcoal lumps for your cooking, some of the ingredients like pecan or mesquite add taste and smell. This is especially useful to someone who appreciates and fancies not gourmet meals but all delicious, unique food in particular. At the same time, lump charcoal for barbeque has entirely different flame and burning characteristics from briquettes. They will burn in a hotter fire. Thus, if you’re grilling hot dogs or something that doesn’t require slow-cooking – this is an excellent option. But if you want to prepare a meal that will knock your guests’ socks off, choose hardwood charcoal lumps. It will take more care and precision to prepare the meal, but the added aroma and flavour are worth it.
All things considered, if you can, don’t hesitate to buy both types of charcoal to be prepared for any occasion. For times when you’re preparing steaks, ribs or a whole turkey, make sure you fire up briquettes. However, in the event of grilling veggies or thin meat, it will be much quicker and well worth it if you use BBQ lump coal. Remember that both of them have their pros and cons. Know when and how to take advantage of them to squeeze out maximum value from them.
How to choose the right charcoal for BBQ?
As we mentioned, there are two main types of charcoal for barbecue. If you decide to buy a bag of lump coal, you will be getting a product that’s more eco-friendly and costs a tad more. However, it burns quickly and can add unusual smells and more flavours to the food that you’re cooking. Thus, it is usually used for cooking thin meats or vegetables.
Briquettes are slow-cooking and have binding agents and fillers within them. So, if you want to grill steaks or a whole chicken, this is the better, albeit less-eco friendly option.
With all of that being said, consumers should and have to look at more factors before choosing the right charcoal for themselves.
Begin by taking a look at the manufacturer and their reputation. If the company is well-established and has a proven track record, you can be confident in buying their produce. Even though it might be tempting to purchase the very cheapest option out there and get a bag of charcoal that costs least, some suppliers utilise every shortcut just to reduce costs. This results in a product that’s low-quality and not worth your money. So, our advice would be not to try and save every cent when purchasing and look for a reputable brand.
Next up, look at the quantity that is up for sale. If you are a frequent BBQ host or like to prepare meals on a grill, get a larger bag. However, if you don’t cook that often, don’t go for larger bags. Under 20lbs bags will do just fine.
Looking further, don’t overlook the taste and ingredients of charcoal lumps. If you want something more exotic and unique, go for lumps that add additional flavour. However, if you’re just trying it out for the first time, get a small bag that will allow room for error. You don’t want to be stuck with 50 lbs of lumps that don’t exactly smell great and don’t make the food more delicious.
Finally, there are burning characteristics to keep in mind. Your charcoal should heat up fast but burn long. If it does catch fire quickly and burns very hot, it might not be the best for a steak cookout. However, if it’s slow-burning – it’s perfect.
How to store BBQ Charcoal?
If you plan on having multiple cookouts and host more than a few barbecues, you should be aware of how to store and keep charcoal properly. It would be best if you were mindful of rules and recommendations so that your charcoal remains in top shape, easy-to light and of maximum efficiency.
Our first piece of advice would be to seal the bags that are already appropriately opened. As it is crucial for the charcoal to avoid contact with water and/or heat sources, the suppliers and we strongly recommend sealing all bags that have already been opened.
Protection from moisture and water is the most crucial element out there. If your charcoal comes in contact with water, rain or even high humidity like fog and dew, this should and likely would severely diminish its capabilities to light up and be a good fuel.
Why should you choose HS Solid Fuels?
HS Solid Fuels is your one-stop-shop for all solid fuels. We seek to help everyone tired of googling phrases like ‘Where can I buy charcoal near me’ and so on. By offering high-quality solid fuel products for sale, we can help you make your day to day life a lot easier.
Our product catalogue has the highest-grade of charcoal briquettes and hardwood charcoal lumps that you can choose from. Top-notch produce will bring a lot more flavours on your table and a lot more happiness, not just because it’s affordable and efficient, but also because it’s the best in the market and makes your cookout job a whole lot easier.
If you have any questions or want to get unbiased insights – don’t be afraid to ask questions. We’re always happy to help you out!