For the past few years I have only been using 100% All Natural Lump Charcoal. I have even done other posts praising it (see Lump Charcoal vs Briquettes- Which Charcoal is Best? ). Recently, however, I have found that my opinion has changed slightly. So, I thought I should write a little article about my findings on the tough question- Which is Best- Briquettes or Lump Charcoal?
Used to be a Hardcore Briquette lover
Several years back I got really turned off on briquettes, after being a staunch user for decades.
See what happened was… One day decided to give lump charcoal a try. Just to check it out. Also, it was cheaper at the store I was shopping at, so seemed like the perfect opportunity to try something new.
I ended up really liking the lump charcoal. It gets going faster than regular charcoal, and burns hot and fast for a quick grilling event. But sometime last year, I was trying to grill a tri tip while camping. It was a bit windy out, and the lump charcoal failed me.
Its benefit of burning hot and fast turned against me. The steady breeze just made it burn out way too fast, not giving the meat enough time to reach its perfect medium rare. I was pretty unhappy with the whole event to say the least.
Now with this knowledge of there being certain times when the lump charcoal just isn’t going to work out, I was persuade to go back to regular briquettes. To my dismay, I found that the regular briquettes had a nasty smell when I burned them. And that smell left a taste on my BBQued food. No good!
All Natural Briquettes!!
Then one day, now in a constant search for something that burns longer in the wind and still tastes good, I found a bag that said 100% All Natural Briquettes. I was a little skeptical, but I knew I needed to give them a shot.
I don’t know if this is a fairly new thing that the charcoal companies have caught onto, but what a difference!!
No disgusting, chemically, nasty flavor or smell! I can’t believe all those years I was eating that gross stuff without even realizing it.
So. for the past year or so, I have kept both 100% all natural lump and 100% all natural briquettes on hand. Either works and tastes great. I just pick depending on how much I am grilling and what the weather is like.
BEWARE!- Read Carefully
There is a couple brands that I buy (usually whatever is cheaper). But I have found that any given brand will have a bag that looks identical to the All Natural variety, but it just doesn’t say “All Natural”. And it is not. Believe my taste buds! I have had to throw food out. So MAKE SURE you read “100% All Natural” on the bag every time you buy one.
Just as a side note, I thought I should mention, I do not use lighter fluid at all. I use a charcoal chimney and paper for a clean chemical free burn. I put a link here to these items on Amazon. The grill and the chimney are good deals, but the charcoal is probably way cheaper at any local store.
Thanks for reading. Make sure to check out My Hot Sauce Shop to see some of my favorite Hot Sauces and must have BBQ accessories!
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