Friday, May 28, 2010

Charcoal Briquettes or Natural Lump Charcoal?

I made my charcoal run yesterday with Memorial Day coming up. And, yes, I went with Kingsford briquettes.

Some folks are surprised that I prefer briquettes over natural lump charcoal, but it's a flavor thing with me. I grew up on Kingsford, and I love the flavor especially when it comes to grilled burgers or steaks.

Natural lump charcoal has more of a wood flavor, since it is wood that is charcoaled down with no additives.

I do use both types of charcoal. The Big Green Egg is supposed to be used with natural lump charcoal. It burns hotter, and there's less ash left at the end. BGE sells natural lump charcoal which is good, but there are a number of brands on the market which work fine.

I'd say, try both types of charcoal and decide for yourself. Both are good products - just different. Some people prefer the faint wood smoked flavor while others (like me) really like the traditional charcoal flavor.

One tip I would give is that if you use briquettes, go with the regular rather than the quick light. The quick light can have a starter fluid taste. Instead, use a chimney starter. They are inexpensive, and you have perfect coals in 15 minutes or so. With natural lump, the pieces are various sizes and shapes and also the natural lump pops and sparks, so use an electric fire starter or one of the lighter products now on the market like the parafin cubes.

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