To grill with charcoal is an actual test for experienced griller. From lighting and adjusting coals to the regulation of airflow and controlling flare-ups, it can be a tough challenge with great rewards. However, before you give ignition to charcoal to get grilling, there is one critical question: What kind of charcoal should I use - natural hardwood charcoal or lump charcoal?
Both the above charcoal types are discussed below:
The process of preparing lump charcoal usually starts by stacking wood logs in grounded pits. Then covering those wood logs with dirt and sheet metal. The logs are burnt at one end of the stockpile, and the wood smolders for some days.
Dur9ing this period, the fire burns which are starved with oxygen burns off the water, sap and different volatile materials in the wood. The leftover element is almost pure carbon, also called as char or lump charcoal.
To grill over a lump charcoal fire is a vibrant experience. Lump charcoal gets broiled hot in no time, typically in 10-15 minutes. Its intense warmth can char food in a matter of seconds, browning the surface and provide scent to it with the aroma of pure wood smoke. In several cases, the smokiness comes out from one type of wood only, such as oak or mesquite.
Quite a few times, a container filled with lump charcoal can carry a mix of hardwoods, including maple, hickory, oak, and possibly a few tropical planks of wood from Asia or South America.
The drawback? Once fire from the lump charcoal reaches to its pinnacle, it commences losing heat pretty quickly. In many situations, the temperatures will drop from high heat to low heat in 30 minutes or less.
So, if you wish to keep set a certain temperature range to cook, the fire requires replenishing. Fortunately, lump charcoal heats and lights so rapidly that you can receive a burst of heat within five to ten minutes of adding extra unlit coals.
To be on the convenient side, several charcoal briquette manufacturers crush charcoal with a binder, typically an organic starch, so the dense little pillows will maintain their shape. Briquettes without any additive generally are labeled “hardwood” or “natural”. They almost burn as hot as lump charcoal. However, they also burn out as quickly as they lit.
Their significant benefit is that they have even shape and size. With briquettes, it is comparatively easy to form a smooth bed of coals. Besides, the irregular sizes and shapes of lump charcoal can leave holes in the fire.
Lump charcoal visually does not have a flat shape like the charcoal briquette. The pieces can be in several different sizes and shapes, which can lead to problems, especially with holding temperatures for an extended length of time. Also, there is not a direct relation between lump charcoal’s amount and how many charcoal briquettes in a recipe.
Both the above are main forms of charcoal. So, decide as per your requirements.