Choose Your Charcoal Wisely

The decision has been made. The grill of choice will be a charcoal grill. Now that this has been decided, a griller may think that the rest is easy. For the most part, it is! However, to make sure that the charcoal grill provides the best grilling experience possible, the charcoal must be chosen wisely.

There are many different types of charcoal. When choosing which type to use, a griller should consider what is being cooked and who it is being cooked for and under what circumstances. The four basic types of charcoal include pressed charcoal briquets, pressed charcoal briquets with smoking woods, match lighting charcoal, and lump charcoal.

Pressed charcoal briquets represent the type of charcoal almost everyone is familiar with. The briquets are made by pressing together small bits of wood and other organic matter. Chemicals are often used to make them hold together better and to facilitate easier lighting. This type of charcoal is inexpensive and is a good choice for cookouts where many hot dogs and hamburgers are to be cooked for a large number of people. This is particularly true if the people in question are youngsters that have not yet developed a discerning taste when it comes to grilling. The drawback to this charcoal is that it is one of the least natural. The smell that is associated with it is often the smell of lighter fluid rather than the smell of woodsy smoke.

Pressed charcoal briquets with smoking woods are an upgrade over plain pressed charcoal briquets. The addition of smoking woods to the briquets results in the smoke flavor appreciated by an older crowd. These briquets are still an inexpensive option for a large crowd. However, the chemical-enhanced briquets remain less natural than other varieties.

Match lighting charcoal is yet another version of the pressed briquet. These briquets contain lighter fluid making the addition of lighter fluid unnecessary. Otherwise, this is still just a pressed charcoal briquet. Briquets like these can be especially useful when camping or grilling away from home because lighter fluid won’t need to be carried along. Obviously, there are lots of chemicals involved in this variety.

Lump charcoal consists of pieces of pure charred hardwood. They can be purchased in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are also made from different types of wood. This type of charcoal provides what most people would consider to be the best grilling experience in terms of flavor. Since no chemicals are included, these briquets are also the most natural and the most organic. Due to the cost of these briquets, they are probably better suited for better foods and smaller crowds. They also burn at a faster rate than pressed briquets because they are not as dense as pressed briquets. This can result in greater expense so using these to cook for a large crowd may not be economically feasible.

Nowadays, grilling is a yearlong pursuit enjoyed by many. Grilling season is never really over. Grills are found in backyards, in parks, at football games, and at community events. Their uses range from being used to cook a quiet dinner for adult friends or to feed a hungry group of children at a birthday party. If the choice has been made to go with a charcoal grill, then a wise choice of charcoal can help to make any event a success.

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