Briquettes or charcoal? This is a question that many are asking. Charcoal briquettes just like conventional charcoal offer advantages and disadvantages. Where exactly is the difference between the two? Isn’t it, in both cases, charcoal? To learn all about charcoal briquettes and traditional charcoal, read our article. You will also discover the advantages and disadvantages of these two fuels. Before buying briquettes or charcoal, it is therefore ideal to find out about their respective characteristics to be sure to make the right choice.
What is the difference between briquettes and charcoal?
The charcoal is produced by burning wood air-dried without air or oxygen – firstly to a temperature of around 275 ° C and then at temperatures of 350 to 400 ° C. It is only at 400 ° C that the typical charcoal characteristics are obtained: the fibrous structure of the wood becomes crystalline. The charcoal becomes friable and then takes its specific form.
On the other hand, charcoal briquettes are made from charcoal sawdust to which starch is added, potatoes, or corn for example, in order to agglomerate the charcoal and constitute beautiful briquettes. round.
Briquettes vs charcoal: an overview of the pros and cons
Charcoal is said to be authentic. Thus, there are many charcoal barbecue enthusiasts who would not give up traditional charcoal for anything. Some even claim that it makes the meat taste better; others, conversely, do not feel the difference. The point is that charcoal ignites much faster. After only twenty minutes, you can already place your first grills on the barbecue. In addition, compared to briquettes, charcoal produces much more heat: with cooking with charcoal, temperatures of around 700 ° C are reached – ideal for quickly cooking meat and sausages.
But charcoal also has its drawbacks: after about an hour, it is too charred to continue providing enough heat. The meat is no longer cooking. If, after this time, you still have food to cook, the only solution is to put on the more charcoal and wait – we reassure you, it is relatively quick.
In this respect, charcoal briquettes have a great advantage: in fact, they offer a significantly longer combustion time. So you can grill your food in peace for hours! And if you’ve got the right count of briquettes and they’re of good quality, you can even use your barbecue for up to 5 hours straight without the heat dropping. Note that charcoal briquettes generate lower temperatures than conventional charcoal: they are therefore ideal for indirect cooking which sometimes requires several hours. Good to know: you can use special smoking chips to add extra flavor to your food.
The downside to charcoal briquettes is that they take a lot longer to ignite: allow around 50 minutes before you can grill your food. So briquettes or charcoal? It all depends on your preferences and needs.
Combine briquettes and charcoal: is it possible?
Why choose between briquettes or charcoal when you can combine the two? To do this, start by lighting the briquettes and wait a little while before pouring in the charcoal, as it ignites faster. While this technique does not represent a real time-saver, it will nevertheless allow you to enjoy the advantages of both options: constant and lasting heat on one side, the typical charcoal taste, and the high temperatures of the oven. ‘other.