alwoodcomp ltd

Introduction

In some respects, grilling is the simplest form of cooking: you put food on top of a fire and wait until it’s done. And if you’re a once-a-summer kind of cooker-outer, or just pinch hit on your friends’ grills to let the host take a break, that’s all you really need to know. Once you get serious about or obsessed with grilling, though, things get more complicated. If you’re using gas, then most of your decisions are made for you–once you’ve got the grill and a tank of propane, it’s all about the food you put on there. But if you’re going the charcoal route, you have more options. Which means more decisions. Not only do you have to pick the type of grill, but you also have to choose the type of charcoal. Do you go for briquettes? Hardwood lump? Binchotan? Extruded coconut? And after you pick what charcoal family you want to burn, what difference do the brands make?! Let’s start with the basics. No matter what shape it’s pressed into or how it’s been processed, all charcoal starts out with some kind of wood, heated up in an oxygen-poor environment. Without oxygen, the wood can’t actually catch on fire–instead, everything in the wood besides the carbon melts away into liquid or gas. You’re left with a high-carbon chunk of stuff: charcoal. From there, though, the charcoal landscape splits into two main segments: hardwood lump charcoal and charcoal briquettes.

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