Cooking with Charcoal – The Basics

The different types of Charcoal

Charcoal is widely available in different sizes, shapes, and even flavours. There are two main types of charcoal; Natural Lump Charcoal and Briquettes. If you are serious about barbecuing then think of charcoal as an ingredient: the better the quality, the better the flavour.

Natural Lump Charcoal
We recommend using natural lump charcoal with all Everdure by Heston Blumenthal BBQs as it contains no artificial additives or chemicals. It also has low ash content and most importantly, burns hotter. It is processed in a kiln and allowed to completely dry before packing.

Briquettes are a popular choice as they are convenient however, they are manmade and contain binders, fillers, and chemicals, so ignition times can vary considerably. They usually contain around 20% non-combustible materials that leave behind a much higher volume of ash than natural lump coal. A key benefit of using briquettes is that they offer a consistent burn time, albeit at a much lower temperature than natural lump coal. This type of fuel can be used with the Everdure by Heston Blumenthal BBQs however, it may result in shorter ignition time and may impact the overall cooking performance.

Wood chips
Wood chips can be used to enhance flavour. The most common flavours are Mesquite, Hickory, and Cherry. Always avoid putting wood chips directly onto the flame and instead, place them slightly to one side of the burning coal. The indirect heat from the charcoal will make the chips smoulder and smoke, rather than instantly ignite. This gentle smoke will add flavour to the food.

Maintaining  Charcoal BBQ Temperatures

Naturally, whilst cooking the charcoal temperature will begin to wane. Adding charcoal to your Everdure by Heston Blumenthal BBQs requires little effort, as the grills on the Fusion and the Hub are designed to make refueling easy. Watch the handy video, to discover how Heston Blumenthal easily adds charcoal to the Hub BBQ to keep the heat at the right temperature. Once you add new charcoal you don’t need to press the ignition button, as the heat from the old coals will ignite these up.

The 4K BBQ features a handy side reloading hatch, so you can easily top up on charcoal or woodchips. This ensures you don’t lose any heat from opening the hood. Simply unscrew the cap from the right side (we recommend wearing heat resistant gloves), and place the charcoal in a few pieces at a time using the supplied charcoal tongs. The charcoal tongs (included) have markings along the handle to guide you as to where within the 4K you are placing the charcoal.


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