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Types of Charcoal

Charcoal comes in many different brands and types including some of which are homemade pressed briquettes. Regardless of brand, there are three main types of charcoal that you will encounter:
  • Charcoal briquettes
  • Impregnated charcoal
  • Natural wood charcoal
  • Homemade pressed charcoal

Charcoal briquettes come in many different types, and a few different sizes.

Impregnated Charcoal

Some types of charcoal impregnate the charcoals with starting fluid ideally to eliminate the need for using starter fluid. One can easily identify this type of charcoal by its volatile odor. Over time the volatile compounds evaporate and lose their potency and will have to be supplemented by adding starting fluid. If you are carrying this type of charcoal for use with your Hobogrill® grill it's best to travel with the coals whole and break them onsite (remember: step and twist -- not stomp on them) as to m.inimize evaporation of the starter

Natural Wood Charcoal

Natural wood charcoal is just that. It's charcoal that is made from wood. One can make their own natural wood charcoal or purchase it from the store. This charcoal has a lower energy density than the same volume of regular charcoal so one has to use more of it. The other issue is that since it's made from chunks of wood the size and shapes of the pieces aren't uniform so you will have to break some pieces of it, but maybe not others. The greatest thing about natural wood charcoal is that you can make it in the woods yourself by charring wood.

Homemade Pressed Briquettes

Pressing your own briquettes. There are many ways to make your own briquettes from any biomass whether it be animal dung, plant material or newspapers (cellulose). This usually involves making a slurry of the biomass by saturating it with water. Then pouring the slurry into molds to be compressed. The machines used to compress these briquettes are usually homemade and consist of a long lever which through mechanical advantage concentrates a large force into the small molding area of the briquette. After the briquette is compressed it is left to dry and then can be used for cooking/heating.

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Worlds finest, handmade improvised charcoal grill: The Hobogrill® HG2-Deluxe with Hobogrill® mini grill cover sewn from a bicycle innertube. Handmade in the USA.
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