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Can hardwood charcoal be used in a WFO? I have some left over and I grilled a steak tonight in the BBQ over it and it was pretty good, but I thought about using it in my oven.. Anyone try it? Against it?
I used some charcoal on one of the earlier days of my oven cure. I reached in and lined up some charcoal like dominos, lit one end and was able to maintain a steady temp of a couple hundred degrees for a few hours without much effort.
I would agree with it being a bit cost prohibilitive to use it as a fuel on a regular basis.
Is it just me, or do charcoal briquettes smell increasingly nasty when burning? If you read up on the subject you find that they contain an unspecified amount of "mineral carbon" (aka coal, probably the cheap bituminous stuff) to promote even burning. Charcoal briquettes have always been made of scrap wood, why would they switch to mostly coal now? All I know is that when I fire up the Weber, it smells like an Eastern European winter in my backyard.
And, if they are mostly coal, why am I paying eight dollars a bag for hundred-dollar-per-ton coal?
How do you light off your charcoal? I do not add any liquid ingredients to mine. Using lighter fluid to get them going make them and your food stink when you cook. Also some of the charcoal has the fluid already permeated in them. Also no good. I use a metal chimney pot that uses paper in the bottom to get them going. Haven't looked lately at the ingredients to see if they add an accelerant.
I used paper and kindling for many years, until I sprung for the fancy Weber that has the propane tank and burner for starting the charcoal. I use the tube type starter directly over the gas jet, that I let run for about five minutes to get things started.
I have always hated the smell of petroleum charcoal starter.
We never use briquettes or lighter fluid. When we use the hardwood natural charcoal (red oak brand available at wal-mart) We light by using a cardboard egg carton and a little paper. Just lay the carton out with not too much paper crumpled in it and the charcoal on top one lite will doit and nostinky fuel smells!!
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