Charcoal facts

Articles & Facts About Charcoal

There are many misconceptions surrounding charcoal ranging from; the benefits of briquettes over lumpwood or, the use of gas rather than charcoal, to how charcoal is made and its environmental impact, hopefully the following sections can help to dispell a few of the myths and shed some light on the facts.


The differences between Dorset Hardwood Charcoal and Charcoal Briquettes

Dorset Hardwood Charcoal: 100% natural hardwood from well managed local woods.

Ingredients: 100% natural charcoal for a real wood-grilled flavour.

Charcoal Briquettes: Briquettes are manufactured with charcoal powder combined with fillers (i.e. sand, straw, etc.). The briquettes are then coated with a petroleum product to maintain its shape. The grey ash colour appearing while it burns is caused by this product. In fact, it also causes the briquettes to take a much longer time to turn on and reach ideal barbecuing temperature. You also evidently need a liquid lighter fluid.

Ingredients: (Other brands composed
of a mix of ingredients may contain):
• Lignite Coal and Sulphur
• Sodium Nitrate
• Limestone
• Starch
• Borax
• Charred Sawdust


Contents of Charcoal

Carbon - 75 - 90%
Oxygen - 5.5 - 20.0%
Hydrogen - 1.5 - 3.5%
Nitrogen - 0.01 - 0.05%
K - 2,400 - 9,400 mg/kg
Ca - 9,000 - 32,000 mg/kG
Mg - 1,200 - 3400 mg/kg
Porosity - 80 - 94%
pH - 8.5
Reducing agent (antioxidant)


Difference between Charcoal and Gas

What a question!
There is one main reason why gas barbecues are amongst us today; its because of its practicality and that is about it, but even this can be disputed with the ease with which Dorset charcoal lights and reaches cooking temperature.

Gas does not come close to charcoal its terms of taste. In fact you have to add flavoured wood in order to compensate. Gas barbecues do not reach desired temperatures and exposes your meal to a high amount of humidity. These two elements prevents proper searing of your meats and vegetables. You may as well be cooking indoors!


How can a product that’s been transported halfway around the world claim to be environmentally friendly?

Energy savings have been quantified, showing that on average the supply of local British produced charcoal products compared with imports from South America or South Africa use only 15% of the energy required for transport. Local production of charcoal and firewood for local needs has positive environmental and social implications. Bringing coppice woodlands back into rotations encourages a greater diversity of flora and fauna. Retaining our countryside heritage with locally based industries promotes rural employment and a greater sense of well being amongst the community.

Charcoal and firewood can be a good use for low value wood. Moreover, local deliveries eliminate the necessity for long-haul transportation and the production and supply of local charcoal has been shown to reduce fossil fuel consumption by over 85%.

barbecue Charcoal Animal Feed Supliments Gradener's BioChar Charcoal Powder All our wood sources meet UK Forestry Commission standards.