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Why is Lump Charcoal Best for a Winter Barbecue?

July 3, 2019

There is something irresistible about the idea of a barbecue during the wintertime. Whether it is the comfort of a flame, or the delicious aromas of freshly cooked food, there is a sense of homely domesticity and undeniable charm that makes barbecuing in winter a pleasurable experience.

While there are a number of choices for fuel whenever you want to fire up your grill, the options become more difficult during wintertime due to several factors. First, the ambient temperature will make it more difficult for you to sustain the heat necessary for a proper sear with regular firewood. Secondly, there is a very strong probability that the cold itself will make firewood far too damp to get a good blaze roaring easily.

If you've ever lit a fire in the fireplace during winter, you may have heard the now iconic crackling and popping of the firewood. This is in fact caused by rapidly evaporating moisture which has embedded itself into the wood. While this may be fine for a fireplace, this makes for poor cooking fires. It may even be potentially dangerous, especially if you conduct most of your grilling on an outdoor grill.

A far better choice for wintertime grilling and general outdoor cooking is lump charcoal. If you are wondering why lump charcoal is a better choice for wintertime cookery, then here are some excellent reasons:

Dry material – lump charcoal is a completely dry material compared to wooden logs. As such, it neither collects ambient moisture nor does it hide any moisture inside it. Not only does it provide a far more consistent and even heat all throughout, it also prevents crackling and sudden small bursts or explosions that can send sparks flying outside of your grill and onto your clothes.

In the absence of moisture, your fuel will also not generate any amount of steam, which helps you achieve a perfect sear and thoroughly penetrative heat to ensure even cooking.

Density – lump charcoal is far denser than firewood, primarily due to the processing that wood undergoes in order for it to become charcoal. This density allows it to retain heat and give off heat for longer periods of time, without the need to completely fill up your grill as you would with firewood.

Portability – unlike firewood which can be very difficult to lug around, lump charcoal is far more portable. If you've ever had notions of camping in the wintertime and grilling some food outdoors, you'd have a far better chance of doing so efficiently with lump charcoal than you would with firewood.

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