Coconut Briquettes

Discussion in 'UK Smokers' started by wade, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Following on from a previous thread about briquettes I was informed by the importers of Heat Beads that they will be launching a new brand of briquettes into the UK market next spring. I was asked by them to evaluate the new briquettes to see how they compared to the Heat Beads. These are called Nature Grill Briquettes and are made out of coconut shells. They are advertised by the manufacturer as being...

    “CO 2 neutral coconut briquettes is a 100% natural product, which is produced from coconut shells, without the use of additives or chemicals. Easy to kindle and gives you up to 4 hours grill temperature of 180 ° C.”

    To test them I performed a pulled pork cook off using identical Weber BBQs each burning 1.5 Kg of briquettes - One Nature and the other Heat Beads

    Initial inspection showed that the Nature briquettes were less dense and slightly larger than the Heat Beads.

    1.5 Kg Heat Beads Snake with 400g Oak pellets

    1.5 Kg Nature Snake with 400g Oak pellets

    Heat Beads with Pork

    Nature briquettes with Pork

    The cook off

    Both briquettes gave an almost identical temperature profile which gave a good 8 hours of cooking time

    A copy of the report summary...

    Even though both briquettes are made from totally different sources of carbon there was no significant difference in their performance when cooking using indirect heat at low smoking temperatures. The Nature briquette is larger and less dense than the Heat Beads however on a weight for weight basis both were able to reach and maintain almost identical cooking profiles. Neither product has any detectable odour when lit. When the Nature Grill Briquettes become available in the UK they will be a good alternative product to Heat beads. Their only negative point is that being less dense they have more bulk for the equivalent weight of Heat Beads, which may be an issue when used in smaller kettle BBQs, however they were quicker to light in a chimney than the Heat Beads.

    The pulled pork came out well with both briquettes

    For those who have trouble sleeping at night I have attached a copy of the full report below
  2. HEY!  Wait a minute.  The handles on those Webers are different!  Well that changes everything!  And now you are stuck with all that pulled pork.  Man!  The sacrifices you go through for the Group is astonishing.​[​IMG]

    Seriously now.  Thanks for the effort, expense and the report Wade.  If we can get the same performance from a cheaper, easier to obtain product it's a win win for the members. Keep Smokin! my friend.

  3. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What you can't see is the handles are the other way round on the other side [​IMG]

    I have heard back from the importers and they are expecting them to be a little more expensive than the Heat Beads [​IMG]

    As for the pork- we had to throw most of it away as there was just way too much for us to eat.....

    ... Only joking - we ate the best part of one of the pork joints that night with friends - the other is now frozen in "meal-for-two" portions to be enjoyed as quick mid-week meals.
  4. jockaneezer

    jockaneezer Meat Mopper

    Well done Wade, you certainly went the extra mile there ! What's the score with the section of tinfoil behind the pork joints, over the coals ?
  5. Hello.  Now that's interesting.  More expensive?  The heat beads are made from recycled material and these are made from a "throw away" from a food source.  Low CO2 from both.  So I would say on the "ECO" scale they are about level pegging.  I don't see how they will justify that.  We are already paying over the odds for the heat beads.  Don't get me wrong, I think the expense is justified.  I can use about half as much of the heat beads to cook the same amount of meat so it isn't that expensive when all said and done.  Even if only five pence per kilo more, where is the incentive?  According to Wade it's not a superior product, just about on par.  If you figure 5p per kilo x how many kilos some of us use; adds up quickly.  I am not "recommending/endorsing" either product and I am sure Wade is not either.  Just throwing some facts out there so you folks can judge for yourself.  Thank you for the work you put in Wade.  Keep Smokin!

  6. wade

    wade Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    In previous temperature logging trials with the Weber I found a significant difference between the temperature at the cooking grate and at the top of the lid - 30 C - 54 F difference. These pieces of foil are simply acting as heat baffles to try to encourage as much of the heat as possible to spread more evenly around the chamber. I am not sure how effective they are but they will have deflected at least some of the heat into the centre of the chamber.

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