So Kingford Briquettes have borax.....

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by flash, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Kingsford briquettes have to go…
    Time to throw out those Kingsford Briquettes we have all been using for years. They are not the same Kingsford Briquettes Henry Ford designed years ago. These days there are all sorts of nasty things in Kingsford Briquettes. Some have asked what all the fuss is with Kingsford briquettes, and what makes them so despised these days? My answer, Ingredients. According to Kingsford, wood char, mineral char and mineral carbon are all used as a heat source. Limestone is used for uniform ashing and starch is used as a binder. Borax, Yes Borax! is used to help release the briquettes from the press, and sodium nitrate and sawdust are used to aid in ignition. A lot of experienced BBQ folks out there seem to voice concern about the borax, limestone. A search on most of the BBQ forums will verify these complaints and concerns. I personally grew up on Kingsford as I am sure many many Americans have. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to determine that it’s probably not a good idea to ingest food that has been subjected to Burning Borax.

    Pulled from the Grilling with Charcoal.com.

    Opinions [​IMG]
     
  2. sisco

    sisco Smoke Blower

    [font=Verdana,Helvetica,Arial]http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/charcoal.html
    Here is the official ingredient list for Kingsford Charcoal Briquets from a company press release, including the purpose of each ingredient in parentheses. The explanation after each ingredient is my own.
    [/font]
    • [font=Verdana,Helvetica,Arial]Wood char (Heat source)
      This is simply the wood by-products I mentioned above, burned down into charcoal—almost pure carbon. In the case of Kingsford, they use woods like fir, cedar, and alder that are local to the regions in which they operate—Burnside and Summer Shade, Kentucky; Glen, Mississippi; Belle, Missouri; Springfield, Oregon; and Beryl and Parsons, West Virginia.
      [/font]
    • [font=Verdana,Helvetica,Arial]Mineral char (Heat source)
      This is a geologically young form of coal with a soft, brown texture. It helps Kingsford burn hotter and longer than a plain charcoal briquette. As with the wood, Kingsford heats this material in an oxygen-controlled environment, eliminating water, nitrogen, and other elements, leaving behind—almost pure carbon.
      [/font]
    • [font=Verdana,Helvetica,Arial]Mineral carbon (Heat source)
      This is anthracite coal, the old, hard, black stuff once commonly used for home heating. It helps Kingsford burn hotter and longer than a plain charcoal briquette. It's already 86-98% pure carbon, but once again, Kingsford processes it in an oxygen-controlled environment, leaving behind—almost pure carbon.

      What exactly is coal, you ask? "Nasty stuff," some folks say. Well, coal is a fossil fuel, most of which was formed more than 300 million years ago. To make a really, really long story short: Plants and trees died, sank to the bottom of swampy areas, accumulated into many layers, then geologic processes covered the stuff with sand, clay, and rock, and the combination of heat and pressure converted it into what we call coal.

      So, coal is really old plant material that can be processed into almost pure carbon. Charcoal is wood that is burned down into almost pure carbon. Not much difference, in my book. End of coal lesson.
      [/font]
    • [font=Verdana,Helvetica,Arial]Limestone (Uniform visual ashing)
      Limestone creates the pretty, white coating of ash you see after lighting the briquettes. Limestone is a sedimentary rock consisting of calcium carbonate—also found in egg shells, antacids, and calcium dietary supplements.
      [/font]
    • [font=Verdana,Helvetica,Arial]Starch (Binder)
      As mentioned above, starch is used to hold briquettes together, and is found in corn, wheat, potatoes, and rice.
      [/font]
    • [font=Verdana,Helvetica,Arial]Borax (Press release)
      Borax is used in small amounts to help briquettes release from the molds. But isn't Borax a detergent? Well, yes, it is, but it's actually a naturally-occurring mineral that is non-toxic in the quantities we're talking about in a briquette. It consists of sodium, boron, oxygen, and water. You already know what oxygen and water are. Sodium is a common element found in lots of stuff we eat, including salt. Boron is an element that is necessary in small quantities for plant growth. Borax is commonly used in cosmetics and medicines.
      [/font]
    • [font=Verdana,Helvetica,Arial]Sodium nitrate (Ignition aid)
      This is the same stuff used to cure meat. According to Robert L. Wolke, professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh, sodium nitrate gives off oxygen when heated, helping the briquettes to light faster.
      [/font]
    • [font=Verdana,Helvetica,Arial]Sawdust (Ignition aid)
      Sawdust burns quickly, helping the briquettes to light faster.
      [/font]
    [font=Verdana,Helvetica,Arial]Did you notice there was no mention of "petroleum by-products" or "toxic waste"? What about "fillers"? Looks like every ingredient is there for a purpose—to improve the performance of the product
    My message to you is this: Don't let people scare you away from briquettes, Kingsford or any other brand. They're a perfectly good product to use for making great barbecue!
    [/font]
    ************************************************** *****
    I could not find an MSD for Boron itself but there is one for Borax. Keep in mind the MSD generally refers to large quantities.
    MSD for Borax:
    http://64.233.169.104/search?q=cache...ient=firefox-a
     
  3. fla-gypsy

    fla-gypsy Smoke Blower

    I would add that lime in more than one form(calcium carbonate and calcium sulfate) are found in many foods and can be safely ingested.
     
  4. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    thanks for the info guys. I figure now aday, everything will kill you sooner or later. [​IMG]
     
  5. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    "Wood char (Heat source)
    This is simply the wood by-products I mentioned above, burned down into charcoal—almost pure carbon. In the case of Kingsford, they use woods like fir, cedar, and alder that are local to the regions in which they operate—Burnside and Summer Shade, Kentucky; Glen, Mississippi; Belle, Missouri; Springfield, Oregon; and Beryl and Parsons, West Virginia."

    I dunno bout you folks, but fir and cedar? Conifers? might as well use 2x4's.

    "Sodium nitrate (Ignition aid)
    This is the same stuff used to cure meat. According to Robert L. Wolke, professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh, sodium nitrate gives off oxygen when heated, helping the briquettes to light faster."

    Can also and is used in explosives manufacture. Yep that'll get 'er goin allright.

    "Sawdust (Ignition aid)
    Sawdust burns quickly, helping the briquettes to light faster."

    From WHERE? A local cabinet shop? You folks already got pitch containing wood in there... why not glue, eh? yeesh.
     
  6. peculiarmike

    peculiarmike Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'll stick with lump.
    Almost sounded like a Kingsford stock holder. [​IMG]
     
  7. gofish

    gofish Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    I bet there are lots of products out there that have undesirable ingredients/elements in them. Flouride is not good in large quantities, but apparently in small quantities there is no issues. I know the list goes on of things like this.

    Here is a partial list from a quick google search, there were tons more categories, but I quit reading cause I didnt feel like throwing away everything in my pantry or bathroom.

    http://www.commonsense-nutrition.com...ul.htm#alcohol
     
  8. morkdach

    morkdach Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    kingsford used it for years on the grill and now thats all i use in the ol smoker use around 40 bags a year and i still kicken[​IMG]
     
  9. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well, then again.....

    Types of Lump Charcoal
    There are 2 types of charcoals: the first type comes from natural wood which has been cut and made into charcoal. This is as natural as you can get. The wood comes from trees, branches and scrap pieces from saw mills. The second type comes from using processed scrap wood and tuning it into charcoal. Processed scrap wood tend to burn faster since its density is lesser than natural. This is mainly because there is less moisture into the wood at the time it is transformed into charcoals. This wood comes from wood flooring scraps, building material scrap and furniture scraps and others.

    Just want I need, some old wood from a coach my dog peed on. [​IMG]
     

Share This Page