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