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Charcoal briquettes vs heat beads


Smoke Blower
SMF Premier Member
Joined Apr 26, 2020

What works best?

Charcoal briquettes or heat beads?


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Jan 7, 2017
I had never heard of these heat bead things until you just mentioned it now. seems like some sort of European product. I'd be curious to see what the oxidizing agent is that they use to make it "easy light"


Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Sep 7, 2013
Heat Beads appears to be the brand name of a charcoal briquette and lump maker. Looks like I've got another brand to test!


Smoke Blower
SMF Premier Member
Joined Apr 26, 2020
I didn't realise it was a brand.

What brand do you guy's get on best with?

Something I can get in the uk would be good to know about.


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Mar 5, 2019
Heat beads are essentially the same as charcoal but the source of carbon is brown coal rather than hardwood. Higher density, harder to light but burn longer than regular briquettes.

What are Heat Beads® BBQ Briquettes made of and how are they made?

The high quality of Heat Beads® BBQ Briquettes is because of the unique raw materials base used – a blend of hardwood charcoal and mineral carbon.

The mineral carbon is made by carbonising brown coal sourced from the La Trobe Valley near Melbourne, Australia at high temperatures to remove the volatile matter to give a high quality carbon with low impurities.

The coal has first been dried in a cogeneration plant using waste steam from a nearby power plant.
The coal is then heated to around 900°C in an oxygen free environment in a process known as ‘carbonisation’. This heating process results in a high purity carbon called char, which produces a long-burning and high quality product. No external process energy is required.
This product is sold as a reductant, not as a fuel, for high value metallurgical applications; the production of silicon metal and ferro-alloys in Scandinavia; and for activated carbon used in water filtration.
The fines are used in BBQ briquette manufacture.
The charcoal used in Heat Beads® BBQ Briquettes is the leftover fines from the production of high quality Eucalyptus hardwood lump charcoal, and would otherwise be waste.

Heat Beads® BBQ Briquettes also contain a binder, an oxidising agent and a filler. Each of these materials has a very specific purpose.

A binder is used to hold the briquettes together in the traditional pillow shape. The binder used is food grade starch –a high quality material that is responsible for ensuring the briquettes are hard and don’t crumble, making them burn for longer.
An oxidising agent is used to make the briquettes easier to light. Without it, the briquettes would take a long time to light and require more firelighters. The material used is a naturally occurring mineral that is slightly refined to remove impurities. It is entirely consumed in the light-up process – once the briquettes are fully alight (ashed over) the oxidising agent has burnt away.
A filler is added to our BBQ Briquettes to provide a thermal mass to hold the heat generated by the carbon burning. It is a naturally occurring mineral that undergoes no change during the burning process, but helps ensure Heat Beads® BBQ Briquettes burn hotter for longer.
Australian Char then blends and presses (briquettes) the char, charcoal and other ingredients into a superior barbecue fuel, tailored to the specific needs of the barbecuing public."

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