The best long and slow cooking charcoal
Want juicy, delicious meat that just falls off the bone? Are you new to charcoal cooking? It’s easy, just start by using the right kind of cooking charcoal in your charcoal cooker, like Kamado Joe, Green Egg, Weber, Hibachi or Konro Grill. There are two types of cooking charcoal to choose from. One is lump cooking charcoal made from natural wood. Two is briquettes created from sawdust and leftover woods that are joined by binders. I prefer lump wood cooking charcoal because it’s pure and gives a much better aroma. The food is more flavoursome and taste matters. It also leaves less ash so there’s less mess to clean up. I believe lump wood cooking charcoal wins hands down.
Just like there’s a variety of trees, there’s a range of lump wood charcoals. They have differing ideal burning temperatures and flavours. It’s a matter of personal preference. Our tried and tested olive wood is brilliant for long and slow cooking. It’s a dense timber that easily keeps a constant temperature. It’s been used for 18 hour slow cooking. The flavour is mild, similar to Mesquite, so it won’t overpower the food. It burns down to a small pile of white ash, just like the highly prized Binchotan Japanese charcoal.
Now you know what charcoal to use, here’s some tips for long and slow cooking:
- Use good quality charcoal (aka olive wood).
- Stack your charcoal in a pile.
- Use paper and small pieces of wood to light. This lights the charcoal in a few places and gets it all burning quickly. (Fire lighters are a quick way to light your charcoal but I don’t recommend using fire lighters mainly because of their smell. Plus they only light the charcoal in one spot and it takes longer to get it all going.)
- Keep your charcoal cooker clean. If the coals are sitting on a bed of ash it’s harder for air to pass over the charcoal to keep it burning. However, if your olive wood cooking charcoal hasn’t been completely used during a cook, once it’s cooled down, you can dust the ash off and reuse the charcoal with some fresh pieces.
- The best cuts of meat to use are larger, fattier pieces like brisket, shoulder and ribs or whole chicken and fish.
You won’t regret using pure olive wood cooking charcoal for your low and slow cooking needs. It’s natural, easy to use and clean. Importantly, it’s sustainable, made from the pruned wood from our family olive grove. It’s also made in an environmentally friendly way. So you’ll be doing the right thing for your cooking and the planet. Just visit our Recipe page for more inspiration. Happy slow cooking!