Why It Pays To Grill With Quebracho Charcoal

While it's hard to beat a propane-fueled gas grill for convenience, serious grilling enthusiasts acknowledge the depth of flavor that can be achieved by grilling foods over charcoal. Though the process is more labor intensive, grill experts like Bobby Flay make no secret of their preference for charcoal grilling, particularly for larger cuts of meat.

And when we're talking about charcoal grilling, we're not including those accelerant-laced match light briquettes for the same reasons we don't espouse using lighter fluid to get your charcoal grill going in a hurry. From environmental impacts to the lingering flavor and aroma of lighter fluid, your best bet for charcoal grilling combines hardwood charcoal, a chimney starter, and a little patience.

All hardwood charcoal isn't created equal, though. Most lump hardwood charcoal is made with oak, maple, or alder woods, and while these are certainly good charcoal sources, there's one that's next-level. Quebracho charcoal is the lump charcoal you need for your next grilling session.

What's so special about quebracho charcoal?

Quebracho is the name given to a family of trees native to South America, specifically Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Bolivia that are prized for their extremely dense, hard wood. The parts of these trees that aren't used for making furniture often end up as lump charcoal. The name "quebracho" comes from the Spanish quiebra hacha, which translates as axe-breaker. Not unlike the oak and mesquite common to North America, this wood is seriously hard, and why it makes such good charcoal. 

The quebracho blanco tree produces the best charcoal for grilling, and it burns slowly and can reach very high temperatures, all while producing very little smoke and ash, making it a relatively clean, efficient heat source for grilling. Because a common drawback of lump hardwood charcoals is their tendency to burn fairly quickly, quebracho charcoal requires less fire maintenance than other more common hardwood charcoals. While it may take a bit longer for quebracho charcoal to reach your desired cooking temperature, you'll have long-lasting, even heat suitable for either direct or indirect grilling.