Food - Drink
Do Flavored Charcoal Briquettes Actually Work?
Charcoal briquettes are pillow-shaped blocks made of traditional charcoal and coal, a binding agent, an accelerant, and an ash-whitening agent. When lit under a grill for cooking food, charcoal briquettes burn quickly and maintain consistent temperatures of 700-800 degrees F — but do flavored briquettes offer even more benefits for your grill?
The brand Kingsford has introduced flavored charcoal briquettes, including varieties like cumin chili, garlic onion paprika, and basil sage thyme, all made with real spices and a unique type of wood to suit each flavor profile. Kingsford boasts that their briquettes add even more flavor to your food, but America's Test Kitchen actually put them to the test.
Sadly, the ATK team found that their grilled foods did not absorb flavors from Kingsford spiced briquettes. Chicken grilled over the brand's briquettes tasted like ordinary grilled chicken, sans any extra hints of garlic or basil; perhaps the future will bring charcoal briquettes whose flavors are not carried away by the smoke of the grill.