From Sawdust to Charcoal: What Are Charcoal Briquettes Made Of?

Step by step

The process of making charcoal briquettes is complex and involves several steps. To start, the raw materials are collected and sorted. These materials can include sawdust, wood chips, coal, and other natural ingredients, and the specific blend can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Once the raw materials have been collected, they are ground down into fine powder using a grinding machine. This step is crucial in ensuring that the charcoal briquettes are of a consistent size and shape, which is important for maintaining even heat distribution during grilling.

After the raw materials have been ground into a fine powder, a binder is added to the mixture. The binder serves to hold the charcoal powder together, preventing it from crumbling or falling apart during use. Cornstarch is a popular choice, as it is a natural substance that is both effective and affordable. Other binders, such as starch or clay, may also be used depending on the manufacturer’s preference.

Once the binder has been added to the charcoal powder, the mixture is stirred thoroughly to ensure that it is evenly distributed. The whole thing is then fed into a machine that compresses it into the desired shape and size that we know from the shops. This can be done using a variety of machines, including hydraulic presses or roller presses.

After the briquettes have been formed, they are then dried and heated to remove any remaining moisture. This is usually done in an oven or kiln at high temperatures. The final product is a dense, black, and hard briquette that is ready to use for grilling and cooking.

Do charcoal briquettes have chemicals?

One common question that many people have about charcoal briquettes is whether they contain chemicals. The answer to this question is not straightforward, as it depends on the specific type of briquette that you are using. While it is true that some charcoal briquettes may contain additives or chemicals, such as accelerants or binders, many manufacturers now offer all-natural options that do not contain these substances.

For those who are concerned about using charcoal briquettes that contain described ingredients, there are several all-natural options available on the market. These briquettes are typically made from 100% natural materials, such as hardwood, coconut shells, or bamboo. Sounds good right? These materials are typically free from chemicals or additives and offer a more eco-friendly option for grilling and cooking which we definitely recommend!

When shopping for charcoal briquettes for your bbq, it is important to read the label carefully to determine whether anything suspicious is present. Some products may contain accelerants, such as lighter fluid, which can make starting the grill easier but may also introduce chemicals into the cooking food. And trust us, it’s better to avoid it. Just make sure the one you are getting states that it is chemical-free or all-natural. It may cost a little bit more but your food will also taste better!

Are charcoal briquettes healthy then?

Finally, some people may be concerned about whether charcoal briquettes are healthy to use. While charcoal itself is a natural substance and is generally safe to use in moderation, there are some concerns about the potential health effects of inhaling charcoal smoke or consuming food cooked over charcoal as we have mentioned earlier.

When you burn charcoal, it makes smoke that’s not so great to breathe in if you’re doing it a lot. Plus, if you cook your food with super-high heat, it can get charred and lose some of its good stuff. Actually, all you need to make sure to keep things healthy, it’s to use charcoal in a well-ventilated area and to cook your food over lower heat to avoid charring.


So, that’s it for charcoal briquettes! They’re a natural fuel made from stuff like sawdust and wood chips, and they can be a great choice for cooking outdoors.

But, there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First, some briquettes might have chemicals or additives, so make sure to check the label. Second, charcoal smoke and charring might be bad for your health if you don’t cook your food over lower heat or in well-ventilated areas.

Overall, charcoal briquettes can be fun to work with and a tasty way to cook outside, but just use them in moderation and be careful about the smoke and charring. Happy grilling!


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