The first thing to decide is whether to use charcoal or briquette.
Let’s see how they are made and behave
Chopped wood is ignited in oxygen reduced environment, so it is not contaminated with chemicals. The meats therefore only be characterized by the charcoal. Mainly made from beechwood.
There are many types of charcoal on the market today, so you need to be mindful upon purchasing one.
If it is possible try to buy one with larger pieces. The porous, easily crumbled ones are not advantageous for us. We always use and recommend the Landmann or Sekler brands, as they don’t sparkle upon ignition, keep the heat well, don’t produce soot and only small amounts of ashes will remain after.
They also have the ideal size for Hibachi.
Compressed from small pieces of coal.
One of the advantages is that is cheaper than charcoal and ignites better.
The disadvantage would be the missing character of aroma. Also, lower quality ones are held together by some kind of chemical what should be avoided.
Of course, there are higher quality briquettes also, where the small coal pieces are held together by some form of natural starch. These are clearly marked by the tags “hardwood” or “natural”. The package also says if it contains corn or potato starch.
What we recommend: coir briquette, as they keep heat well, and small amounts of will remain after usage.
Now that you are familiar with the two types, you can decide which is the more beneficial for you, but I believe you should give both a try before committing yourself to one of them.
We should always choose high-quality ingredients as they provide the best results and at the end of the day that what matters the most.