We're just about to replace our dying Weber Smokey Joe grill with something a bit more substantial for our summer grilling needs (we're torn between the Big Green Egg, the classic Weber One-Touch with the beautiful blue finish or the stylish foldout design). But what you put into that grill or smoker for fuel can be just as important as what you put ontop to cook...
We grew up using the tried and true Kingsford brand, but now prefer real wood or lump charcoal because of the taste. We're not sure whether the Trader Joe's lump coal brand we've used before is free from polluting mineral coal or other additives such as borax, sodium nitrates, or anthracite coal. Currently we compliment the lump charcoal with some dried apple tree shreds from our local farmer's market vendor to add more flavour. Of course, cooking with propane gas is the cleanest and healthiest, but we're fond of the smokier flavour afforded by a grill, so we've passed up on moving onto a propane device despite their sexier finishes.
So to balance our desires for tasty grilled foods without the pollution, we're looking into trying out these wood briquettes recommended in a recent LA Times post called Nature's Grilling Products that supposedly burns cleaner and produces less ash (good for fire safety too). Sounds like a fragrant blend, made of mesquite, ebony, eucalyptus, and a blend of other Mexican tropical hardwoods. We wonder if these blends make cleaning the grill any easier? But taste is king, so we'll report back once we get our new grilling setup up and cooking.
BBQ and grill links: