Fixed carbon is the mother-of-all-measurements for assessing charcoal quality. Higher fixed carbon results in higher energy output per pound, longer burn times, a purer burn, and less ash content. At 80%, we exceed the European DinPlus standard of quality. Yes, our charcoal is that good.
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Moisture is an adulterant that increases the weight of charcoal while lowering the calorific value and making it more difficult to light. Charcoal acts like a sponge, absorbing water easily. The volume and appearance of wet charcoal is virtually identical to that of dry charcoal and BIG NAME BRANDS are known to prey on your ignorance, inflating the moisture content to as high as 15% by wetting the charcoal just prior to packing. At Jealous Devil, you buy charcoal, not water.
The harder the wood, the better the charcoal. You already know that we use one of the hardest woods on the planet. This isn’t rocket science – wood burns hotter and longer than cardboard, so along those same lines Quebracho Blanco is 40% denser than other hardwoods, burns hotter and longer than Maple, Oak, Hickory, and that embarrassment known as Mesquite.
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Ash is the mineral matter, such as clay, silica and calcium, present in the original wood and not burned off in the carbonization process. It is also the root cause for clogged vents in your smoker and progressively lower burn temps as the ash buildup starts smothering the fire itself. Less ash means less cleaning and more grilling. And unless there is something wrong with you, you shouldn’t like cleaning.
Volatile matter is everything that is not carbon or water, and it’s the main culprit behind the infamous black smoke and acrid smells of most charcoal. The standard charcoal that infests the majority of American grills has close to 40% volatiles. Taste what you made. Not what you made it with.
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Burns at over 1400 degrees Fahrenheit, and almost twice that of the garbage you find on most supermarket shelves. Even the toughest cuts of meat are easily seared at these temps. You also get more bang for your buck as you need significantly less charcoal to reach the same grilling temps. A 20LB bag of our “black gold” performs like the 40lb competitor.