DMA Group Extruded Charcoal

We were asked to review a brand of extruded charcoal by a member of the BBQ forums. He was contemplating buying a container for himself and his cooking buddies and wanted our assessment. In the end, he decided not to buy the charcoal, so as a result, this charcoal is not (at least to our knowledge) available in the United States. However, we have the information, so we thought we would at least share it with you by doing an informal review.

This charcoal is made in Thailand from coconut shells, similar to the Kamado extruded coconut charcoal. This charcoal is very similar to the Kamado charcoal as you can see in the following photos:


This is how the charcoal arrived, packed in a carboard box.



Here are the contents of the box laid out. Note the broken pieces on the right. We verified with the shipper that these pieces were broken when he packed the box, so the charcoal survived the trip quite well.



This photos shows the amount of dust in the bottom of the box, a couple of tablespoons.



Kamado brand is on the right, DMA Group on the left. As you can see, it is a 5-sided log.



The DMA Group logs were cut into 6-inch lengths vs. Kamado's 2 inches.


It appears to have held up well during shipping. There was a fair amount of dust in the bottom of the box. It seems the ridges on the outside of the logs like to crumble off. However, it seems to hold up pretty well to handling.

FWIW, the logs were just about 3 times as heavy and 3 times the volume of a Kamado piece, so these logs would appear to be about the same density as the Kamado charcoal.

As far as starting goes, it took 5 sheets of newspaper to start a layer of logs sitting on end in a chimney starter. The Kamado charcoal took 6. Most Oak lumps take about 2.5 to 3 sheets to start. The lump has a mild smoke. Not quite as pleasant as the Kamado lump.

During the burn test, it seemed like the charcoal would ash over and the temperature would go down. Wed have to knock the ash off to get the temperature back up. Normally, we only have to do this towards the end of the burn, but we had to do this more during the whole burn. The burn time was average, and ash production was low.

The producer indicated that they can cut the longs into any length desired. We think we would lean towards 2 inches. The reason is that even breaking logs in half, we were surprised to see it that we could only get the charcoal to burn at 610 degrees. If high temps for searing are important to you, we think that small pieces mean more surface area burning and a higher temperature.

So, all in all, we think wed give this charcoal around a 4.5. If we could choose between this charcoal and the Kamado charcoal, wed definitely go with the Kamado unless this charcoal were available at a lower price than the Kamado.

If you are interested in this charcoal, here is a link to their website: www.geocities.com/duangpaisal/.


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