Nature's Grilling Hardwood Blend 100% Natural Lump Charcoal
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Quick Stats
Date Of Review: May, 2008
Purchased From: Provided by manufacturer
Date Purchased: May, 2008
Price: $4.99
Weight: 6.6 pounds
Burn Time:
Ash Production:
Type of Wood: Blend of Ebony, Limoncillo, Tenaza, Hueso de tigre and Mezquite
Strange Material?: None
Scrap Lumber Pieces?: None
Smell: Mild to moderate wood smoke
Country of Origin: Mexico


Quick Links
Other Information: Click Here
Unusual Or Unique Statements: Click Here
Statements From The Bag: Click Here
Lighting Instructions: Click Here
Photos of Contents: Click Here
Other Photos: Click Here
Photo of UPC Code: Click Here
Contact Information: Click Here

Rate And Comment On This Charcoal: Click Here


Commentary

Back in 2007 we found bags of hardwood lump charcoal on the shelf of our local grocery store that were made by Nature's Grilling Products, the same folks who have brought you Nature's Mesquite lump charcoal. As Nature's Mesquite is our highest rated mesquite charcoal, we were really looking forward to trying Nature's Hardwood lump charcoal. Unfortunately, the charcoal didn't live up to our expectations and it received a poor rating.

Fast forward 6 months. We were contacted by Nature's Grilling Products and informed that they had taken the review to heart and decided to do something about it. "Something" turned out to be not only changing the charcoal but also building their own production facitilities so that they have complete control over the charcoal from selecting and harvesting the wood, to producing the charcoal, to delivering it to retail outlets. (You may be interested in reading this additional information about Nature's Grilling Products' approach to making charcoal in a sustainable, fair and natural way.) They sent us samples of their new charcoal and requested that we do a new review. (While they did send us the samples for this review, you can buy the charcoal at Harris Teeter, Winn-Dixie, Wal-Mart Canada, most natural food stores across the country, and independent retailers across the country.) The old charcoal should be off the shelves by now, so let's see how they did with this new charcoal.

Upon opening the bag and dumping it out on the ground for photographing and sorting, we were immediately struck by the uniform size distribution of the pieces of charcoal. Take a look at the photo of the contents of the bag freshly emptied out of the bag and you should also be struck by the uniformity. While there are no truly large pieces of charcoal, the overall distribution is great, as you can see from the following table:

Large 0.0 pounds 0.0%
Medium 3.0 pounds 42.2%
Small 3.5 pounds 50.5%
Chips/Dust 0.5 pounds 7.1%



Total 7.0 pounds

The 7.1% chips and dust is very low compared to other charcoals we have tested, proving again that manufacturers can deliver bags of charcoal that aren't full of chips and dust if they want to. The contents of the bag weighed in at 7.0 pounds, well over the 6.6 pounds indicated on the bag. When sorting through the contents of the bag, we found no scrap, no funny stuff and only one small piece of uncarbonized wood.

This charcoal proved to be very easy to start in our chimney starter test, requiring 2.5 sheets of newspaper which is very low compared to other charcoals. While there was some sparking and crackling, there was no popping in the chimney starter. The smell of the charcoal was a mild to moderate woodsy smoke. Then in our maximum temperature test, the charcoal burned at 975 degrees which is very high compared to other charcoals. There was quite a lot of sparking going on while the charcoal was burning full blast, but the sparks that were exiting the cooker through the lower vent extinguished themselves before hitting the ground. The sparking did tend to die down with time. In light of our experience with some other sparky charcoals, we made a point of looking to make sure that there was no grit deposited by the sparks anywhere outside of the cooker. (In the past we have observed particles of grit deposited up to 10 feet away from the cooker!) We also cooked steaks (sear and dwell) and chicken (moderate heat) and checked to make sure that there was no grit on the food. So, other than the visual effect, the sparkiness of this charcoal seems to present no issues.

Lighting with a MAPP torch proved to be pretty sparky with a fair amount of popping, so as always, exercise care if using a torch to light your charcoal. This charcoal burned a long time, ranking high compared to other charcoals. The ash production was average.

So, it looks like Nature's Grilling Products have made the most of their efforts to improve their hardwood lump charcoal. We have a charcoal with a great size distribution, very low amounts of chips and dust, it's easy to start, burns hot and has a high burntime. It easily earns our Recommended rating.

To the left is the rating that our readers have given this charcoal. If you have used this charcoal and would like to rate it and leave your comments, Click Here

To view reader ratings of all brands, Click Here.


Other Information

  • Announcement of partnership between Nature's Grilling Products and Trees For The Future
  • Information about Nature's Grilling Products commitment to plant 1,000,000 trees

  • Unusual or Unique Statements

    None.


    Statements From The Bag

    "Gourmet Alternative to Briquets!", "Natural Hardwood Flavor!", "Gourmet Hardwood Blend", "100% Natural Wood Charcoal", "Enjoy Grilling the Natural Way!", "All Natural Product", "Trees for the Future"

    "Our Commitment To The Environment Through Sustainable Best Practices
    Nature's Grilling Products™ is committed to delivering a 100% natural grilling experience, while protecting our customers, workers, environment, and ecosystems from which we source our wood. Each of our products is:

    "Experience the Gourmet Advantage of Nature's Grilling&Trade; 100% Natural Wood Charcoal"

    "Superior to Traditional Briquets and Regular Lump Wood Charcoal!
    Nature's Grilling™ 100% natural wood charcoal does not contain any coal, chemicals, or other fillers, resulting in a more consistent burn without excessive smoke or objectionable fumes or smells -- ensuring that the natural flavor of your food is delicately enhanced and not masked."

    "Natural Hardwood Flavor!
    Nature's Grilling™ 100% natural wood charcoal consistently impart a delicate hardwood flavor into all of your grilled foods."

    "Premium Quality!
    Nature's Grilling™ 100% natural wood charcoal is made from a gourmet blend of tropical hardwood trees, and does not contain any construction scraps or other foreign wood products found in other brands. 100% natural!"

    "Burns LONGER and HOTTER!
    Due to hardwood's natural dense structure, Nature's Grilling™ 100% natural wood charcoal is a low smoke, slow burning charcoal that maintains a high cooking temperature."

    "CAUTION: This is a natural product and can throw off sparks. Use only in a safe place."

    "Safety Tips

  • Never use gasoline to light charcoal.
  • Do not add lighter fluid directly to burning or hot charcoal.
  • Keep out of reach of children and pets.
  • After cooking, make sure ashes are completely cool before discarding."

  • Lighting Instructions

    "Directions (If using starter fluid, refer to manufacturer's instructions)
    1. Begin stacking the charcoal in a pyramid.
    2. Add in natural starter sticks; OR (Natural Grilling Tip: crumpled papers saturated with vegetable oil).
    3. Complete pyramid on top of starter sticks/papers.
    4. Light the starter sticks/papers in several places (always keep grill uncovered until ready to cook).
    5. What charcoal is mostly ashed, spread evenly in a single layer."


    Photos Of Contents

    This is the contents of the bag. Those are 1 inch squares on the measuring bar.


    Here is a closer view.


    Here are the larger pieces we found in the bag.


    Here is the one uncarbonized piece we found in the bag.


    Here are the contents of the bag sorted into medium, small, and too small/chips/dust.


    Other Photos

    This is how the bags arrived.


    Photo of UPC Code

    Here is a photo of the UPC code on the bag:


    Contact Information

    Nature's Grilling Products, LLC
    706 Front St., Suite 2
    Louisville, CO 80027

    www.naturesgrillingproducts.com


    About This Review

    If you are unfamiliar with our testing procedures, you may wish to read How We Review Lump Charcoal before reading this review. Also, you can read How We Score Lump Charcoal to learn about our scoring system.

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