Binchotan charcoal, also known as white charcoal or bincho-zumi, is the charcoal that's used primarily in Japanese barbecue. Generally, the charcoal is made from eucalyptus and oak, which gives that clean and smokey flavor to the meats...
One of the reasons why binchotan charcoal is used so widely in Japan is because of it's efficacy and flavorless heat. Binchotan can burn for around 5 hours at a time and can even be extinguished and re-ignited up to 2-3 times.
Binchotan is used from whole stems and is one pure wood. Plus, they burn evenly and have virtually no flavor or extra chemical processing.
Because the coals are so clean in flavor, binchotan charcoals go well with cooking unagi and skewered chicken (yakitori).
Binchotan is also commonly used to purify water. The organic components in bintochan allow the chemicals to bind and be removed from the water, making it safe and delicious to drink. Y
Also, there are many other uses for binchotan such as binchotan towels and binchotan toothbrushes that tend to give an overall clean and natural feeling. However, we're here to give you the low down on binchotan for grilling your favorite meats.
If you're a fan of grilling, you probably are more familiarized with black charcoal. Charcoals like lump charcoal and charcoal briquets fall into these categories. These are commonly used in American style outdoor barbecues and have been around for centuries.
Generally, people tend to favor lump charcoal because it's the next best thing to cooking with wood and is relatively environmentally friendly. The pieces of charcoal are made from wood scraps from saw mills and building materials.
However, since they are leftover chunks, the pieces aren't cut evenly giving various sizes to the charcoal and causing uneven cooking sometimes.
For those that are looking to hyperdrive their barbecuing, charcoal briquets are a popular choice. These are synthetic charcoals that are molded from treated sawdust and mixed wood chips. So, charcoal briquets tend to be the most expensive charcoals on the market.
However, these do tend to let off odd flavor if you try to cook with them before they are fully lit.
In the end, white charcoal is the best of both worlds. Binchotan is used from whole stems and is one pure wood. Plus, they burn evenly and have virtually no flavor or extra chemical processing.
The only downfall to Bintochan is they may not be easily accessible depending on where you live in the world, making the cost more expensive. But, it's well worth the cost for a delicious meal without any funky chemical flavors!
(To be continued..)