Coconut Shell Charcoal, as you can probably guess, is made from coconut shells, and it’s a popular fuel for hibachi grills, among other things. This type of charcoal is often used in tropical areas, since coconut shells are abundant there. The biggest advantages to grilling with coconut charcoal is that it burns hotter, cleaner and its manufacturing process is much friendlier on the environment than traditional charcoal because it uses a material that would typically be filling landfills and doesn’t require cutting down trees.
There are lots of different ways to make this type of charcoal. Basically, though, they all involve burning down coconut shells until they’re mostly hot-burning carbon you need for fueling grills and other things. One way to carbonize coconut shells is to put it in a drum that locks out most of the oxygen. Then, you burn the coconut shells until what you’re left with is charcoal. This is one of the most popular methods of forming the charcoal, since it doesn’t need super-specialized equipment.
Coconut Shell Charcoal comes from fully-matured, dried coconut shells, and the output is pretty interesting. It takes about 1,000 whole shells to be turned into just 35kg of charcoal! Luckily, the insides of the coconuts have other uses, so you’re really just using up waste with this type of charcoal. This makes it a fairly eco-friendly, green way to get charcoal for all your grilling needs. Something interesting that some industrialized tropical areas do is to actually burn the coconut shells to use the heat for other things, like drying copra, the coconut meat! That way, the charcoal is actually just a by-product of the copra drying! Again, this is a really “green” method of using energy and getting this type of charcoal.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can make your own Coconut Shell charcoal through the cottage barrel method – but it’s much easier of course to just buy it. The coconut charcoal you’re interested in for grilling is obviously the stuff that comes in briquettes. It also comes in powdered form, but for hibachi grill purposes, you’re going to want to stick with the briquettes. You might also find it called coconut husk charcoal, which is the same thing and is processed in pretty much the same exact way.
The most popular brand is Coshell. Their briquettes are made of 100% recycled coconut shells, which not only burn hotter & cleaner than traditional charcoal, but are more environmentally friendly. A standard 9 pound bag of Coshell coconut briquettes typically runs around $20. Unfortunately it can be tough to find Coshell charcoal at local stores, but you can get them quite easily online. I typically buy them here.
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