Differences Between Wood and Charcoal Grilling

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, ‘Differences Between Wood and Charcoal Grilling’, and will discuss which grilling is better than others.

Differences Between Wood and Charcoal Grilling

Differences Between Wood and Charcoal Grilling is that the charcoal grilling, whether it’s made of wood or briquettes, is heated in an oxygen-free environment, so it doesn’t burn up. To make char wood, you’ll need either raw hardwood or timber remnants. However, the ingredients used to make charcoal briquettes include coal, charcoal, maize starch, sawdust, and sodium nitrate.

Charcoal and wood have a few key differences

You’ll find a wide variety of charcoal products while shopping. So-called charcoal is either wood pieces that have been heated in the absence of oxygen and converted into carbon chunks or manufactured charcoal briquettes produced in part from hardwood handled in the same manner as charcoal.

Briquettes only contain two more ingredients: sodium nitrate, which aids in burning, and maize starch, which helps bind the mixture. Due to the additional fillers, briquettes produce more ash in the grill than hardwood charcoal.

Most trees are renewable, therefore unless your company specifies, sourcing some of your charcoal wood from renewable resources may not signify anything (ie: for every tree, we chop, we plant 5 new ones).

Although “all-natural” is often seen on hardwood lump charcoal, it’s essential to keep in mind that there is no FDA definition for the term, so it may not signify anything.

What are charcoal Briquettes?

Believe it or not, the Ford Motor Company in Detroit invented charcoal briquettes as a method to get rid of sawdust and wood waste. As a result, Henry Ford was able to turn a profit after previously paying to have trash removed.

Technically, Ellsworth Zwoyer was the first to get a patent for charcoal briquettes in 1897, but Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and EB Kingsford collaborated nearly a century earlier to get the product off the ground.

The briquettes are made by heating wood chips and sawdust in the absence of oxygen until the carbon is produced. When they’re pulverized, they’re mixed with binders like maize starch or limestone, as well as flavor enhancers like sodium nitrate and other chemicals to help them burn better.

After that, they thicken the batter and pour it into the molds, where it may dry.

Is hardwood charcoal preferable to briquettes for cooking purposes?

The grillers will have a great time debating with each other over here. The all-natural hardwood charcoal is preferred by some who claim it has a more natural smoky flavor and less chemical taste.

Even though charcoal briquettes cook more uniformly and reliably, some purists believe that they provide superior results with less attention. they’re both derived from carbonized wood, which is what makes them both the same in the end.

Hardwood charcoal: advantages and disadvantages

·         It Burns hotter but is less reliable.

·         You may have the option of selecting the kind of wood you want on occasion (which can change the flavor)

·         There are usually no other ingredients.

·         Lumber scraps may be used to create this (which could have nails or glue)

Charcoal briquettes: advantages and disadvantages.

·         A continuous smoldering

·         After burning, produce more ash to use as fuel.

·         Possible adverse effects on taste due to the use of chemicals and additions

Can you replace the charcoal with wood?

Charcoal may be purchased in the form of wood pieces (often labeled by type of wood: hickory, mesquite, etc). Although not technically charcoal, they are more suited for smoking than simply grilling.

You’ll need to build a fire or use lighter fluid to cook with it. In addition to charcoal, plain wood pieces will burn at a somewhat quicker rate than that of the latter. However, since the wood hasn’t been cut, you’ll receive a greater smoky taste.

As a result, grillers prefer charcoal (both natural wood and briquette) because it burns hotter, cleaner, and more evenly than plain wood pieces. Hardwoods are best for BBQ burning if you’re planning to use raw wood.

 During cooking, a resin is produced from softwoods like pine, giving your meal an unpleasant taste. Cherry wood, for example, has a subtle sweetness to it (great for lamb or pork). A deep, rich taste calls for pecans or walnuts. However, the most often used cooking woods are mesquite, hickory, and oak. They, too, contribute significantly to the taste of the dish.

Cooking only with wood has the drawback of being unsatisfying if you’re looking for a bit of smokiness. If you use too much smoke, the smoke taste will dominate your food. Smoke masters like Aaron Franklin frequently suggest smoking for four hours and then cooking on low heat for the remainder of the time, because of this.


In this brief guide, we answered the query, ‘Differences Between Wood and Charcoal Grilling’ and discussed which grilling is better than others.



Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.