The most common type of fuel used in charcoal grills is charcoal. It comes in lumpwood and briquette form and burns hot to sear the outside of meats. Because charcoal is so popular, some barbecue masters believe they must only use charcoal in their grill. This is a myth, as it is perfectly acceptable to use firewood instead. Using firewood for cooking also provides several distinct advantages that charcoal does not.

The Benefits of Barbecuing with Firewood

Although you can always barbecue with charcoal, using the correct firewood will make your meal taste better. Flavorful compounds will be released as smoke when the firewood burns down. Some of these substances will subsequently be absorbed by your meal, enhancing its flavour.

There are various kinds of firewood, and each one has a distinctive flavour. While some barbecue masters favour the distinctive and powerful flavour, others prefer the sweet and fruity flavour. Even better, you can combine different types of firewood to create different flavours. Of course, burning charcoal precludes this. You must utilise firewood as the fuel source if you want to have the most control over the flavour of your grilled food.

Firewood is also more convenient to light than charcoal. To ignite your firewood, you do not need to use lighter fluid or other accelerants. It should work as a fire starter if it’s dry. In contrast, charcoal is more difficult to light. You could burn through an entire matchbook trying to light it. For more information on how to get your charcoal BBQ going read our previous article.

Does Firewood Burn at a Lower Temperature Than Charcoal?

While firewood starts burning at a lower temperature than charcoal, it still produces more than enough heat to sear the outside of your foods. Once lit, the temperature of the firewood quickly rises. It is not unusual for burning firewood to reach temperatures of over 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit. Having said that, as firewood burns, it becomes even hotter. The temperature can reach 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit when only the smouldering coals of your firewood remain. All of that heat will allow you to grill delicious meats and vegetables in a short amount of time.

Can You Barbecue Using Both Charcoal and Firewood

In your grill, you can use both wood and charcoal. When using both types of fuel, it is recommended that you use wood chunks rather than logs for smoking. The charcoal will provide the heat required to sear your food, while the smoking chunks will add the delicious flavour associated with high-quality cooking wood.

Keep charcoal and smoking pieces apart while grilling. To put it another way, avoid dumping your smoking chunks on top of your charcoal. Placing your burning chunks next to the charcoal will cause them to smoulder more slowly. If you have an offset smoker-grill combo, you can put the smoking chunks in the smaller offset compartment instead of forming a ring of chunks around your charcoal. They won’t burn as quickly if you separate your charcoal from your smoking bits. Simply allow them to smoulder at a lower temperature to enhance the flavour and enjoyment of grilling.

Learn how to use our wide range of smokin’ wood chips and chunks by reading our previous article. 

We pride ourselves on providing only the best service to our customers at The Green Olive Firewood Company. So, if you require any additional information about our products or how to use them, please contact our expert team with any questions. Please call 0203 018 1918 or fill out our online form to reach a member of our team. To stay up to date, follow us on Twitter and Instagram!