So before I start this briquette review I need to hold my hands up and admit that I am a real fan of Australian Heat Beads. They are my fuel of choice for both the BBQ and also for the smoker, so they provide the benchmark that I am reviewing against.
I usually buy bags of 8 Heat Beads and to take it over £50, to get free delivery, I usually throw in a different fuel type. I thought I would try the Nature Coconut Shell Briquettes 2.5kg CO2 Neutral. They are totally natural, made from 100% coconut shells and are odourless being free from additives and chemicals. They also claim that you can cook with them for 4 hours above 180°C which I was definitely keen to test.
How do they Perform
The first thing I noticed when compared against the Heat Beads is that they are about the same size. Using a Chimney Starter to get the briquettes going, they got going really quickly. I should have been more scientific, but it definitely felt like they were ready to cook with more quickly than the Heat Beads. They were ready to pour in about 15 minutes, which I thought was pretty impressive.
The surprise for me was the initial heat they reached. The heat beads initial temp is around 200°C to 250°C but these briquettes hit the 300°C pretty quickly. It concerned me a bit as I did wonder if it would impact how long they would last. Also, at those temperatures it’s not great to start cooking so probably negates how good they are to get going.
In terms of cooking life they lasted really well and pretty much did what they stated. Provided temps of over 180°C (nearer 200°C) for the first 3 hours and then dropping in the 4th hour. I only tried them on the Weber GBS but I would have no hesitation using them in the smoker as they definitely have the staying power.
Coconut Shell Briquettes: The Verdict
As with the Weber Briquettes and the Australian Heat Beads, these are a high quality briquette that I would really recommend you trying. They are priced in the same range as the Heat Beads.
Over the past year my fuel of choice has changed. I was hooked on the Weber briquettes to then discover Heat Beads which are now my favourite. These briquettes are good but I am not sure they will dislodge my Heat Beads.