The pros: Trader Joe's Hardwood Charcoal Briquettes will give you a smoky flavor that a gas, propane or briquette can't give you. These are briquettes and of equal size. They do burn for a long time.
The cons: Only comes in one size. Will take more skill to light than easy light varieties. These took longer to light and get them ready for cooking.
BBQ season is firmly upon us. While I have a much larger BBQ, I prefer my much smaller set up. For a party, I'll heat up the big grill. For dinner for one or two, I'll stick to the little one. Now, my husband loves BBQing. There is something about men and fire. Unfortunately, too many people have trusted him with lighter fluid. In fact, when my husband BBQs everyone seems to know it based on the pyrotechnic display.
There might have been an occasion (or two) where fences have been scorched in the process. There are also occasions where neighbors visit not to partake in food, but to make sure the local fire department does not need to be called.
I like to keep things more tame. In fact, I've been in charge of my little Weber grill only a handful of times. I used the newspaper method and it definitely took more than 15 minutes to get the charcoals ashy. I would say it was closer to 30 minutes. Once they were good at hot, cooking was quick and easy. The briquettes imparted a smoky flavor that can not be replicated any other way. We tested it with Trader Joe's Buffalo Burgers. This made the wait worth it in the end since it tasted better than making it over the stove top any day.
For $5.99 you are getting 9 pounds of hardwood briquettes. If you've bought briquettes in the past, then this is pretty significant price increase since $7.99 used to get you 18 pounds. If you are wondering how Trader Joe's compares to other brands, well this article is very thorough. It also mentions where these briquettes might come from. Happy Grilling! As for how long this stays hot, it's still hot several hours later. Worth the money.
Here is the run down of what you get if you purchase this item.
The bag of Trader Joe's Hardwood Charcoal Briquettes:
How Trader Joe's describes this product:
How to light these:
Out of the package you get:
After being cooking some Trader Joe's Buffalo Burgers:
Would I buy this again? Yes. It's not the easiest to find, but some true BBQ fans will appreciate the smokey flavor that these briquettes create.
Want to see more items I've reviewed from Trader Joe's? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!
Christine Czarnecki says
This is the only kind of charcoal we have used for years. And if you use a chimney starter, your charcoal will light without problems, every time, and you can give up that unhealthy lighter fluid. All the charcoal chimney needs is one sheet of newspaper to light.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this Christine! Great tips too.