You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers!
We’ve compiled this handy list of frequently asked questions, so you can spend less time looking for answers, and more time grilling!
Do you have a charcoal mine?
No, mineral coal comes from mines. Mineral coal often contains sulfur and, in our opinion, is not suitable for cooking food.
What is your charcoal made of?
Basque Hardwood Charcoal is made from Quebec hardwood, mainly sugar maple. Logs are slowly pyrolyzed in special kilns designed to provide the best cooking charcoal.
When cooking with your charcoal, I can smell a mild sweetness. Do you put maple syrup on your charcoal?
No, the sugars contained in our charcoal are natural, like sugar maple. During the charring process, the sugars crystallize, this is what gives the unique aromas released when lighting and cooking with Basques Hardwood Charcoal.
What is the difference between briquettes and your charcoal?
Lump charcoal is the untransformed natural version. The pieces of wood are weakened during the charring process, giving them the shape of broken pieces of wood. Briquettes are made from lump charcoal that is too small to use for cooking. Maize or potato starch is added to these small pieces to form briquettes through a moulding and drying process. Briquettes contain a lot more ash and do not reach such a high temperature.
I have a gas BBQ. How can I use it with charcoal?
In our opinion, a gas appliance is made solely for gas. Moreover, real lump charcoal like ours generates a very high heat and could seriously damage your gas appliance! Secondly, it is mainly a question of air supply, ventilation and material strength. A charcoal appliance is made with two settings: An air inlet and a gas outlet. Plus, it is generally made from thicker steel or ceramic: It is therefore designed for cooking food over charcoal.
I don’t have any equipment, what do you recommend as a charcoal BBQ?
It depends on your budget and how much you plan on using one. The best kind is undoubtedly a Kamado-type ceramic egg, such as Green-Egg, Kamado Joe or Primo-Gills. These appliances are heavy and expensive, but they offer unbeatable control. That said, the good old Webber Kettle is a simple, inexpensive and amazing machine. You can purchase a lot of compatible stuff to customize your Webber Kettle, and high-end models come with super practical options. You’ll love the large cooking surface plus it’s super lightweight, making it fun to bring to the cottage or over to your friends’ homes! Remember that charcoal is a fire of glowing embers that we have cooled and bagged for you!
What is the best technique for lighting charcoal?
Our favourite technique is using a charcoal lighter with a blower (Looftlighter or Joe Blow). You can start cooking right away! Small or large lumps of charcoal: Anything goes!
Can I store my charcoal bag outside?
When charcoal absorbs water, it becomes saturated. Saturated charcoal takes longer to light and will generate a lot of white smoke, but if you give it the right amount of air and let it rise in temperature, you’ll be in the money!
How can I get my charcoal to reach maximum temperature?
Charcoal’s nemeses are humidity, CO2 and the cold. To reach maximum temperature, you must first have extremely dry charcoal. Secondly, the gas outlet on your appliance must be fully open. The CO 2 that builds up during combustion hinders the oxygenation of charcoal, so it must be let out of the appliance. Finally, the heat. An appliance like the Webber cannot reach as high a temperature as a ceramic egg comprised of several layers that reflect infrared radiation.
Can I use the bag my Basques Hardwood Charcoal came in to light the charcoal?
Of course, that’s why we use non-toxic ink to print your bag.
Where can I buy your charcoal?
Consult our “Locate a Retailer” section. If you are a distributor or retailer, your area may not yet be covered by our distributors.
Contact us directly!