And so, with great fanfare and much ado, we come to the end of the Great Spring 2011 Charcoal Review Festival. In the tradition of the great showmen of days past – Houdini, P.T. Barnum, Dennis DeYoung – I have saved the best for last. Or at least my favourite, anyway.
Its the “Weekend Warrior Blend” from Wicked Good Charcoal and it is my number-one go-to all-purpose lump. WIth that many hyphens, you know it’s got to be good.
There is no false advertising or hyperbole here: This charcoal is wicked good. In fact, beyond two or three little quibbles (stick around for the next paragraph) there isn’t much to say about this beyond the fact that it smells great, burns long and clean, works as well in a slow barbeque pit as it does a hot grill, and if you needed only one charcoal all summer long this would be the one to choose. That makes for a pretty lame review, really. No surprises, no problems, nothing fun to write about. It’s just, well, wicked good.
Quibbles? Oh, yes, those. This the most non-uniform lump I have ever come across. Bag in and bag out you get everything from massive chunks as big as your head to little flippers the size of your finger. What I end up doing is (don’t laugh) saving a couple of empty bags and using them to sort the charcoal when I get a fresh bag. Big lumps for long slow cooks, average ones for grilling, and the wee bits for putting in the bottom of the charcoal chimney to ease the lighting process. Bringing us to quibble number two – it can be a bit of a chore to light. You’ve been warned.
The third quibble? The third quibble (what a great word – “quibble”) is no more. It used to be that the actual bags that the charcoal came in were terrible. Messy, dirty, always breaking open, just the worst. But they have changed them for the better and you no longer feel like you are working in a 19th-century coal mine when you try to use this stuff.
Beyond that … I got nuthin’. They don’t use tropical woods, they use sustainable sourcing, the price is right, it works for every style of cooking, and the smell will bring your neighbours running. Boring review, but great charcoal.
On The Web: Wicked Good Charcoal Weekend Warrior Blend