Updated: Sep 6, 2021
We've always loved the outdoors.
Our passion comes from our love of nature and our beautiful surroundings in West Sussex, so it's also a delight being able to supply people such as yourselves with high quality, longer-burning firewood. We've wanted to produce our own charcoal for a while now, a better-than-traditional-version, and after all, it is the season, so we’re excited to have added 3kg bags of lumpwood charcoal to our online shop.
But because there's a lot more to charcoal than most people know, we wanted to shed some light on how it's produced and why exactly we're making our own....
WHAT IS CHARCOAL USED FOR?
Charcoal makes for the ideal BBQ fuel - it has no odour, doesn’t smoke and burns longer. There’s nothing quite like cooking outside on a barbecue in the warmer months - and we’ve all been cooped up for so long that this summer it feels extra special!
If you have a chiminea or fire pit, you can also use charcoal in that - either in combination with firewood or alone.
WHAT IS LUMPWOOD CHARCOAL?
Not all charcoal is created equally - lumpwood charcoal is a higher quality version. Lumpwood refers to the process of ensuring the wood is burned low and slow, with very little oxygen to create charcoal that is essentially a lump of carbon.
WHY IS LUMPWOOD CHARCOAL THE BETTER CHOICE OVER TRADITIONAL CHARCOAL?
There are several reasons why our lumpwood charcoal is better, and we'll go into a little detail here so that you'll have a better picture of charcoal production... The Burn: The process we employ to burn the wood uses noxious gases that are emitted when burning to further fuel the making of the wood into charcoal. This means the process is much healthier for the environment. So far, so good. The Source: It is often very difficult to ascertain the genuine origin of charcoal and therefore exactly what we are buying, and where our money is going. Much of the charcoal that is available for us to buy is from unmanaged forest and rainforest (and we never really know where) which means it's fuelling deforestation, sometimes illegally.
Supply Chain: The way the demand for charcoal works means that much of the charcoal available in the U.K. has been shipped from destinations that are thousands of miles away. Whilst this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it does mean the demand costs more in fuel for transport - and if it's from that distance, why not buy from somewhere a little more local!
The Chemical Coating: This is applied to charcoal in transit to stop it igniting due to friction. This chemical coating then has to be burnt off when we first use the charcoal, for example on a barbecue, and this is the reason we have to wait for the outer layer to turn white as this means the poisonous chemical layer has been destroyed. Not that nice!
Now you know a little more about charcoal production and the industry. And importantly, now you know why we produce our own. In short... Our lumpwood charcoal contains no additives like lighter fluid. We make the lumpwood charcoal on our farm, sourcing the wood from local woodland that we manage sustainably. Our Lumpwood charcoal tends to light faster (meaning less waiting time for your food!) and burns hotter, while releasing less pollutants. Overall, it delivers a premium flavour for your food as well as a healthier option than traditional charcoal.
BLACK DOG FORESTRY.