As with any rite of passage, the procedure of grilling meat has its share of preferences and schools of thought. One in particular is the age-old debate on whether which type of charcoal to use better: Hardwood or briquettes? Any normal person would be inclined to think this is just culinary snobbery, but in truth, there really is quite the distinction when it comes to these two grill fuel options and their effects on the meat.
Pros and Cons
Most people willing to offer their opinion on the issue can agree that each has its own pros and cons. First off, hardwood charcoal typically burns hotter (useful if you want to sear the meat) and can be made of specific woods—such as maple, oak, mesquite, or even hickory—that leave their own signature flavor on the food. However, the lumps can come in too many different sizes, some of which may not be adequately charred.