It has long been a fact that charcoal produces some of the most amazing flavors of all woods, but why does it so strongly absorb the odor of foods? It has long been thought that when you light a charcoal grill or lit a gas grill that the aroma from the burning coals is transferred into the room.
But that theory has always been doubtful since you could not really smell the charcoal. You could smell the smoke that rose out of the pit but you cannot actually see any of it, which makes the question of how does grill charcoal absorb odors even more important.
It has long been a popular subject in many people’s grilling circles and recently there has been much research done on this topic. The conclusion is that while some charcoal does absorb odors, the majority does not. The reason why some does is because the longer the meat cooks and the drier it gets the more of the natural flavor is extracted from the meat. The shorter the time the charcoal is cooked and the more it releases the scent is because of the natural pungent smell that occurs after the meat has been cooked for an extended time.
But what if you are looking to grill and your food smells great? Does your charcoal to absorb the smells? That is another question that people often ask who are new to grilling, and are curious about the answer to the question, does grill charcoal absorb odors. To answer that question definitively, no, it does not absorb the odors. However, it can help release those odors.
If you are using charcoal grills with charcoal bases, then the food will be cooked with more of the natural pungent scent that comes from smoked meats. The difference is that because the food is cooked with more charcoal, the more of the pungent scent comes out. You can see this by cooking your favorite brisket on a charcoal grill. Not only will the brisket taste better, but you will also notice that the aroma of the brisket is stronger.
Charcoal that is extracted from wood chips, coals, or other sources, does not absorb any odors. As the charcoal burns, the oxygen that comes in contact with the burning charcoal will react with the carbon dioxide in the air. This reaction will create a sulfur like gas. However, the odor that comes out of these so-called gaseous mixtures is actually a combination of carbon dioxide and water. So yes, charcoal absorbs the odors of food, just as charcoal does with smoke.
When choosing which kind of charcoal or gas grill to use, you need to take this into consideration as well. Smoked woods are very aromatic, but some people do not find the taste of the smoke pleasant at all. Some people prefer the taste of gas grills over any other kind. But you may also be concerned about the environment, since charcoal is considered to be a “waste” product. If you are concerned about the environment, then you might want to consider using a gas grill for your barbecue cooking, although I don’t know how environmentally friendly charcoal grills are.
Most people don’t realize that you can make your own charcoal briquettes and use them straight from the tube. You may think that making your own “cooking” charcoal is a very difficult and time consuming task but it’s really quite simple once you get the hang of it. There’s no need to go out and purchase some expensive charcoal. The cost for a pound of charcoal can range from less than ten cents all the way up into the hundreds – if you can find some discount wood or other “dark” woods.
So what’s so special about this charcoal? It burns clean. It doesn’t have any impurities in it. That’s why it’s so effective at burning. And it is so natural looking – no so many man made colorants or aroma-enhancing substances used in commercial charcoal. It just looks like charcoal.
So now you know how long will charcoal briquettes absorb odor? The answer depends on what you’re trying to accomplish. If you’re just trying to light a fire and add a little spice, using lower quality charcoal is probably fine.
But if you’re trying to create a campfire scent, you might want to go with a premium grade product. It should still produce some of that “real” woodsy smoke, though not as much as with cheaper grades. A higher quality product will also last longer and produce less ash. And, of course, it will have more aromatic properties that can mask unpleasant odors.
For example, mesquite has a bit of an odor to it. It’s actually a very common ingredient in “charcoal-friendly” meals. While it’s hardly the stuff that will make your home smell like warm cat food, some people find that it does reduce the otherwise “fishy” odor of foods prepared on charcoal. Other kinds of charcoal, such as Kentucky Mountain Black (or also known as “black cayenne”) has a pungent odor and is often used to discourage rodents from nesting in the house.
So, when you’re looking for that perfect home aroma product, try to think outside the box. As stated earlier, charcoal briquettes are a great addition to your cooking arsenal, but they should still be used with caution. Don’t let your sense of adventure lead you into using a product that’s not right for you. It’s better to experiment with a less common ingredient than it is to waste your cooking time and money on something that won’t work.