What Type of Charcoal Is Perfect for Apartments?
Grilling delicious food is possible in many settings, including apartments. Whether or not you have a balcony, you can use a charcoal grill anywhere as long as you use the most suitable kind of charcoal for the setting and follow best practices.
For those who don’t know, charcoal is a clump of carbon that comes from burnt wood. However, different companies manufacture charcoal from a variety of materials, including coconut shells.
To produce carbon, the manufacturer must evaporate all moisture in the materials and eliminate the presence of air. That way, they create a dense material that is easily combustible. With this in mind, you may be asking yourself a few questions, such as “what type of charcoal is perfect for apartments?” and “is it safe to use indoors?” The answer to both of these questions is yes, and in this guide, you will learn everything you need to know about grilling with charcoal in an apartment or townhouse.
Understand the Risks of Indoor Grilling
It’s possible to practice safe indoor grilling with charcoal; however, you must find a way to neutralize the smoke and heat from your grill. The most effective way to do this is to use a vent or pipe to direct the smoke outside. Unfortunately, opening a window is not an effective way to manage the amount of heat and smoke that a grill generates.
No matter which type of charcoal you use, anything that combusts will produce carbon monoxide and toxins to a varying degree. These compounds rapidly fill the internal atmosphere in areas with poor air circulation and ventilation.
Even an open door isn’t sufficient enough to allow these gases to escape your apartment. If you want to maximize safety when grilling indoors, you need to use a range hood or an exhaust fan while you grill.
Know the Different Types of Charcoal
Charcoal comes from various sources, and companies prepare it in many different ways. Common charcoal might come from coconut shells, wood, coal, peat, petroleum, or a mix of all of these. In addition, manufacturers carbonize sugar to create pure sugar charcoal.
Other than the materials it comes from, the main factor separating the different kinds of charcoal is whether it’s lump or activated charcoal. Companies produce lump charcoal by slowly burning wood without any oxygen being present. Lump charcoal produces less ash than activated charcoal.
Businesses that make activated charcoal do so by heating common charcoal with steam or gas present so that the charcoal becomes more porous, increasing its adsorption abilities. This makes activated charcoal an effective agent for storing compounds on its surface.
Japanese charcoal is a unique form of charcoal that is odorless and doesn’t create smoke. The absence of pyroligneous acid is the reason why Japanese charcoal doesn’t produce smoke.
The next kind of charcoal is pillow-shaped briquettes, which come from a mixture of wood by-products, sawdust, and other additives to help bind the material. However, sawdust briquette charcoal comes from similar materials without the use of additives or binding agents.
Finally, the process for manufacturing extruded charcoal doesn’t use binding materials. Instead, manufacturers ground raw or carbonized wood and compact it into the material.
Which Is the Best Type of Charcoal for Indoor Apartment Grilling?
Now that you are familiar with the different types of charcoal, you might wonder which one you should use when grilling indoors. Again, to safely grill indoors without inhaling chemicals, you need adequate ventilation from a range hood or comparable device.
Nonetheless, coconut shell charcoal briquettes might be your best bet since they burn slowly enough, so they don’t produce as much smoke as other kinds. This makes it easier for you to manage and redirect the flow of smoke in your kitchen.
However, if you have a balcony in your apartment, you may still want to buy coconut shell charcoal because it’s better for the environment. Since this kind of charcoal burns more slowly and for a more extended period, you get more bang for your buck, and you don’t hurt nature by wasting precious resources.
Follow Best Practices When Grilling Charcoal Indoors
Grilling charcoal safely indoors requires you to practice specific techniques so that you can limit your exposure to harmful chemicals. Charcoal is an excellent grilling material, giving your food that delicious smokey flavor, but it also comes with some risks.
To avoid the worst, use only high-quality charcoal brands to ensure that there won’t be any mishaps. Cheap, low-quality charcoal will break down easily and create more smoke, polluting your indoor environment. In addition, if you don’t have a high-end grill with durable components and adequate ventilation, that also increases the risk of safety issues.
Furthermore, you must wait until the charcoal is gray before you can begin to cook your food. If you try to cook your food before the charcoal turns gray, it may not be hot enough to cook your food all the way through.
Eating raw meat is dangerous, so you will want to make sure that you cook it thoroughly before consuming it. Purchasing a red meat thermometer will ensure that you cook your meat all the way through.
Next, whenever you plan on grilling indoors, be sure to have a fire extinguisher and a water bottle handy in case you need to put out a fire. Another recommendation for best practices when grilling is to keep your grill clean to avoid getting any impurities on your food.
This also makes it easier to control your heat because there will be less obstruction between the flames and your food. Nonetheless, you must stay patient when grilling with charcoal because it takes longer than other grilling methods.
Overall, it might seem like it’s too early to start thinking about summer barbecues, but when you grill indoors, you can enjoy mouth-watering food year-round. After reading this guide, you won’t need to ask yourself, “What type of charcoal is perfect for apartments?” ever again. Now that you know what you need, stay safe and happy grilling!