Chilebrown at home

Friday, October 24, 2008


Today we are going to try to reduce my carbon foot print. This will be accomplished by trying a ‘Green’ charcoal. Green Hearts just so happens to make a charcoal that uses no fossil fuels. It is made from eucalyptus trees, a renewable resource. The first step is to procure the charcoal. The only place in the Bay Area that carries Green Heart
is Whole Foods. The closest one is 13 miles away in Berkeley.

It is time to fire up Black Bart. Black Bart is a very large truck. It stands 7 ½ feet tall and 21 feet long. Black Bart has special mufflers. These mufflers are very loud to warn all wildlife to not cross the road. Bart gets good gas mileage, down hill with the engine off. I can only do this late at night, because, when the engine is off the power steering locks up.
It is off to Berkeley, but first a stop at Starbucks. I bring a commuter cup to cut down on paper consumption. You have to remember to bring the cup into the store. No worries, I recycled the paper cup in the compost pile. At least it looked like a compost pile. There were a lot of cups and wrappers lying in a flower bed. Bart was doing well in the bumper to bumper traffic. We traveled the 12 miles in less than an hour. We went into Whole Foods and bought the charcoal. The trip home was a lot shorter. Thankfully I only had to stop for gas once.

Green hearts is made by the Soler Co. The eucalyptus for this charcoal is grown in Brazil on a plantation. They claim :{ When you grill on your barbecue with “Green Hearts” Briquettes, you generate carbon which is captured by the growing tree. The amount of Co2 emitted when you barbecue is equal to the Co2 absorbed by the planted trees that are used to produce “Green Hearts” BBQ Charcoal Briquettes. This is what we call the carbon neutral cycle.} They also say that their charcoal will burn hotter and longer than normal briquettes. We are going to attempt an unscientific experiment to back up this claim.
We are going to compare the heat level of 4 lit Green Heart charcoals versus the heat of 4 lit Kingsford charcoals. Both charcoals will be lit in separate chimney charcoal starters. The temperatures will be taken in 30 minute intervals with a laser thermometer. Finally some rib eye steaks will be grilled to see if there is a flavor profile. Gentlemen start your charcoals.

The first thing you notice about Green Hearts is its cute heart shape. I weighed 4 charcoals of each brand. They weighed 4 ounces each. We are on an equal playing field. The charcoals were pretty well lit around 930 am. The Kingsford was at 862 degrees versus the Green charcoal at 800 degrees. I do have to say that the Green charcoal was not fully lit. One half an hour later the Green charcoal had shot up to 850 degrees while the Kingsford had dropped to 775 degrees. Fast forward an hour 1100 am and the Green charcoal had dropped to 610 degrees and the Kingsford to 525 degrees. The Kingsford has a spike of heat. The Green Hearts definitely burns hotter and longer. I am not sure if this is such a victory. We will move on to the taste teste.

Eucalyptus wood is a hard wood. It burns hot and fast. If you have ever smelled a Eucalyptus tree it smells like cough syrup.. It has a property of not letting anything grow under its canopy of leaves. I am a little hesitant in trying this charcoal. I do not want to alter any taste of my premium steak.Here we go. We are using two Rib Eye Steaks with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. That is all the seasoning we need. The charcoal has burned down and we are cooking. 4 to 5 minutes on each side. We are looking for medium rare.
Beehive Mac & Cheese
The steaks turned out stellar. There was no eucalyptus hint of smoke What do I think of Green Hearts charcoal?
There was no hint of eucalyptus at all. I was a little worried. This charcoal burned hotter and longer than the National brand.. The cost was 9 dollars for 5 pounds of this special charcoal. Oh Wow, oh Wow!!!!!!.
Of course I want to save the planet. According to this bag of charcoal, I can slow down 'Global Warming" . I do not think I will be buying anymore bags of Green Hearts. There must be a better way to stop Global Warming.


cookiecrumb said...

You are tres droll. I can say this, because you are half Canadian. Great read.
Cranky wants the Green Hearts.

liteluvr said...

Cool experiment. And it's good that there was no nasty Vicks aftertaste in those fine ribeyes.

Here's my solution to the carbon footprint problem... buy three bags of good ol' American Made charcoal at the same time and only make ONE trip to the store in my 3/4 ton pickup.
I can get good ol' Kingsford for about $8 a 10 pound bag all day long.
Nice mac and cheese too....

meathenge said...

Nicely done, hey. I'm still hungry though.

I think I'll stick to my high-carbon mesquite fueled boots. Pass the hickory!


Zoomie said...

They had to release a fair amount of carbon to get the green hearts here from Brazil, too. You'll find a better way, I'm sure.