Chilebrown at home

Friday, January 23, 2009


Cowboy Charcoal is a 100% natural product. 'Natural Product' is a buzz phrase that has marked countless number of products these days. Mesquite charcoal is the fuel of choice for most of my grilling. It is a natural product also. Kingsford charcoal has specific uses in the Chilebrown barbeque arsenal. Is this an unnatural product? I wonder. Today, 'Natural Product' is the hook that caught my eye in this charcoal purchase.

Cowboy Charcoal is manufactured in Albany Kentucky. They claim to be a state-of-the-art, environmentally compatible, wood retort plant. This company is run by the two Crace brothers; Sam and Don. The Crace family has made charcoal for over a 100 years. (Kingsford was not around till after 1920). Enough of the history lesson. Let's fire it up.

A chimney starter is always used at our house. A couple of newspapers is all it takes to get it started. This charcoal ignited fairly quickly. It took about 15 minutes to get the fire to temperature. Some broccoli and fresh shrimp was thrown together. This was the Chilebrown version of a recipe that was borrowed from Zoomie Station . This was a great recipe to get a taste of our charcoal.

The fire burned hot and fast. It behaved like natural charcoal should. It perfumed our food with a wonderful smoky flavor. I could not pinpoint any unique smoke flavors.(Example:Apple sweet). The broccoli and shrimp was done to perfection quickly with this fire. Cowboy Charcoal will work well when you need a hot fire for steaks and items that do not need long cooking times. The fire burned down at a brisk pace. The price of this charcoal was 7 dollars for a 8.8 pound bag at Trader Joe's. Will Cowboy Charcoal be purchased again? Possibly, if it was sold at a heavily discounted price. I am going to stick to my Mesquite and the unnatural Kingsford.


Chilebrown said...

Just a quick follow up. There is a more in depth review of Cowboy Charcoal if you are interested. To use the phrase 100% natural is scaring me.

Zoomie said...

Inspired to toss that recipe onto the grill! As soon as the weather clears, I'm going to try that, too!

meathenge said...

Uh, yeah I bought some a little while ago from Raley's. If I remember correctly, the lump hardwood charcoal is hardwood scraps from cabinet shops and the like. I had scroll work in mine, along with oak trim edges and nondescript ones as well. Yup, burned just fine. But the real natural mesquite branches are best.