Welcome to the world of Japanese Oak charcoal.
Please note that we are out of stock of our 1.4kg and 2.3kg bags until Dec 2021. We are investigating bringing in Kishu Binchotan in 15kg boxes. Standby for an update on these in a future newsletter.
The Kishu binchotan we source is pure, 100% produced from Ubame Oak (Quercus phillyraeoides) which has been adopted as the official tree of Wakayama prefecture where this charcoal is produced.
Along with Kamitosa (Tosa) Binchotan, genuine Kishu Binchotan is known as the best charcoal produced in Japan. Kishu Binchotan has a total burn time of up to 5 hours.
Binchotan is a highly dense charcoal and burns for a very long time, with each piece being able to burn for three to five hours depending on the thickness. Binchotan can be more difficult to ignite than lump charcoal and briquettes but this is a minor inconvenience compared to the flavour it imparts.
Binchotan burns cleanly with a high steady heat. It is thought that the alkalised ashes may neutralise protein acids and other undesirable acidic products during cooking. Using a diatomite earth to insulate this high heat and from the far-infrared radiation produced by the charcoal, foods are quickly sealed enhancing the natural flavours of the food.
Read our preparation tips before getting started.
Place binchotan in a charcoal starter (or directly on a portable gas burner). Keep them directly over a gas flame for about 20-25 minutes or until glowing hot. Don't use artificial fire-starters as these can taint your food
Add the smoldering binchotan into your hibachi or konro and leave it to burn for approximately 10 minutes before shuffling the logs along to deliver an even heat.
When you finish cooking, dunk the charcoal in water with some solid tongs and then place on a tray to dry, or smother in an old pot with the lid on so you can use the charcoal again. Don't add any water into your grill as this will likely destroy it.
Remember the binchotan is far hotter than ordinary charcoal, so be very careful. Make sure you keep your charcoal and hot grill away from children and any accidental contact by over-enthusiastic adults.