I am so incredibly excited for BBQ season! My current BBQ place is Blue Smoke NY run by Danny Mayer's Union Square Restaurant Group. If you have a chance you should definitely stop by and have their Kansas City ribs with mashed potatoes.
If you asked me right now what my favorite non-knife product we have at korin, I would tell you right away that its the binchotan charcoal (and the Zoujirushi Air pot... but thats another story.)
Binchotan is a traditional Japanese charcoal that is completely different from American charcoal in just about every way possible. Due to the fact that binchotan is chemical free, almost smoke free, and burns at a temperature 300 to 600 degrees higher than American charcoal. The lack of chemical additives and the incredibly high heat preserves the flavorful juices, adds a beautiful sear, and makes anything barbecued on it absolutely delectable.
Ms. Kawano allowed us to take 5lbs each and try them out. So we had a BBQ at a coworker's house!
There are three different types of binchotan. Main different being the longevity of the flame.
White binchotan burns for up to 5 hours. Because white binchotan is the hardest charcoal, it is also the hardest to light. It may take about an hour to light it. However, once it is lit it will burn at the highest temperature for the longest amount of time.
Aramaru charcoal is the easier to light than white binchotan, however they have a shorter life (up to 3-4 hours). This makes them ideal to mix with white binchotan. Please light aramaru charcoal by placing it over direct flame until it turns red. This may take up 30 minutes.
Sumi charcoal is a charcoal briquette that is more economical than aramaru and white binchotan. Sumi charcoal is also chemical free, almost smoke free, and burn three times hotter than American charcoal. Sumi charcoal is the easiest to light out of the three types of Japanese charcoals, however they have a shorter life (up to 3 hours).
- Put the white binchotan over direct flame with either a charcoal starter or over a netted pot similar to the charcoal starter. This will take up to 30 minutes to 1 hour. You can find the starter pot here: http://korin.com/Charcoal-Starter-Pan-with-Handle
- Mix sumi or aramaru charcoal that light up faster with the white binchotan
- Please note liquid fuel is not enough to burn these white binchotan, you must put binchotan over direct flame to light.
Binchotan being Used
Taken at Gohan Society's Event last December. The grill being used here can be found: http://korin.com/Charcoal-Barbecue-K...ategory=281236
Tadashi Ono of Matsuri Restaurant. Writer of The Japanese Grill
A few restaurants that use these charcoal: Bouley, Brushstroke, Matsuri NY, Tori-Shin NY
Benefits and Health Value of White Charcoal
- Filters and absorbs chemicals in water. All water filters have white charcoal in them.
- Absorbs odors
Korin uses it in the pocket knife showcase. We have to keep the showcase humidified, because the pocket knives are really sensitive to humidity and dryness. (The handles start to shrink and etc.) But in efforts to keep the case humidified, the entire case started to smell damp and gross, so we put the binchotan in. It looks pretty too.
- Absorbs dampness
You can put it in your fridge to replace baking soda!
- Produces negative ions that helps the immune system, and decreases electromagnetism. Supposedly, its good to keep next to your bed. I've never tried it though, so I can't vouch for this.
- Reusable! As long as it's not ash, you can reuse binchotan as many times as you want. You could also reuse it by soaking it in water for a few minutes for a better effect.
- Neutralizes and improves soil quality for plants
- Small amounts of binchotan powder can help kill stomach viruses, prevent food poisoning, and stop diarrhea. *Warning: Large amounts is unhealthy.
- Small amounts in rice cookers increases the rice’s calcium and makes the rice keep for longer.
- Bathing with a little bit of binchotan in the water can help improve one’s blood cycle, hair and skin.
*I got this information at WhiteBinchotan.com. It's a little Engrishy, but it was very helpful.
Korin offers many different BBQ grills
We offer large konro grills as well as smaller table top konro grills. We recommend the smaller ones be used with liquid fuel, rather than binchotan charcoal, but we also have small binchotan worthy grills.
Charcoal Barbecue Grill- Small
As seen on Bon Appetit
Brown Rect Charcoal BBQ Konro
$62.00 – $123.00
The Hida Konro
^^ Better to just use fuel for these type of grills ^^