Charcoal briquettes

History of charcoal briquettes

The origin of briquettes

The original method for making charcoal briquettes is very traditional, like for example in Africa.

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Africans walked for several kilometres to find wood charcoal that had been baked in the forest. They carried it home on their backs in cloth bags.

They then collected the charcoal dust that had accumulated in the bottom of the bags and they mixed it with clay.

They made small balls of this mixture in the palms of their hands and then dried them in the sun.

These balls provided an extra source for combustion.

Already at that time, charcoal dust, today called “small coal”, was collected and mixed with a binder.

Charcoal briquettes today

Since then, the manufacture of charcoal briquettes has changed dramatically with the appearance of new industrial technologies.

This natural product is the result of the agglomeration of small wood charcoal with an alimentary binder (wheat flour) and water.

Briquettes look like the old coal nuts that were used in domestic stoves.

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Today, charcoal briquettes are used particularly in Northern Europe. The Americans also use them for grilling meat on their barbecues.

In France, charcoal briquettes are not commonly distributed but demand is increasing.