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I initially saw these Heat Beads recommended by a few BBQ Competition Teams so I thought I would buy some and see how they performed against my favourite briquette from Weber.
Briquettes are a great way to get a grill ready for cooking quickly whilst providing a really consistent heat source. For the best part of 2016, I used Weber Briquettes. I first came across them after attending the Weber Grilling Academy in April 2016 and was really impressed.
How do they Perform
The first thing I noticed when compared against the Weber briquettes is that they are much smaller, more the typical size of briquettes. Using a Chimney Starter to get the briquettes going, they take slightly longer than the Weber briquettes. They were ready to pour in about 35 minutes, so still don’t that take too long to get ready. If you want to half the time they take to light you could invest in a Padamo Quick Starter but this is very much a luxury item.
When initially pouring they felt much hotter than the Weber briquettes. This also continued throughout the cook. I had finished after around 1.5 hours but when I went out after 3 hours my BBQ was still showing a temperature of 200°C. Checking an hour (so after 4 hours) later this had fallen to around 150°C. I think I can safely say that these briquettes will allow a long cook if required.
They also give off much less ash that the Weber briquette, so if ash puts you off this would be another reason to go for the Heat Beads.
As you can imagine because of the long cook times they give they excel on the smoker. Not only are they long-lasting but give consistent results which is what you want when using the smoker.
Heat Beads: The Verdict
As with the Weber briquettes, these are high-quality that I would really recommend you trying. They are more expensive, and if you can’t source them locally you may have to pay a delivery charge. However, if you want to do long cooks I think these briquettes will be just what you are after. I get mine from BBQ World and but in bulk (8 packs at a time). This really reduces the cost. It works out at £5,90 a bag, compared with £8 that Waitrose charge.
I don’t think there is much between these briquettes and the ones from Weber. My gut feel is these will burn hotter and longer than the Weber briquettes.
In summary, these are a great briquette that will not disappoint either on the grill or when smoking. They have now become my briquette of choice replacing the Weber briquette as my favourite.