Review: Napoleon Coconut Briquettes
After I published my review for the Napoleon Pro 22 grill I was sent a box of Napoleon Coconut Briquettes to try. Having cooked with them a few times now it’s time for Review: Napoleon Coconut Briquettes.
You can see the review of the Napoleon Pro 22 grill here:
Confession time – I haven’t really done any low and slow cooks on a kettle. Back when I got started with grilling and smoking I bought a Weber kettle and a Weber Smokey Mountain at the same time (I spent a lot of time in the Weber marquee during the rain at Grillstock!) so I always grilled in the kettle and smoked in the WSM. I saw a lot of folk doing low and slow in their kettles with briquettes using the snake method (stacking them neatly and lighting one end so it runs like a fuse to constantly light the next briquette and maintain a steady heat) but I had paid a fair amount for the WSM and used that instead!
Since adding the Kamado Joe Big Joe to the hut I tend to use that for low and slow running on lumpwood. I haven’t tried low and slow with lumpwood in a kettle as I think it would be quite hard to hit and maintain temperature. Briquettes are far easier for this in a kettle.
I hadn’t seen these briquettes before so had a look online but couldn’t see many reviews for them either. Time to work it out myself!
This is what the box looks like – I looked online and these retail for around £18 for 10kg
That provided 47x briquettes in my box. The briquettes are hexagonal in shape and long, stacked pointing upwards in the box.
Time to Start a Fire:
Every briquette I have used over the years is hard work to light. On the WSM I used to pour a bag in the bottom then drop half a chimney starter of lit lumpwood on top which started them well!
For this run I put two briquettes in the chimney starter pointing upwards.
Two flamers underneath
Once they went out part of the briquettes were lit so I placed them on top of another two trying to replicate the snake method.
Some good heat coming off the briquettes
But the lid temperature wasn’t too high so I gave the fire a turbo boost with the Looftlighter!
With two briquettes fully lit the lid was just over 200F. Appreciate the grill lid looks grim, I had given it a good clean too! It’s done a lot of cooking in a short time!
Three briquettes ran around 250F
3 briquettes in action
I put a 4th one in and it was sitting at around 270F which was ideal.
After 5 hours it was sitting at 180F – I felt that if I lit all 4 at once I would run around 270F for 5 hours.
Another day and time to cook – 4 briquettes and some bits from the last cook into the chimney.
Pork shoulder for the test, it’s hard to destroy pork shoulder plus it’s relatively cheap.
Unrolled and rub applied:
4 briquettes sat at 270F
I checked it on and off through the cook and it remained at 270F
After 5 hours it had a great colour but needed a bit more cooking
The briquettes were burning out and had dropped to 150F
After 6 hours it was good to go
And went into this Notorious P.I.G burger from the Wingmans cook:
This was good fun as it was totally new to me. Good to finally do a low and slow cook in a kettle too!
I was impressed with the briquettes, with four briquettes it sat at 270F for 5 hours no issue. I had all the vents open so could have dropped the temperature a bit if I had thought about it but this was fine.
There was minimal ash left after the cook, no smoke on lighting and no odour. To add smoke to a cook you would need to add a wood chunk.
Reading up on the briquettes they are created from sustainable coconut sources which is good as a lot of charcoal comes from dubious sources. I guess there is a carbon footprint from shipping them from wherever the coconut comes from.
All good so far, anything bad? Well, all briquettes are hard work to light and these were no different. With the Looftlighter it was a lot easier. Without the Looft I would probably dump some lit charcoal on top the briquettes to speed things up and make it easier to light them.
Cost wise at £18 for 47 sticks it’s 38p per stick. Using 4 at a time is £1.52 to run at 270F for 5 hours. I used to drop at least a 4kg bag of heat beads into my WSM and they were £8 a bag. Granted it ran for 8 to 10 hours but these briquettes seem to work out cheaper by more than half the cost.
With 8 out the 47 briquettes used I have 39 left so plan on using them for some more cooks in the Napoleon Pro 22. To extend the cook you could try minion method or just light another four and chuck them in after 5 hours.
If you are trying to do low and slow in your kettle I would recommend these as they are a good price per cook and make maintaining the temperature easy.
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