Firing the Hibachi
The quality of the charcoal will influence the temperature of the grill and Binchotan produces an extremely high heat. The benefit of the Hibachi Tabo is that it uses less charcoal to burn longer and hotter. In commercial situations this could mean a reduction of up to 30% in the amount of charcoal used and, when some restaurants can go through many tens of kilos a night, it adds up.
Firing up the Hibachi
You require a charcoal chimney or charcoal starter. These are readily available from your local BBQ store or Bunnings or
if you want the ultimate one, order our Hibachi Tabo Charcoal Starter or just ask and we will include it with the order.
You will also need some chemical-free firelighters. Electric and gas fire starters are also available. Again Bunnings or your local BBQ store will have them. We don’t suggest starting the charcoal with gas as it really defeats the purpose of
using Binchotan Charcoal but in a commercial environment its just practical.
Once you have discovered charcoal of this quality, and the flavours that are revealed, it’s hard to go back to a gas BBQ.
I use only about 8 firelighters which I put into a low pile on the grill top. A mesh grill is ideally suited. The binchotan charcoal is typically 150mm long and ranges from 20-40mm in diameter. The number of pieces you use will determine
the temperature, the cooking area and the longevity of the heat. When you are starting, fill the chimney and you
can always take some out if it’s running too hot. This should give you at least three hours of cooking time depending on the charcoal used. Only fill to about
three- quarters if it is just for two people.
Its takes about 20-25 minutes to bring the charcoal up to heat.
With the addition of the oven/smoker, the heating of the bricks is important as it will retain the heat for some
hours. If more heat is required, just add a piece to the already burning charcoal and it will fire up quickly. Don’t put more than one or two pieces on at a
time as it may generate more heat than you need.
The difference between the way the heat develops depends on the charcoal used and even the way you have lit the charcoal.
In discussion with experienced charcoal users, they contend that the
faster you start the charcoal, ie using an electric or gas gun that can get the charcoal burning in minutes, reduces the time that the charcoal will last for. The discussion is around whether
the charcoal is burning all the way through.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your opinion on the best charcoals and the best ways the start them. Restaurants have different priorities and
often speed is the essence coupled with economic heat profile. Keep an eye on our Youtube channel, Youtube @hibachitabo for instructions on starting charcoal.