I think Home Bargains charcoal was a similar price or maybe £3.49 - certainly no worse than the Big-K standard bag for £5-6 from the supermarket.
Many years ago I think charcoal was generally much better quality, but as BBQs have become much more popular suspect we’re getting more rubbish trickling down, though I’m not that convinced there’s a huge difference with premium brands vs cheap stuff, though I suspect there is a difference when it comes to different woods.
I don’t think I’ve ever been aware of what type of wood has bern used to produce any of the charcoal I’ve used over the years. By and large, with the odd exception (briquettes from Tesco have proved unpredictable quality wise), all the briquettes I’ve used have been pretty good. I’ve found lumpwood in this country to be a bit ‘iffy’, nowhere near as good as the French charbon.
What I have found, consistently, is that price has been no guarantee of quality. Why anyone would contemplate spending £12-15 (and more) on a 5kg bag is completely beyond me!
I’ve tried the odd more expensive bag or two and I’ve not really seen much difference, though perhaps that is one reason I raised the question.
Can’t remember where, but when looking at log supplies sometime last year I came across a company providing some specific charcoal types, eg oak, was considering trying some but didn’t.
As I mention above there was some alder based charcoal on Amazon - I came across the same product in Go Outdoors and got a bag or two, it did not work well in the tiny egg style BBQ I got from LIDL last year.
I’d be happy to pay a premium for locally produced untainted charcoal provided it was as good or better than stuff from supermarkets/bargain stores. I don’t think the branded stuff is particularly good by comparison to cheap stuff.
It would be interesting to know what is allowed to be used to generate charcoal sold to the public!
It may sound odd, but perhaps more expensive than I thought (local taxes included or not?) , but over little over a decade we’ve probaby seen exchange rates go from £1=2$ to £1=just over $1, so prices may seem static at your end but more expensive at ours.
Local sales taxes aside, Apple products (for example) are now effectively the same in £ and $, and are comparatively more expensive than when I started buying them 15 years ago.
I know a couple of local producers - there are no additives in the charcoal producing process. But quality does vary, this is largely due to difficulties in controlling the combustion process. I note that some artisan charcoal producers are now producing bio char instead; but, this is a horticultural product that is easier to produce than charcoal.
15kg of Restaurant Grade SUPERHEAT Lumpwood Charcoal BBQ Barbecues Oven Grill Grills - Comes with The Log Hut Woven Sack
£29.99 inc free delivery
But mine didn’t come with the woven sack, just bin bag type thing inside the box…which had split, so carefully deposited into my own storage.
Really chuffed with it tho and would buy again.
Weber Smokey Joe, inc some home improvements…daisy wheel breather on the bottom, inside (under charcoal grate) has a tin with air holes to help support the grate and prevent ash fall thru, fitted bolt extensions to the daisy wheels and a thermometer on the lid…oh and a butchered charcoal basket for half and half slow and sear