Charcoal is fine but it takes a long time to be ready for cooking and it also gives off noxious fumes, so we're looking at alternatives. We have some special barbecue briquettes that we're testing but we're also going to be trying out the various standard wood briquettes well.
My money at the moment is on the Verdo briquettes. They heat faster than charcoal, give a long, sustained heat and burn with very little smoke and no fumes. But the Ezilites could be key to getting a fast start...and how long will they all last? We're ashamed to say that up until now we've been too wimpy to brave the cold and find out!
The other way we're going to try out all the briquettes is in the patio log burner. Again, being able to get a fast, smokeless heat will make for longer evenings on the patio.
It'll also lend itself to those last-minute decisions...you know, the "Why don't we eat in the garden tonight?", spur-of-the-moment ideas that see you all arrive outside clutching plates of food, only to have to retreat after ten minutes because it's too cold! Being able to get the log basket going and putting out a decent heat inside 10 minutes is a big plus. Great for camping too.
Ah, we do struggle hard to be al fresco in Scotland!