Briquettes for the BBQ!


The warmer weather has brought out another call for research by the wood fuel testing team…to try out wood briquettes on the barbecue!

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!

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Quick guide to choosing the best Wood Fuel for your stove and lifestyle.

Wood Fuel Co-operative

*Break - We strongly recommend you break these briquettes in half (or less for very small stoves) because they do expand whilst burning and you don't want them to overfill the fire.
*Easy to light - We always use a Firelighter and Kindling Sticks to start our fires. Most briquettes are graded four stars to light because they are quite dense and require kindling.


  • All stove and flue combinations tend to have different burning characteristics. Fuel that works well in my stove may not work so well in your stove, and vice-versa.
  • Most modern stoves are more efficient than most older stoves, meaning a modern quality stove will burn fuel more economically and generate more heat over a longer period.
  • Always try to burn fuel with a 'lick of flame'. Smouldering fuel to try to extend burn time is bad for your stove, flue and the environment due to unburned particulate matter in the smoke.
  • Be prepared to break briquettes into smaller sections to fit into your stove comfortably. Many briquettes do expand whilst burning and you don't want them to expand onto the glass.
  • The chart above indicates which briquettes are easy to break. Some are small enough so they don't need breaking. This makes for a cleaner environment around your stove.
  • All briquettes, except Everyday Value and Hotmax, benefit hugely from using kindling to light them. I suggest five kindling sticks will be sufficient, meaning a net should last 30 days.