When you think of Hawaii, many things comes to mind. Beautiful beaches, fantastic weather, grass skirts and luaus are just a few. Any great luau has to start with the roasted pig. To get that unique flavor you only get at a Hawaiian luau you need to use the same charcoal the Hawaiians use. Fortunately you don’t have to go to Hawaii to bring that taste to the tailgating lot. I recently discovered Ono All Natural Kiawe Charcoal. It is 100% natural premium professional-grade lump charcoal that contains no tar, additives, fillers, recycled wood or chemicals.
Since getting my Bubba Keg Outdoor Convection Grill last summer, I have really enjoyed grilling using lump charcoal over the mass-manufactured charcoal briquettes. My experience has been that lump charcoal lights faster, burns hotter and sustains heat longer than regular charcoal. Another benefit is that once you are done grilling, you can close the air dampers on your grill and let the lump charcoal burn itself out leaving you with more for the next time it is time to grill. Regular charcoal briquettes typically need to burn out on their own and can not be used again. Enough with the benefits of charcoal grilling with lump charcoal rather than charcoal briquettes. So, how is Ono All Natural Kiawe Charcoal better than the other lump charcoal you can buy at your local store?
Ono All Natural Kiawe Charcoal is made from Kiawe which is a species of mesquite tree originally from the Sonoran Desert. It was introduced to the Hawaiian Islands via Paris, (kind of a long story) and the Hawaiian people realized that Kiawe was also a great source for cooking fuel. Kiawe and Ono Charcoal are the traditional Hawaiian Luau charcoal used at backyard BBQ’s as well as by gourmet chefs around the world. We all know that the type of heat source you use while grilling can greatly affect the way your food tastes. By using Ono Kiawe Charcoal you get the taste of being back on your honeymoon in Maui while out tailgating.
I was sent a sample eight pound bag of Ono All Natural Kiawe Charcoal and tested it out this past weekend. We were grilling Ribeye steaks for Mother’s Day per my wife’s request so that provided the perfect opportunity to test out the Ono All Natural Kiawe Charcoal. Using only one starter stick, the Ono Charcoal lit quickly and rapidly got up to 500 degrees. I left the air dampers wide open to see how quickly the Ono Charcoal could get to searing temperature. It took very little time for the grill to reach 800 degrees which is the ideal temperature if you were to sear tuna or steaks. I took a few photos of the test:
The steaks turned out great and I could tell by the flavor the steaks were cooked over natural lump charcoal. I could even taste of a hint “Hawaiian Luau” flavor in the steaks, but I am not sure if that was because I knew I was cooking on Hawaiian lump charcoal. That aside, the food turned out great and I enjoyed the way Ono Charcoal performed.
Ono Kiawe Charcoal comes in a variety of sizes including 8, 15 and 20 lb. bags. They also make starter sticks and those come 24 in a package. Those in the Western United States can pick up a bag of Ono Kiawe Charcoal at your local Barbeques Galore stores. If you are in a different part of the country, you can order a bag online. To find a retailer near you or to order Ono Kiawe Charcoal online, click HERE. To learn more about Ono All Natural Kiawe Charcoal visit their website: OnoCharcoal.com. You can also follow them on Twitter, @onocharcoal or on Facebook.
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