Yes, Seasoned Charcoal Now Exists For Your Grill

While standing in the backyard, an enticing aroma captivates. Even without a puff of smoke, the flame cooking the food on the grill beckons. Still, fire alone only imparts so much flavor. Although master grillers have used smokers, wood chips, and even charcoal to boost the taste of dishes forever, many people want more than a hint of hickory, a mention of mesquite, or a peppering of pecan. With the new seasoned charcoal from Kingsford, the sizzle from the grill mimics the seasoning on the food.

If you need to replace your charcoal, you may be in luck because there are new options on the market. According to Food & Wine, Kingsford Signature Flavors is a variety of seasoned charcoal. Available in three flavors — Garlic Onion Paprika, Basil Sage Thyme, and Cumin Chili — it appears that the barbecue briquettes are seasoned, and those spices are meant to enhance the grilling flavor while cooking. Designed to elevate the "sensory experience," the concept almost seems to help the novice griller gain some confidence while cooking over the flame. 

Although the acerbic taste of burnt food holds no appeal, some cooks might hope that the burning briquettes can impart flavor without much effort on the griller's part. Still, like any good chef or food television viewer has learned to appreciate, seasoned food is good food. Even if these Kingsford Signature Flavors can offer that boost, it does not completely replace a well-seasoned dish.

How should grillers use Kingsford Signature Flavors seasoned charcoal?

While some people douse the grill with lighter fluid and hope that dinner doesn't taste like that unpleasant flavor, the reality is that cooking on a grill is the only cooking method that imparts flavor through the cooking process. As noted by Bon Appetit, not all charcoal is the same, and care is required before putting food on the flame. Therefore, it makes sense that seasoned charcoal could be an easy way to boost the layers of flavors in a dish. Although pitmasters have long touted the enviable smoke ring on a brisket, even just a kiss of the flame can make grilled food pop.

The Kingsford Signature Flavors collection looks to add seasoning to the overall grilling experience, not just the toppings on a food. But, some Reddit comments question the usefulness of this flavored charcoal. When spotted on store shelves, some people questioned why the offering was necessary, if the flavorings really work, and whether they should just wait until the packages hit the clearance aisle. 

Although some might question this offering, the reality is that adding layers of flavor to a dish is important. For example, the Basil Sage Thyme flavor might be great for a fish dish, but someone has to light the fire to make that taste judgment. Still, everyone can make mistakes with a charcoal grill, but flavor doesn't have to be one of them. Whether or not this offering is all up in smoke remains to be seen, though.