What Are Heat Beads Made Of (Do You Use These Briquettes?)

Dedicated backyard cooks pride themselves on achieving a great-tasting BBQ meal each and every time.

And a great-tasting meal relies heavily on consistent heat while cooking for any length of time.

Flame is notoriously unpredictable and unstable with high volumes of taste-altering smoke. An alternative source of fuel for cooking is the Heat Bead.

These BBQ Briquettes deliver high-quality, consistent cooking temperatures while maintaining the unique charcoal flavors and producing very little smoke.

So lets find out what’s in them and how to use head beads effectively to produce desssslish BBQ!

what are heat beads made of
Our bag of Heat Beads

So What’s a Heat Bead?

Before heat beads, charcoal was commonly used as a fuel alternative.

However, the instability of the material leads to the development of the heat bead.

Traditional charcoal burns unevenly due to organic matter and natural formation. Briquettes are ground-down products blended to create an evenly mixed product. This makes Heat Beads easier to light than charcoal.

The Ingredients in a Heat Bead

These charcoal briquettes are essentially a mix of compressed hardwood charcoal and mineral carbon.

They were initially developed as a way of using leftover fines or coal shards that were too small to use for burning on their own and would otherwise go to waste.

Heat beads are made of a blend of hardwood charcoal shards is crushed and ground down to a fine powder.

Mixed in with this are a starch binder, a filler, and an oxidizing agent. 

A natural starch binder – food grade and usually a starch such as wheat, corn, or milo – is used to keep the shape and stop the bricks from crumbling helping them burn for longer at a consistent temperature.

The filler is a clean-burning mineral carbon mix, used to provide the thermal mass responsible for holding onto the heat generated by the burning carbon process. This carbon burning helps the bricks burn hotter for longer.

An oxidizing agent, such as salt or paraffin, helps ensure the BBQ briquettes are easier to light. It’s naturally derived and burns off quickly during the initial lighting process.

By the time the bricks have ashed over, the agent has burnt off. 

the inregidants in heat beads

The Method to Making Heat Beads 

All the ingredients are ground down to a powder and thoroughly combined.

Once the mixture is heated to extremely high temperatures to remove any impurities, a high-quality carbon product remains.

This high-quality material is then pressed into a uniformed pillow or brick shape and set.

The result is a high-quality superior barbecue fuel free from any volatile matter. 

Additional additives to this mix can control the temperature generated, the stability of the material, the smoky flavors produced, and the burning times.  

Why Use a Heat Bead? 

Whether you are new to smoking meat or barbequing or a seasoned pro, heat beads can be an attractive option.

Adjusting and maintaining the temperature of the grill can be particularly challenging, a task made much easier with the heat control of BBQ Briquettes. 

Reducing temperature flare-ups lessens instances of charred food, especially with lighter foods such as vegetables and fish.

The perfect blend of raw materials and the uniformed pillow shape allow for a consistent, even burn for longer and gives off very little smoke.

ligthing the heat beads

The Advantages to Using Heat Beads

  • Heat beads can be extinguished and used again. they are a long-burning and high quality product.

  • They won’t flare when fat drips on them. They are so much more cost-effective as the burn time is much longer. They stay cleaner in the grill and produce less mess than lump charcoal.

  • The traditional BBQ Briquette pillow shape ensures heat produced is much more reliable and can be set for high or lower temperatures. They are chemical-free, completely natural, and sustainably sourced.

One of the biggest challenges of barbeque cooking is maintaining heat. Inconsistency of cooking temperatures has a huge influence on the quality of the end-product.

Using heat beads offers a natural, dependable, sustainable sourced fuel choice to make any backyard cook feel like a top-notch pitmaster

Smoke On!


Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

Hungry For More?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *