Good charcoal should be strong shiny black material, have few radial cracks and make a ringing sound, when one taps on it. Also it should be easy burnt and burn without odor and smoke.
The wood structure is preserved in high-quality charcoal. Annual layers should be clearly visible in the ends of the pieces of charcoal, especially in coniferous charcoal.
In the CIS countries for the charcoal production it is used GOST 7657-84(94).
The main indicator of the charcoal quality is the content of nonvolatile carbon. Charcoal is of several types: marks “A” and “B” the highest and first grade. For charcoal used in cooking it is also important the type of wood, from which products are produced. Best raw material is birch (high heat, fast heat emission) or oak (even heat, long burn time).
Also the main quality characteristics of charcoal include the strength, which reduces losses during loading / unloading and transportation. Wood species has a significant influence on the strength. For example, the hardest is the birch charcoal, weaker - pine and aspen.
High heat emission is also an indicator of good quality of charcoal.
Be aware that charcoal is much hydroscopic. It easily picks up moisture from the air, especially fast in the rain and when it is stored in low wet and flooded areas with no flooring. Therefore, charcoal should be stored in closed premises or under shelter on the floor or pallets, on elevated dry site. Standards-compliant charcoal contains not more than 6% water.
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