Marabú charcoal from Cuba - sustainable firing of the kamado
What is the best way to heat the kamado? With charcoal, of course - there's no question about that. Strictly speaking, the ceramic barbecue is a charcoal-powered hot-air oven that circulates the heat around the food under the closed lid. Sustainable heating is the keyword - and this is where Marabú comes into play.
We're not talking about the stork native to Africa and South Asia here, but Marabú charcoal from Cuba. The charcoal is made from the branches and trunks of the marabú bush using the traditional technique of charcoal burners. The marabú, botanically Dichrostachys cinerea, is an investive bush that was only removed from its natural habitat in South Africa in the 19th century and planted throughout the Caribbean. The bushes and small trees with a height of up to 10 metres bloom beautifully. But in Cuba they have become an ecological and economic problem.
Fallow land is conquered by Dichrostachys cinerea
The economic crisis of the 1990s has not yet been forgotten in Cuba. Agriculture came to a standstill and many areas lay fallow for years. During this time, el marabú, as the bush is called here, was able to spread over a large area. Today, the unwanted plant overgrows more than 1.2 million hectares of land that can no longer be used in any other way. In order to protect the native flora and fauna and make agriculture on this land possible again, el marabú must disappear. This is difficult: the bushes and trees must be removed along with their roots. Cutting them down alone is not enough, because then the aggressive plant immediately grows back.
In Cuba, a compatible solution has been found that is also good for the economy and guarantees people an income. Dichrostachys cinerea, listed in the ISSG's Global Invasive Species Database as a plant to be controlled, is processed into charcoal in traditional charcoal kilns. For the people of Cuba, this is a win-win situation: the invasive plant is effectively controlled, and there is even a profit to be made. This is nature conservation combined with economic interests in a sensible way.
Marabú charcoal is particularly suitable for the Kamado
Dichrostachys cinerea charcoal consists of 100 percent marabú branches and trunks. It is easy to ignite, which is always an advantage when barbecuing: Nobody wants barbecue food that tastes like barbecue lighter. Since the kamado is operated with the lid closed, the warm, rising air collects around the barbecue food and does not escape. This makes it all the more important that the heat that cooks the food is free of pollutants. This is guaranteed with charcoal from Marabú. Because the embers are almost smoke-free and last for a long time. Strong heat development and a pleasant, but not too aggressive barbecue aroma are the result.
Small and large pieces of charcoal - the right one for the Kamado for sure!
Traditionally produced charcoal does not consist of exactly the same size and always identically shaped pieces. The branches and trunk pieces may be roughly shaped into the same form, but the charcoal pieces still vary in length, width and shape after processing in the charcoal pile. But this is not a problem when grilling in the Kamado. And the Kamado even has another advantage: the consumption of charcoal is much lower than with other grills. Grilling in the Kamado with Marabú charcoal makes the barbecue event a sustainable experience in more ways than one - for nature and the people of Cuba as well as for the environment here where we barbecue.