Minami Binchotan (White Oak Pressed Charcoal)
Item #: 9016
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Description & Details

Minami Binchotan (White Oak Charcoal)

22 pound box - Vietnam

(Pressed Bincho-tan bricks from Vietnam)

Technically, Binchō-tan or white charcoal or binchō-zumi is a traditional charcoal from Japan. It dates to the Edo period, when during the Genroku era, a craftsman named Bichū-ya Chōzaemon began to produce it in Tanabe, Wakayama. The traditional raw material is oak, specifically ubame oak (Quercus phillyraeoides), now the official tree of Wakayama Prefecture. Wakayama continues to be a major producer of high-quality charcoal, with the town of Minabe, Wakayama producing more binchō-tan than any other town in Japan. Binchōtan is a type of Lump charcoal or Hardwood charcoal.

The fineness and high quality of binchō-tan are attributed to steaming at high temperatures (about 1000 degrees Celsius). Although it is often thought that binchō-tan burns hot, it actually burns at a lower temperature than ordinary charcoal but for a longer period, making it preferable to American charcoal. Because it does not expel unpleasant odors, more people buy binchotan charcoal now than ever. Due to difficulties in identifying the specific producing region, the name binchō-tan has come into broader use to designate white oak charcoal generally, and even products from outside Japan, as well as those made of other species of plant, have come to use the name.

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