What Is Binchotan Exactly?

Although our grills can be used with any charcoal we would recommend using Binchotan charcoal which is known as 'The King of all Charcoals', a favourite amongst Yakitori bars all over Japan due to it's clean burning properties and the amazing aroma and flavour it imparts when grilling.

In Summary:

  • Clean burning properties
  • Practically odourless
  • Little to no smoke produced
  • Reusable
  • Burns for 3+ hours (or 5+ hours with Japanese Kishu Binchotan)

Binchotan is the perfect charcoal for braaing due to its long steady burning properties, and food grilled over binchotan results in a juicier texture and heightened flavours compared to other charcoal.

There is little to no smoke and is odourless when burning, so the flavour of the food is kept pure and whats more there are minimal flare ups. This of course all changes when you add fatty meat to the grill.

The binchotan we source is either from Africa or Japan.

African: Our unique local African binchotan charcoal is 100% produced from Acacia grown and processed in Africa, but using the same pyrolysis manufacturing process used by the Japanese.  Due to Acacia being an invader species it is a much more sustainably sourced.

Unlike Kishu Japanese binchotan, which has a total burn time of 5+ hours and very little ash, Acacia binchotan has a total burn time of a minimum of 3-4 hours with a higher ash content. Be sure to knock off the ash to release the heat when grilling.

Japanese: Kishu Binchotan is considered to be THE best binchotan in the world. Our binchotan is graded by quality and size so please choose a grade that suits intended your use. Kishu Binchotan has a total burn time of 5+ hours.

Made by Master Artisan Mr Akira Yamada, our Kishu binchotan is pure, 100% produced from Ubame Oak (Quercus phillyraeoides) trees grown and processed in Wakayama Prefecture, and sustainably sourced. 

The flavour when cooking on authentic Japanese Binchotan is unparalleled, and as local demand in Japan far exceeds supply we are very fortunate to be able to offer this to our customers in South Africa.


Binchotan can be used to grill indoors (with sufficient ventilation) as there is little to no smoke and is free from carcinogens and chemicals. Lighting binchotan can be achieved by using our Charcoal Starter Pan inside on your gas hob, which can be found on our LIGHT page, or by using a regular charcoal chimney starter outside and then transferring the lit coals to your grill.


To extinguish simply place the charcoal in our Extinguishing pot, which can be found in our EXTINGUISH page. Alternatively, dip each piece of charcoal in water for 30 seconds and leave to sufficiently dry in the sun.

Our Binchotan comes in varied sizes so should you want to make smaller pieces they can be broken into smaller pieces.