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Why is binchotan so prized by chefs?

White charcoal, particularly binchotan, is prized by restaurateurs for the superior quality of its burn in addition to its excellent heat retention at high temperatures (as much as 1,000°C). This charcoal has no odour and produces no flame.
The carbon of the charcoal combines with oxygen in the air to maintain steady combustion. Both carbon and oxygen are tasteless and odourless, and therefore produce no smell. The smell associated with charcoal comes from its impurities and volatile components. While the volatile components facilitate ignition, they give off an odour when burning, and this spoils the flavour of the food.
The carbon component of charcoal is 80% for fine quality charcoal, and 70% for the charcoals used outside Japan. However, in binchotan charcoal, the carbon component is 93% to 95%, while binchotan from the Kishu region is 96%pure carbon. This charcoal is almost free of volatile components and other impurities and burns like a pure carbon stick. While binchotan charcoal is difficult to ignite, the purity that makes it resistant to ignition also ensures it is odourless.
Because binchotan charcoal is nearly pure carbon, it momentarily reaches temperatures of 1000°C and produces no flame, which scorches food. Its flameless and therefore gentle quality is another feature of binchotan charcoal that makes it so prized by chefs.

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