The Evolution of Charcoal: From Ancient Flames to Instinctual Deliciousness

Cooking with charcoal—a tradition as old as humanity itself. For millennia, people have harnessed its smoky magic to char raw ingredients into delicious perfection. Much has changed, and much has stayed the same.  Today, billions of people across the globe can't get enough of foods cooked over fire.   Whether you’re grilling yakitori or wagyu beef skewers in Tokyo or reverse searing a tomahawk steak in Texas, charcoal unites us all. It’s the ultimate flavor conductor, the secret, primal ingredient.  After decades using industrialized charcoal briquettes, chefs, restaurateurs, and cooks of all stripes seek charcoal that is pure, reliable, and sustainable without compromising on flavor.

Enter Thaan Charcoal

Founded in Portland, Oregon in 2014 as an offshoot of a James Beard Award winning, Michelin starred restaurant group, Thaan set out to learn and share modern live fire cooking techniques and methods.  Their journey began with a quest for an alternative to messy, unpredictable mesquite charcoal. Binchotan, a clean-burning Japanese charcoal, seemed promising. However, there was a catch: it was sourced from mangrove swamps in Malaysia, an environmentally precarious situation.

Thaan's Eureeka Moment

It arrived after testing dozens of charcoals, and connecting with the makers of rambutan charcoal — a renewable resource that burned for hours with almost no smoke, super high consistent heat, and a compelling sweet, gentle aroma.   The dense, long-lasting Thai-Style charcoal logs provided even radiant infrared heat without flare-ups. We had found our forever charcoal.

Fast Forward a Decade...

We have continued our search for the best of the best in live fire cooking.  We now offer a line of sustainably sourced charcoal that is more reliable and better tasting than the alternatives.  We offer products that we know will be loved by the most discerning chefs or home cooks, and we feel joy when cooks are proud of what they grill on Thaan Charcoal.