This was really a contribution of the Spanish, who in turn, had inherited it from the Moors.
The charcoal or wood fuel adds aromas and flavor to the food cooked on it.
An anafre is a portable cooker usually made from sheet metal in Mexico that works just like a burner on a stove. It is used to prepare all manner of foods: to grill meat, to heat a comal to make tortillas, to keep tamales and atoles warm, and even to toast grains.
It can be just one piece or may have a brazier on the top and a base or ash container below. A hand-held fan always goes along with it, to create a breeze and help maintain the flame or coals of the wood or charcoal fuel.
It is in general use throughout Mexico; although more are seen on the streets in cities, in rural settings it is one of the cooking utensils in the home.