How is coal reused while maintaining its efficiency and safety? Find out how to properly recycle lump and briquette charcoal in our barbecue guide.
Can charcoal be reused for grilling or smoking?
The good news for those on a budget when grilling and smoking is that you can reuse charcoal. In most cases, charcoal will retain the same burning power after use and will not affect the flavor or aroma of food.
For best results, make sure you have properly turned off the grill . This reduces waste while protecting the environment from harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
To extinguish the embers, remove the oxygen from the flames by closing the grill lid or the ventilation slots . Do not use water to put out the fire, especially when the charcoal is still on the grill. This will ruin your coals and can cause rust.
The best charcoals to reuse are after quick grilling sessions and not charcoals that have been used for low and slow smoking. This way you still have something to burn and not just ashes. You want to make sure the embers aren’t burning and there’s still something to salvage.
Will Recycled Charcoal Still Burn?
Recycled charcoal will still burn hot enough for grilling, although its heat capacity isn’t as strong as fresh charcoal. For best results, combine old coals with a handful of new lump charcoal for easy ignition and efficient burn temperatures.
How to store old coal
The first would be to put out the fire. The best way to do this would be to deprive the flame of oxygen. Close the grill and make sure that no air can enter. If this is not enough to extinguish the fire immediately, you can use water. The problem with this is that YOU have to add the extra step of drying the charcoal before using it again.
You can lay the pieces of charcoal in the sun to dry. This process can take a few days. Once you have verified that the coals are dry, make sure there is no ash around the coals and that each part is clean. This will save you time when you need to turn them back on. This process also helps you separate the ash from the embers.
After the coals have completely cooled, remove fat and excess ash from the chamber. Transfer transparent charcoal to a non-combustible container such as a B. a covered steel container. Do not use wooden boxes.
Pro tip: It’s crucial to keep the charcoal moist. Prepare to store your coals in a garbage bag with silica packing or tape covering the lid area.
How to light old charcoal in pieces or briquettes
After making sure the charcoal is dry, clean and ready to be reused, combine the old charcoal with new briquettes. The reason for this is that the old pieces would have broken the first time and there is a good chance they got relatively small.
Once this happens, they bond tightly and restrict airflow through the cookbox. The solution, therefore, is to mix the old pieces of charcoal with new charcoal. To start the fire, use fire sticks, old scraps of fabric, or food-safe, combustible wood like pine. Avoid petroleum based products and chemicals. The taste can seep into the food.
Place the kindling on the bottom, add the lump charcoal or briquettes on top and mix the used lumps with the new lump charcoal or briquettes. Light the fire sticks and the lit one contains the charcoal. The whole process takes about 15 to 20 minutes. At this point, the charcoal is ready to cook. This method makes the fire burn faster.
Another method is to put in the old charcoal first. To keep the airflow going, YOU lay down layers of new charcoal first. This is because they are larger and can allow better airflow. Then spread them out so they are well mixed. Then YOU can add fire starters or any kind of pieces of wood that will catch fire quickly. Scatter them and light them.