Have you ever bought charcoal intended for your BBQ only to realize the charcoal won’t light up anymore? Yes, it happens. It has happened to many people before, and it can happen to you. What causes this is and what can you do. Does charcoal get bad? How do you store it to prevent it from not lighting up in the future? These are some of the questions this article is going to answer.
Charcoal is one cooking fire fuel that is loved by many people. You can use it to prepare different kinds of food and different cooking method including grilling. One tool that you need to invest if you want to use charcoal is a charcoal chimney. This tool allows you to light up your charcoal without endangering your hands. It might be slightly expensive than buying a matchbox it is more comfortable and safer than the matchbox. Some of the things we are going to learn in this article are what charcoal is, can it spoil and how to store it so that it doesn’t get worse.
What is charcoal?
Charcoal is a product is slow burning wood without oxygen. It is a source of fuel to cook or grill food. There are two common types of charcoal, lump charcoal, and briquette charcoal. The lump charcoal is the purest form of charcoal made from hardwood. This charcoal does not contain any additives or chemical and is perfect for using at home and commercial places.
As for briquette charcoal, wood-by-products such as sawdust are compressed to form charcoal. The charcoal contains additive used during the making process. These additives help to ignite the charcoal and burn easier. Different are types of charcoal include:
- Pressed charcoal briquettes: these charcoal briquettes are available in the market. There are regular briquettes that compose of small wood pieces and other organic material. Other pressed briquettes comprise of mesquite and hickory.
- Lump charcoal: the lump charcoal is best for grilling and barbecuing since they don’t have any additives or chemical. It lights up evenly and faster. One disadvantage of lump charcoal if they are more expensive than other types. Also, they are available in supermarkets and not in other stores.
- Match lighting charcoal: the match lighting charcoal is a type of charcoal that you ignite using match stick. They are the same as pressed briquettes abut contains more chemicals which aid in igniting them.
Cooking with charcoal
Cooking with charcoal is a trend for the ancient time. Ancient Egyptian used charcoal for cooking. From grilling to cooking deserts, charcoal can be used to cook almost everything. When compared to other cooking methods, charcoal is the safest method of cooking, but you need to be a little cautious when using it. For instance, it’s always advisable to use charcoal in an open place to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Complete air circulation is better for anyone cooking using charcoal.
Other safety measures you need to consider include:
- Making sure you place your charcoal grill on a balanced surface
- Using a chimney charcoal lighter
- Remove all debris and small tree chuck from the cooking area
- Keep away the leftover far away from the already burning charcoal.
Does charcoal go bad?
It is not easy for charcoal to go bad unless you failed to store them correctly. For example, prolonged exposure to moisture can make the charcoal difficult to light up. Prolonged exposure also affects charcoal quality. Sometimes your charcoal can ignite by themselves because of the chemical used.
There are some reasons why it’s not easy for charcoal to go bad. One of them is the chemicals used to preserve them. These chemicals also help ignite the charcoal. If you have a lot of charcoal, try and store them properly. Both lump charcoal and briquettes can absorb moisture which will affect their quality. Always remember that lump charcoal has an indefinite shelf life.
How to store charcoal
A different way to store charcoal
There are different ways to store charcoal that won’t cost you a lot of space and cash. Here are some tips to help you keep your charcoal in excellent condition.
- Keep it away from water: water and charcoal don’t go together. It spoils the quality of your charcoal. Do not water or any liquid near your charcoal? Store it away in a dry place.
- Using a dry container: if possible a charcoal container will help keep your charcoal dry. Since the charcoal is sealed in a bag, it’s easier to store it in a dry container and keep it somewhere safe.
- Keep it in the humid free area: Humidity can spoil your charcoal. Storing it in a place that is not humid will help avoid moisture and protect the quality of your charcoal.
Choosing a container or a storage spot for your charcoal
Choosing a container
Choosing a container for your charcoal storage is not a difficult thing to do. Some of the things you need to know are what type of container is best for charcoal storage and how to choose them. For instance, you can choose between a plastic and metal container.
Most people recommend using a metal container because it’s not as porous as the plastic container and is fireproof. The metal container also allows a little moisture to get in the container even when it’s sealed which is better for charcoal storage.
The only downside about using metal container is that the rust can leave a dump surface. To prevent rusting, elevate it off the ground and place it on a dry surface like a wooden stool. You can also use a wooden pallet and place several bricks underneath the container.
For long-term storage, an airtight plastic bucket and close it shut using a caulk. Another way for long-term storage is sealing a metal container using an aluminum duct tape. Make sure to toss a handful of silica pack in the container to absorb excess moisture.
Choosing a storage spot
Out shed can also be a better place to store charcoal. Seal the container well, put them off the ground and not very near to the door or window. Avoid direct sunlight as much as you can. Also, ensure the place where you store your charcoal doesn’t get excessively hot during summer or heat wave.
Choosing a storage place is the next thing to do after choosing a container. The place should be out of direct sunlight and in an area that is cool but not wet. The basement might be a natural place to store your charcoal. After storing make sure you dehumidify the area frequently using a dehumidifier.
Using charcoal for cooking and storing them need to be done carefully. Of course, if not stored well, the charcoal will be of low quality. Yes, you can use them, but you will struggle to start the fire. Keeping the flame hot will be more of a struggle, and the fire might not be enough to cook your meal. Using a metal or plastic container to store it will prevent any moisture from the charcoal. Now that you know more about charcoal, how to use and store it. I hope you can use it more often. Charcoal doesn’t expire, but how you store will either spoil or preserve its quality.