Can You Reuse Charcoal? The Expert Opinion 

Yes, you can reuse charcoal. However, you should take several steps to make the most of the charcoal you’ve already used. The goal is to save as much charcoal as possible for the next cooking session.

The best way to do so is to turn off your grill’s vents and extinguish the burning charcoal. Because charcoal requires oxygen to burn, closing the vents cuts off the oxygen supply by limiting the amount of air going into the grill.

If you do not use your grill anytime soon, you should clean it immediately. If the coal is still burning, remove it from the grill. Instead, place the coal in a heat-resistant container with a top and cover it with a lid. The flames will go out on their own in a few minutes.

Can You Reuse Charcoal
Can You Reuse Charcoal

If you keep your leftover charcoal dry, you can reuse it anytime.

The answer to whether can you reuse charcoal is no if you’re using briquettes. Because the fillers and other manufacturing additive products will have burnt off, they will never get hot enough. 

To acquire light, the last thing you want to do is spray the used briquettes with lighter fluid. You’re better off letting it burn out naturally or extinguishing it and properly disposing of it. So, let’s explore on few charcoals related topics and more on the topic can you reuse charcoal.

Steps in Relighting Charcoal
Steps in Relighting Charcoal

Steps in Relighting Charcoal

Half-fill a chimney starter with fresh charcoal. Even though you’ll be using partially burned coals, filling the entire starter with only second-round coals will make it challenging to start a fire since the smaller-sized burned coals shut off airflow channels and rest closer together.

Fill the rest of your chimney starter with spent charcoal and shake the chimney over a garbage can to expel any loose ash.

how many times can you reuse charcoal
How many times can you reuse charcoal

How Many Times Can Charcoal be Reused?

You can only reuse charcoal once; if you reuse it more than once, you will not be able to generate enough heat to burn your meal.

You will also have problems igniting the chimney or the BBQ oven.

How can You Put Out Charcoal
How can You Put Out Charcoal

How Can You Put Out Charcoal?

It is never a good idea to pour water directly onto hot coals. It can produce a flare-up, and you don’t want to be standing close to your grill when this happens. While water can be used to complete cooling out coals, we never recommend throwing water directly into your barbecue.

Most charcoal barbecues include intake and exhaust vents. The intake is placed at the bottom of the grill and serves as an oxygen regulator for the flames. The outtake is often located on the lid or top of the unit and is intended to draft or draw in airflow.

When you’re finished grilling and have extra charcoal in the device, close all the vents and keep the lid closed. This will starve the fire and hot coals, allowing any remaining charcoal to be re-ignited.

If you have an open charcoal unit with no lid, try suffocating the fire/hot coals by scooping on the remaining ash in the unit. Alternatively, you can cover the device with a metal garbage lid to prevent any extra oxygen from entering.

How Can you Store Reused Charcoal
How Can you Store Reused Charcoal

How Can You Store Reused Charcoal?

The first step would be to extinguish the fire. The best method to accomplish this is to deprive the flame of oxygen. Closing the grill and ensuring that no air can enter. If this does not quickly extinguish the fire, you can use water.

The problem with this is that you will have to go through the extra step of drying off the charcoal before using it again.

Slowly pouring water over the charcoal and stirring, you can swiftly and thoroughly cool the ash, preventing dormant embers from re-igniting.

Throw away your used charcoal and ash once it has cooled completely. Wrap it entirely with aluminum foil before disposing it in a non-combustible outdoor garbage can.

The touch test is an effective method for determining whether the charcoal is worth keeping. Once the coals have cooled, squeeze them to see if they are worth preserving. Coal that has become too ashy will collapse and will not light again.

Take care where you keep your used charcoal. Keep it in a dry, moisture-free location, such as a shed, a bucket with a lid, or a tub. Alternatively, if you want to grill again soon, keep the charcoal in the smoker with the lid closed to keep it dry.

Conclusion on Can You Reuse Charcoal

The charcoal left over from a quick barbecue session is the finest to reuse. After a short grilling session, there may be some unburned charcoal. On the other hand, the coals used for low and slow smoking will primarily transform to charcoal ash, and you won’t have much to reuse.

To maintain old charcoal, it is critical to extinguishing the grill properly. To prevent the coals from receiving oxygen, you must close all of your grill’s lids and air vents.