How Long Does Charcoal Last?

How Long Does Charcoal Last?
How Long Does Charcoal Last?

How long does charcoal last?

How long do charcoal briquettes last?

It’s not a small thing, not if you’re hosting a barbecue party. You don’t want to run out of charcoal in the middle of it, with food only half-ready. Bad planning is one of the most popular rookie grilling mistakes, after all. It’s one of those things you want to avoid when grilling on charcoal.

So, how long does charcoal take to burn out?

How Long Does Charcoal Last?

It can be anything from 1 hour to up to 5 hours, or more.

It depends from the grill, the amount and type of charcoal used and several other factors, among which is outside temperature, wind and the material of your grill. All of it can influence the burn time.

With My BBQ Table grills it’s around 5 hours.

That’s with a single 2-kilo pack of charcoal briquettes and about the same amount of firewood (firewood is used to start a grill). With a basic box or bowl grill without a lid, most likely you’ll get some 2 hours of grilling. That’s because of faster burning and less coal, as mostly they are smaller and not as protected from the wind. If you’ll be using regular lump charcoal, take into account that it also burns faster than charcoal briquettes.

How to Keep Charcoal Burning Longer?

First of all, choose long burning charcoal.

At My BBQ Table we use charcoal briquettes. They are a tiny bit harder to ignite, which isn’t a problem at all once you’ve done it a couple of times, but other than that they make things so much easier, as you can truly enjoy your time instead of worrying about the grill.

A 2-kilo pack of briquettes is enough for around 5 hours.

To keep it going longer, add a few pieces every now and then.

Does Charcoal Go Bad?

Does charcoal get old?

Not really, as long as you store them in the right conditions. Keep them in an air-tight container, and store the container in a cool, dry place. One thing you want to avoid the most is moisture. Charcoal briquettes can absorb moisture from the atmosphere, hence the need for air-tight container.

What if your briquettes get wet?

You should try and dry them, or otherwise it will be problematic or impossible to light them. It’s possible to dry charcoal briquettes in the sun.

Cooking on My BBQ Table

Cooking on My BBQ Table

When Is Charcoal Ready to Cook On?

Mostly it’s after some 15 – 30 minutes.

It’s when most of the charcoal has already turned white/grey, is very, very hot but isn’t smoking anymore. This is when a BBQ grill is ready for cooking. If you’re starting a grill without lighter fluid, it will take longer.

For more tips see our Charcoal Grilling 101.

Read more: When Is Charcoal Ready to Cook On?

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