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Unread 04-20-2013, 08:57 PM   #1
tb80
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Default Reusing charcoal question

Whenever I try to reuse my charcoal from a precious cook, it never seems to light as well and/or get as hot as new charcoal. Any thoughts as to why? Has anyone else had this issue.

Typically I am cooking on my weber OTS 22" and I shut down the vents after cooking. The next time I go to cook, I will knock the ash off the used charcoal before putting it in the chimney or throwing lit coals on top of it.
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Unread 04-20-2013, 09:02 PM   #2
Mark Warren
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Charcoal is pressed sawdust in most cases lump coal burned wood, I use lump coal and even then when I reuse the remainder it is to pour the fresh lump fired in my chimney over it.

I would suggest you use the leftover as a base in the grill and not as the fresh in the chimney.
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Unread 04-20-2013, 09:17 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Warren View Post
Charcoal is pressed sawdust in most cases lump coal burned wood, I use lump coal and even then when I reuse the remainder it is to pour the fresh lump fired in my chimney over it.

I would suggest you use the leftover as a base in the grill and not as the fresh in the chimney.
I completely agree. When I try to relight used charcoal in the chimney it doesn't seem to want to light. I think it is because the pieces are smaller and they fit more compactly in the chimney, making it obstruct airflow.

I always light new charcoal in the chimney and pour the lit charcoal on top of the remaining used charcoal in the grill. I then let the grill preheat as the used charcoal lights. You don't need to light as much new charcoal either as the used charcoal will light.
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Unread 04-20-2013, 09:22 PM   #4
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I tend to mix used and new. But, light with new in the chimney. If you feel the used charcoal, it is less dense, I figure that means it is already largely spent.
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Unread 04-20-2013, 09:33 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info guys.
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Unread 04-20-2013, 09:57 PM   #6
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because it doesn't burn as hot or long as fresh, i use it in the chimney and dump onto fresh for the longer, more important portion of the cook.
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Unread 04-20-2013, 10:22 PM   #7
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My weedburner lights used lump just fine. Doesn't burn quite as hot as fresh lump but not a problem unless I were doing a 700° sear... Which I don't. Often reuse charcoal 3 times as the Egg is very thrifty with fuel. Only add fresh if the level of the lump is more than 4" below the top of the firebox... Unless I'm planning an overnight cook.
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