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Old 04-19-2009, 03:20 PM   #1
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Default Reuse of lump charcoal?

I've heard a couple people mention that they lock down their smokers when they are done and reuse some of the lump charcoal. I was cleaning out the WSM from yesterday's smoke, and there was still quite a bit of solid chunks left, although they were covered in a light gray ash.
Do you just reuse any solid pieces left over, and are they going to hold temp the same as new lump? Just curious.
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Old 04-19-2009, 03:24 PM   #2
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I just add some new on top of the old, works great for me.
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Old 04-19-2009, 03:40 PM   #3
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I constantly reuse lump.Doesnt matter if its in the WSMs or the big gf type.Just dump the new in on top and let er burn.
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Old 04-19-2009, 04:48 PM   #4
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I just shake out the ashes and relight. If need be I add more fresh lump. Been doing this since last year when I got the Primo. Works good.
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Old 04-19-2009, 05:05 PM   #5
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Yeah same here, Ishake off the ashes, add more lump and go at it again..
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Old 04-19-2009, 05:50 PM   #6
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I shake off the ashes, pull the coals out, dump the ash, put them back in, add more and relight. Works perfect. And any large chunks or logs you've used that are still in there turn into lump coal!
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Old 04-19-2009, 06:07 PM   #7
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Being able to kill the fire and save fuel as such was one of the attractive 'selling points' in my decision to make a UDS.

My clean up method is much the same as the above - remove the charcoal basket, knock out the ash, remove ash pan, dump, scrape off excess grease that missed the fire and collected in the pan... then replace ash pan, reload lump, then back into the UDS.

I have better success pulling the basket out of the UDS to knock out the ash, than trying to get it all in the ash pan from within the drum. YMMV, but it's all good!
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Old 04-19-2009, 07:33 PM   #8
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:10 PM   #9
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By all means, re-use.

One possible drawback of just adding fresh atop the old each burn is less airflow. Smaller pieces pack more tightly and the residual ash clogs things up a bit.

Now, this will likely have no effect at typical 225-275 temps, but If you want to hit 350+ in the WSM, I'd use only large chunks.

One thing I do is pour out the old onto a piece of hardware cloth with 1/2" holes and give it a shake before adding back. This allows you to put the fresh coals on the bottom of the pile, and you can use these sifted pieces in your starter too.
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:16 PM   #10
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in my eggs, i just move the used lump to the edges and add new lump in the resulting hole all the way down to the fire grate. good airflow through the new lump and a quicker starting fire. the used lump around the outside catches after a bit.
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Old 04-19-2009, 09:09 PM   #11
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Yep - shake you ash and fire it up!
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Old 04-20-2009, 01:40 AM   #12
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Yeppers, I agree! The WSMs & the UDS always have charcoal left over. It would be wrong to waste that much good 'coal.
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Old 04-20-2009, 02:33 AM   #13
Found some matches.
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My last use I had plenty left over and didn't need to add any new in my kamado
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Old 04-20-2009, 07:17 AM   #14
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yep, same as they said, shake and reuse
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:44 AM   #15
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I'm guilty of that too. Works for me.
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