View Full Version : Can unburned charcoal from a cook be used again?

09-24-2011, 05:30 PM
Sometimes I have charcoal that has not been burned during a cook and I've just thrown it out.

I've read where charcoal left out can become stale or produce off flavors when used again.

What do you guys do with leftover charcoal?

09-24-2011, 05:31 PM
I do. I just toss those unburned in my chimney when I start the next cook. No problems at all.

09-24-2011, 05:40 PM
i reuse them, no issues.

09-24-2011, 05:41 PM
Yep, I reuse everything I can. On the kettle I just knock the ash off the old ones and put newly lit briqs right on top.

09-24-2011, 05:53 PM
I've read that it will absorb odors and such too. I think leave it in your drum with the drip pan full of grease for two weeks, it could be an issue. But, if your drum is sealed up tight and cleaned out, not a problem. I've done it and didn't have a problem, but I also just dump a bunch of half burned lump because it was like three weeks old...

One thing i've started doing with old, and i'm not sure if it makes sense or an improvement, but I bank all the old to one side of my basket. A lot of the old is small and fear it doesn't let air move up through the bottom. I also want to use the old first, not alway burn just the new on top. I spread a layer of about lit 20 coals over the new and the old and it seems to work well.

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09-24-2011, 06:02 PM
No problem in my WSM. :thumb:

09-24-2011, 06:23 PM
I leave it in the kettle and reuse the next time I grill as standard practice.

09-24-2011, 06:47 PM
i can almost put 20 pounds of lump in my uds and I dont refill it until I am almost out and thats after about 5 smokes

09-24-2011, 06:48 PM
Do it all the time in my Egg

09-24-2011, 07:14 PM
Saves a lot of new charcoal on your next smoke.

09-24-2011, 07:18 PM
i for sure do it in my WSM's.

BUT, be wary of using it for a high heat cook.

i've had mixed results at best then.

09-24-2011, 07:23 PM
Yep, I have a five gallon bucket for those un-burnt coals

09-24-2011, 07:24 PM
Not a problem on most cooks.

09-24-2011, 07:30 PM
I reuse, but I've also had problems with air flow.

09-24-2011, 09:12 PM
I use them with the starters on the next round. No probs

I do. I just toss those unburned in my chimney when I start the next cook. No problems at all.

09-24-2011, 09:14 PM
Yep, I reuse everything I can. On the kettle I just knock the ash off the old ones and put newly lit briqs right on top.

Same here.

Dave Russell
09-24-2011, 09:19 PM
No issues here either.

09-24-2011, 09:29 PM
The only issues I've ever had with that is after direct cooking a fatty fish.

Other than that, no problems, do it all the time.

09-24-2011, 09:38 PM
I also stopped letting grease from pork butts drip all over the coals. That makes some nasty leftover charcoal. In my UDS I foil the claypot diffuser. Charcoal remains clean to be re-used again.

09-24-2011, 09:52 PM
Unless they are wet or even damp I always reuse them. Never occurred to me not to do so.

09-24-2011, 10:45 PM
I reuse charcoal too as long as it is not completely covered with grease or if its wet.

09-24-2011, 10:52 PM
I shake the basket when I clean the UDS and put the clean used coals in bag for future use. It works fine for me.

09-25-2011, 03:07 AM
I reuse lump all the time in my BGE. If I have to add fresh lump, I scoop out the old and put it back on top of the new... Way fewer sparks if you light it with a weed burner. Less time needed to get the thin blue (sweet) smoke. Won't get as hot as fresh lump if you're looking for a 700 sear for steaks.

09-25-2011, 08:47 AM

09-25-2011, 03:19 PM
I always take the basket out of UDS shake it real good to remove excess ash small chunks etc. Then throw a little fresh on top and smoke away. Always seems to be 10lbs left in there. On the kettle as well just throw new right on old no problems with either so far.

09-25-2011, 03:21 PM
NorthwestBBQ is a pretty darn good Q cook. Do believe, I'd listen to him.

09-25-2011, 05:41 PM
All the time in my UDS' and WGA...

09-25-2011, 09:51 PM
I reuse mine for the next smoke as well. That is unless the Grandkids are going to the range with me, then the basket gets emptied and thrown into bag. They make great reactive targets. The kiddo's are rewarded with a puff of black powder with a well aimed shot from their .22 LR's. (Did you see that one Grandpa? That was awsome!) BTW Grandpa thinks it's fun too!