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Charcoal saving for short cooks

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    Charcoal saving for short cooks

    I'm sure this has been discussed many times, but what tips do you have for saving unburned charcoal after short cooks. I have seen the magnet idea but also have seen they can melt? Any advice greatly appreciated

    #2
    I have a small metal bucket with a lid that I can dump hot coals in. Puttin' the lid on extinguishes the coals.

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      #3
      I never enjoyed the taste of reused charcoal. Always tasted off to me. If I’m doing short cooks in the PBC I just fill the basket up less. Like half of normal. Still light 40 in my chimney. I even did a steak cook where I pretty much used the 40 in the chimney and ~10 in the basket and worked fine.

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        #4
        I started opening her up and burning her out to clean out any post-cook residue. The charcoal I was able to salvage wasn't good for much. It really helps on multiple brisket cooks and all that grease buildup at the bottom.

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          #5
          Lump I reuse. Briquettes I do not. I try to just use less charcoal when building my fire estimating how much I’ll use. But, I just let briquettes burn all the way.

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          • Mosca
            Mosca commented
            Editing a comment
            Same here. Briquettes are all crumbly and don’t relight well, nor do they last very long.

          #6
          With my charcoal burners, I do try to guesstimate th amount required to acheive my current cook, but I prefer to have some left, vs burnin out afore th food's ready/up to temp/probes tender, so, sometimes I have some left. I shut th vents on my cooker, after pullin my food(s), an let it starve out of oxygen.

          Later, it goes into th aforementioned metal can, an is generally used to help light off/sustain my firepit.

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          • Al S.
            Al S. commented
            Editing a comment
            I usually do the same, but never thought of using them in the fire pit. Great idea!👍🏻

          • Mr. Bones
            Mr. Bones commented
            Editing a comment
            Al S.
            I truly hate to waste anything; both my parents lived through Th Great Depression, Th Dust Bowl, an WWII, fer starters...I tend to be rather thrifty, mighta been beaten into me, I reckon.

          #7
          When I burn charcoal in my offset, I just shut off the fan and close the stack damper and the fire goes out right quick. The next day I pour the extinguished lump into a stainless ½ hotel pan and store it under the cooker which I keep covered. Never gets wet

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            #8
            Lump is really the only charcoal that can be reused. I have found that there are to many binders in briquettes, and they don't burn well after they have been in a previous cook.

            What kind of cooker are you using?

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            • Troutman
              Troutman commented
              Editing a comment
              I agree 100%. I may pick out the totally unburned briquettes but if there are partially burned ones they get tossed. If used the fire doesn’t achieve the proper burn rate or heat level in my experience.

            #9
            I save the larger chunks of used Weber briquettes and use them in certain cooks. Example, if I cook chicken, I will put half a chimney of used briquettes in the SnS, then light half a chimney of new briquettes to put on top. I’ve noticed no taste difference. The used ones don’t light as well in the chimney, so I don’t put them there. I hate wasting anything.

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              #10
              I don’t know what kind of cooker you use, but I’ll tell you my experience. I have been cooking on a Weber kettle for 50 years. After a cook I always close all the vents. I use whatever charcoal is left, be it briquettes, lump or wood
              for the next cook. No problems.

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                #11
                I hardly use briquettes anymore because watching lump charcoal burn lights off the inner pyromaniac in me, it's just so pretty, and lump can always be re-used. However, if I have used briquettes and there are any viable lumps left, I use them to start the next cook. No sense wasting the energy potential. My pits shut down pretty well with the vents closed.

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                  #12
                  Originally posted by Spinaker View Post
                  Lump is really the only charcoal that can be reused. I have found that there are to many binders in briquettes, and they don't burn well after they have been in a previous cook.

                  What kind of cooker are you using?
                  PBC. I havent tried less charcoal but will try tha

                  Comment


                  • cashelton
                    cashelton commented
                    Editing a comment
                    For PBC cooks 3 hours or less, I use 40 lit/40 unlit, only use 1 side of the charcoal basket.
                    For PBC cooks 3 - 6 hours, I use 40 lit/80 unlit, entire charcoal basket.
                    For PBC cooks 6+ hours, I use 40 lit/120 unlit, entire charcoal basket.

                  • RobertC
                    RobertC commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I use a variant of the rule cashelton uses: to stay at around 300 deg F. in "normal" weather it takes about 1 pound per hour +1 pound of charcoal. So, for a 3 hour cook, 4 lbs. total; for a 6 hour cook, 7 pounds total. There are 18 KBB briquets per pound, so 80 briquets is 4.5 pounds. In fall or winter when it's cold, add a bit. That rule of thumb keeps me from wasting charcoal.

                    I scratched marks at 20 and 40 briquets on the side of my starter chimney so I can use it like a measuring cup.
                    Last edited by RobertC; May 4, 2020, 10:20 AM.

                  #13
                  Thanks everyone!

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                    #14
                    I take the coal basket out of the PBJ and put it on the grill grate of the Weber kettle, then put the lid back on the Weber. That snuffs the remaining coals pretty quick. Then I use the leftovers with mostly new the next cook. I’ve also tried to use fewer briquettes on shorter cooks.

                    Comment


                      #15
                      I generally only use lump in my kamados which after shaking out the kick ash basket is reused.
                      Briquettes from the kettles and unburned splits from the LSG are placed in a 5gal pal. Kept in my shed.
                      This I place in a chimney fire it up. Which does take longer than new briquettes and use to start the bed of coals for my next cook in the LSG.

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