Odds are you’ve got used charcoal in some unspecified time in the future in your life. Charcoal, popular with grillers and preppers for high-temperature cooking over a campfire, has been used as a heat source for so long as anyone can remember.
No, 100% pure lump charcoal is not going to spoil so long as you possibly can protect it from moisture. If your charcoal is of poor quality or incorporates additives, the shelf life could also be shortened depending on storage aspects.
Of course, the infinite durability of charcoal is subject to many aspects, mainly environmental, that may cause its degradation.
Whether you utilize charcoal briquettes or pure charcoal, proper storage will maximize quality and shelf life.
What is charcoal?
Charcoal is a man-made by-product of burning wood, mostly hardwood, until they turn into lumps of unburnt coal.
The strategy of making charcoal involves heating the wood within the absence of oxygen.
Charcoal has been made for hundreds of years using a fire and dust to partially burn wood.
Of course, this process is known as charring, and it effectively removes water or impurities, leaving the carbon behind.
This product burns much hotter than regular wood and does so cleanly because there are not any impurities in it.
Smelters use charcoal to get their fires hot enough to control metals, while grillers use it to cook excellent meals.
Do not confuse regular charcoal with briquettes as they will not be the identical.
Activated charcoal is one other different product that’s porous and utilized in various medical applications.
Can charcoal go bad?
Since charcoal is devoid of moisture, any moisture or water could be expected to cause the effect to fail.
This may mean that it can not glow or it can smolder and never give off much heat.
In determining how long the shelf lifetime of charcoal is, we’d like to have a look at a couple of aspects surrounding it.
How long is charcoal good?
With the proper storage and environment, charcoal will last indefinitely.
Scientists find plants from hundreds of thousands of years ago that become charcoal, which may still be easily ignited today.
Of course, the method by which it was created matters because the slightest difference in temperature can affect the standard because it doesn’t remove enough impurities from the wood.
Can charcoal go moldy?
Charcoal can indeed go moldy, although you will greater than likely see it on briquettes relatively than natural charcoal.
Mold may appear as a white or black fuzz and may be found all around the exterior.
Chunk charcoal is a dry environment for bacteria to multiply, so that you will rarely see it.
The briquettes are treated with other compressed compounds which might be organic in order that bacteria can grow on them under the proper conditions. If you come across moldy charcoal, it is best to return it to the shop or throw it away.
Even inert mold is bad to breathe in, and in case you use charcoal for cooking, it could infiltrate the food itself.
Most people will say that the charcoal will probably be too hot and can burn the mold before it comes into contact with the food.
While that is true, spores may be released into the air, and it’s probably best to exercise some caution on this scenario.
Remember that mold in your coal is a rare occurrence and you’ll most probably never need to cope with it in case you keep your coal in a garage or shed.
What makes charcoal expire?
The foremost reason charcoal spoils is how much moisture has been absorbed into it over its lifetime.
Another reason is that the combustion process was incomplete and the charcoal was made incorrectly.
Since there continues to be moisture within the wood, it probably won’t burn and it’s possible you’ll get hot smoke as a substitute of harsh heat.
In addition, unburnt wood can leave a bitter taste on any food you cook with it.
Charcoal and moisture
Too much moisture could be very harmful to charcoal. In most cases of mild exposure to moisture, you possibly can save the charcoal by drying it slowly.
If the charcoal has been submerged for a very long time, it might not be as easy to dry it and check out to ignite it. Sometimes the water will probably be so deep that air has a tough time reaching it and drying it.
If you discover your charcoal in a puddle or has been sitting in a wet bag for a very long time, it’s greater than likely that you’re going to need to throw it away and get more.
How to dry wet charcoal
Drying wet charcoal is when you observed the fabric has been exposed to slightly moisture.
The easiest technique to dry charcoal is to spread it out on a baking sheet and leave it in direct sunlight for a day or two.
If you select to let it dry for a couple of days, make sure you bring it inside overnight as condensation can undo all of the exertions you’ve got done before.
Once it’s able to be tested, you possibly can try lighting it up a bit to see if it’s capable of catch the warmth and ignite. Otherwise, dry it within the sun or throw it away and buy recent charcoal.
How to properly store charcoal
Storing charcoal is comparable to storing a dehydrated or freeze-dried meal. The goal is to maintain air and moisture away from it.
Keeping it in an uninsulated garage or damp basement is not going to work and can likely degrade the product.
Choose an appropriate storage location
Ideally, the situation must be warm, freed from drafts, and insulated from condensation and precipitation. An outdoor shed or basement are excellent storage ideas.
Moisture generally is a problem in the summertime, so be sure that your storage is well ventilated so the charcoal can breathe.
Choose the proper container
A plastic, airtight container is one of the best technique to store charcoal without fear of moisture getting inside.
There are several options available on the market, however it is smart to take the charcoal out of the paper bag it got here in. Paper retains a whole lot of moisture, and this perpetual moisture can transfer to the charcoal.
Some of one of the best charcoal storage solutions include:
- Metal trash can
- 5 liter buckets
- Plastic waste bin with wheels and handle
- Plastic storage containers
You will notice that lots of these options are used for keeping animals and weather anyway.
This is an awesome technique to know if the container you desire to use will probably be ideal for storing charcoal.
Tips for testing potentially old charcoal
The best technique to check if the charcoal continues to be usable is to attempt to ignite it. Good charcoal will repeatedly produce heat with no sign of stopping.
If your charcoal has an excessive amount of moisture inside, it can have trouble keeping it burning.
You can try using slightly lighter liquid to assist evaporate the moisture when igniting, but sometimes that may be too far to make use of.
If the charcoal ignites with the lighter fluid, make sure you let it go for at the least half-hour to burn off the surplus chemicals.
Well, you bought it. Coal will last indefinitely so long as it could be protected against the weather.
This involves placing it in a dry and dark place while storing it in airtight containers.
Mistakes can occur, and in case your charcoal does break, don’t fret, it’s generally inexpensive enough that it won’t break the bank to purchase more.