After grilling or cooking, barely burnt charcoal will remain. The question that many people ask is whether or not you can reuse charcoal.

The good news for anyone who loves cooking with charcoal and wants to remain as economical as possible is that you can reuse charcoal for grilling or smoking. Quality charcoal retains the same energy as before, and it will not interfere with the flavor or aroma of your food.

To reuse your charcoal, you must ensure you extinguish them properly before storage for subsequent use. One of the best ways to extinguish your charcoal is to starve them of oxygen. Read on for more details on how you can reuse your charcoal.

charcoal grill

Can You Reuse Charcoal?

The precise answer to the question “can you reuse charcoal?” is yes. If you have realized that after you finish cooking, you have a lot of unburned charcoal, it is high time you start reusing the coals. It is an appropriate way of ensuring you do not waste much energy when cooking, thereby saving money.

After you are done cooking, it is wise to put out your grill by starving the charcoal of oxygen. All you need to do is shut off the vent and opening, which may allow oxygen to get to the burning charcoal. Consequently, you will put out the charcoal. Doing this will save a lot of charcoal you can use for your next cooking.

If you want to clean the grill as soon as possible, store the unused charcoal in a metal container and cover it to prevent oxygen from getting in. The significance of covering the metal container that you use to store the charcoal is to ensure that if there is any charcoal that is still burning, it will not get oxygen for further burning.

Can You Reuse Charcoal For Grilling?

Yes, you can reuse charcoal for grilling and achieve the same results as new charcoal. Reused charcoal has the same energy as new charcoal. Therefore, if you have been under the impression that reusing charcoal for grilling may not give you the desired flavor, you are wrong.

Instead of getting rid of every piece of charcoal that remains in your grill, including the ones that are barely burnt, you should consider reusing them. You will save a lot of money by utilizing the barley-used charcoal. Here are three steps to follow whenever you want to reuse charcoal for grilling.

1. Begin With The New Charcoal

When reusing charcoal for grilling, starting with the new charcoal is crucial. Fill the chimney starter with new coal halfway. Starting with fresh charcoal is vital because the used charcoal is, in most cases, round, which may make it difficult to get the fire started. This is because the small and round used charcoal may block the airflow.

2. Add The Used Charcoal

The next step is to top the chimney with the used charcoal and shake it to eliminate any loose ash. It is necessary to get rid of ash as it might block free movement, hence preventing charcoal from burning.

3. Light The Charcoal

After that, you can proceed to light the charcoal as you are used to doing. Once the grill is ready, you can comfortably proceed with your grilling.

Can You Reuse Charcoal Briquettes

Charcoal briquettes are among the common charcoal used for grilling or smoking. With the quick smoking recipes, you will likely end up with a significant amount of barely burnt coals. Throwing the partially burnt briquettes is not wise as it is comparable to burning money.

So, the answer is yes. You can reuse charcoal briquettes and save money that you should have used to buy fresh charcoal briquettes.

However, it is not prudent to light your chimney starter filled with only used coals as it might be difficult to light. Instead, it would help to start with fresh briquettes before introducing the used coals.

Can You Reuse Lump Charcoal?

Lump charcoal is the best charcoal type obtained from natural wood. They burn cleaner, provide excellent smoke for your food, and they do not have any impurities. In other words, they are better than the briquettes.

If you are wondering whether you can reuse lump charcoal or not, the answer is yes.

Depending on your recipe, the chances are that you will end up with a significant amount of lump charcoal barely burnt. If that happens, you must put out your grill by removing it from oxygen. Using water to put out a charcoal grill is not good as it might damage the grill. Moreover, it will lower the quality of the lump charcoal for reusing in the future.

Other Ways To Reuse Charcoal

Besides reusing charcoal for grilling or smoking, there are other ways to get value from them. Moreover, quality charcoal is expensive. Thus, it would help if you do not throw them away, as there are several other ways to get value from them.

Fertilize Your Garden

Who doesn’t like an attractive garden? You can use charcoal to enrich the depleted soil if you have flowers in your compound. Charcoal adds more nutrients to the soil, and science has backed up these findings. Furthermore, many flower enthusiasts believe that adding charcoal to the soil helps absorb toxins, thus increasing the alkalinity of the soil for better flower growth.

Reduce The Odors In The House

Another way you can benefit from the used charcoal is by using them to eliminate the undesirable odors in the house. To achieve this objective, you will need to utilize a fine-mesh bag. Put all the unused charcoal in the bag and place it strategically where it can absorb the odors and unwanted moisture in your room.

Use It To Preserve Flowers.

Did you know that you can use charcoal to make flowers last longer? Now you know. Placing either lump or briquette charcoal under the cut stems can help preserve the flower. You can use glass seashells or glass marbles to weigh the charcoal if you realize they are floating.

Reduce Rust

You can also use unused charcoal to reduce rust in your home. One of the common characteristics associated with charcoal is that they have an incredible ability to absorb moisture. If there is a lot of moisture in your home, place the unused charcoal in a fine-mesh bag and place it at a strategic point where it can absorb the moisture, thereby preventing rust.

Shine And Polish

Lastly, you can reuse charcoal shine and polish. For instance, you can use it to brush your teeth. While that might sound crazy, it is essential to note that people have used charcoal as toothpaste for a century. For instance, in Asia, charcoal toothpaste products are pretty popular. In addition to using charcoal as toothpaste, you can also use it to take rust off tools.

charcoal vegetables

What Are The Benefits Of Reusing Charcoal?

You should reconsider if you have never thought of reusing charcoal after grilling/smoking. Reusing charcoal comes with several benefits.

Helps Save Money

One of the apparent benefits of reusing charcoal is that it can help save money. Reusing charcoal for grilling means reducing the amount of charcoal you have to buy, especially if you grill often.


Reusing charcoal is an environmentally-friendly practice that everyone who cares about the environment should adopt. One way that reusing charcoal is eco-friendly is that it helps reduce the wastage of resources so that people do not have to cut down trees for more charcoal.


Now that you have learned that it is possible to reuse charcoal for smoking, you do not have to excuse why you should not try it. It will help cut down your grilling expenses and also help preserve the environment for future generations. Collecting and storing your used charcoal for your next smoking venture is a simple task.