How Long Does Charcoal Last?

Who doesn’t love to use a charcoal grill? It brings that smoky flavor to the meat. But do you know how long does charcoal last? Let’s get into the details. 

Charcoal and its burning time

Indeed, there remains a question always: What charcoal shall be sufficient for the entire process of cooking in the oven? Generally, you can get one hour of high heat from a single layer of charcoal. Charcoal usually stays hot for more than an hour.

How long does charcoal last?

how long does charcoal last

Charcoal can last from two to three hours on a regular outdoor grill. It includes the process of its warming up and burning around its outer surface, which takes about thirty minutes. After that, you shall get about 1-1.5 hours of high heat that is sufficient for cooking. Once that period is over, it takes about another 45 minutes for the charcoal to simmer. There are a few factors upon which the duration of the burning of charcoal depends on.

  • How big is the size of the grill that you are using? 
  • The type of grill that you are using.
  • The type of charcoal.
  • The process of ventilation in the grill.
  • The quantity of lighter fluid that is been used.
  • The quantity of charcoal that is been used.

For a usual kettle grill, you shall require around twenty briquettes for each hour of your cooking. It must also be noticed that the more ash accumulates, the lesser the charcoal’s duration. So, it is very important to clean the ashes frequently. 

The duration a bag of charcoal shall take to burn

A single bag of charcoal shall take to burn about 1.5 hours. You can comfortably cook about 15-20 burgers by that time. It shall take one and a half bags of charcoal if you are looking forward to cooking a turkey. 

The amount of charcoal you shall require

If you have a small grill, then about eight ounces of charcoal will be sufficient. You will need about eighteen ounces of charcoal if it is a large grill. But if you plan to use a smoker, you shall require thirty-six ounces of charcoal. 

In general, charcoal lasts for up to two to three hours for an average grill. For a smoker, charcoal can last up to six hours. But having said that, you must always buy some extra if it requires more.

Ways by which you can make charcoal burn for a longer duration

how long does charcoal last

One of the common ways is to create space for more air to flow around the grill. You can do it by elevating the grill to a higher place and closing the vents of your grill. You can even make it last longer if you control its oxygen supply. You can do so by covering the charcoal using a metal lid, partially.

Will you be able to add more charcoal mid-grill?

If you are required to add more charcoal while cooking, you must wait until the coal has cooled off completely. If you add hot coals to the grill, it shall result in a flare-up which might damage the grill.

How long does it take charcoal to go out

When you see the flame turning smaller and the spark becoming smaller, you know that the charcoal is about to go off. In the case of smaller fires, it takes about 30-45 minutes for the charcoal to extinguish. It takes about two hours for the charcoal to extinguish in case of a bigger fire.

If you wish to put out the fire in the charcoal soon, then with a shovel, cover the charcoal either with dirt or sand. This shall stop the flow of air and oxygen on the charcoal; thus, the fire shall turn out. If you are waiting for the charcoal to burn out on its own, you must wait until it turns white. Keep water handy just in case of emergency. 

Shall you be able to relight old charcoal?

Yes, you can certainly be able to relight old charcoal as long as it has heat in it. Once it turns completely cold, it shall not relight. By holding them up to the light, you can determine if you can relight that briquette of charcoal or not. If you can see a red glow in the center, you can relight the charcoal. If there is an absence of a red glow in it, then it is better to use fresh charcoal in that case.