Does Charcoal Go Bad? How Long Does It Last? [Best Answer] in 2023

Grilling is one of the best ways to enjoy your food. Whether it’s meat or vegetables, grilling them is always a good idea. We all pay attention to the expiration date of our meats, but what about our charcoal?

Surely the smoke is part of the ingredients, providing the smell of grilled meat that we all love. But could your coal go bad or expire? That’s what we are gonna answer today.

Does Charcoal Go Bad?

This really depends on the type of charcoal we are talking about, cause there are plenty of types that each can become useless if something specific happens.

For example, lump charcoal is natural and without any chemical additions, this makes it last much more than briquette which has specific addition to it that can make it go bad.

This is why it’s important to choose the type of charcoal to buy wisely, and knowing how to store it properly.

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How Long Does Charcoal Last?

When looking at the origin of charcoal, we can notice that some trees have been burned since 400 million years ago, and their it is still usable today.

How Long Does Charcoal Last

This means natural lump charcoal – when stored right – can last almost indefinitely.

However, it’s not the same for every kind of charcoal. Briquette is easily lit thanks to some additions to it, but that gives them a much lower shelf life.

Briquettes charcoal are made with specific extra components like sodium nitrate. This makes it last around a year or two if stored properly.

To make lightning briquette easier, they coat it in a fluid that makes igniting it much more efficient.

If this fluid evaporated due to bad storage, the briquette won’t light up, making it almost useless, so keep a look at the dates for that type of charcoal.

How To Store Charcoal?

There is a golden rule in storing charcoal, which will almost always save your coal for much longer than usual.

Keep it away from moisture whether it’s from the rain or wet hands, moisture is the biggest enemy for charcoal.

How To Store Charcoal

Take care that most packages are actually paper, this makes your fuel much more vulnerable to an accident like rain or dropped bottle of water, and wet coal is really hard to lit up.

Even harder is a wet briquette, this is because they are coated in a thin layer to assist in the ignition, and once this layer is gone it will not light up again even if the coal itself is in a perfect condition.

All you need to ensure that your lump charcoal will last is to store it properly away from all moisture.

It’s a similar story for briquette, with the exception that air exposure is not a good idea.

To ensure that the thin layer is kept safe from evaporating or dampness, move your briquette to an airtight sealing.

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How To Tell If Your Charcoal Has Gone Bad?

We know already that it can last for a really long time, but a badly made charcoal in a bad storage condition is not going to be a good idea for your grill.

How To tell if your Charcoal Has Gone Bad

First of all, stray away from molded it, you can attempt to remove the mold and just use the coal, that doesn’t mean it’s the best option as it may leave an off smell in your grilled food.

Wet coal is also hard to ignite, especially wet briquettes. They are so hard to ignite that you are better off buying a new package while the wet ones dry out in the sun.

if you feel your charcoal smells off in a way, especially if you usually leave your packages in the backyard, you might need to give this one a no-go.

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Wrapping Up

Grilling can be fun and tasty if you have good charcoal. And with proper storage, it can last enough for all of your grilling needs. If you have any questions you would like to ask, feel free to leave a comment below.

We read every comment and we will be sure to reply as soon as possible. Thanks for reading, and have a good day!

Can Charcoal Go Bad

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