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Old 10-09-2011, 03:12 PM   #1
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Charcoal Grilling and Reusing Coals

I've been grilling seriously for about a year and a half. I grill all year 'round and don't care if it's snowing when I grill. It tastes great. The biggest downfall of my grill is that it's lid is ajar and won't close off the airflow completely. I have trouble smothering the coals, if I were to reuse them.

My thoughts on everything:

I use a chimney and I've tried both briquettes and lump.
I find lump too inconsistent and it heats up MUCH slower in the chimney than briquettes. I use briquettes mostly now because they are cheap, consistent, and quicker for me to get in a grill session.

Anyone experiencing similar problems with lump?

I'd also like to reuse what I'm burning. I'm thinking about getting a coffee can worth of ashes from the previous grill session and covering the coals up this way, since I can't cut the airflow enough to extinguish the coals. Would water be a bad idea?

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Old 10-09-2011, 03:17 PM   #2
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I find lump grills hotter and has less chemical taste.

I have a small can I dump coals into that has a tight enough fitting lid so snuffs out the coals out and I can get the good ones for the next cook.
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Old 10-09-2011, 03:23 PM   #3
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I'm a gasser 80% of the time, but I did just sear a tuna steak on my chimney starter a few nights ago. And I was using leftover Kingsford from the previous weekend's smoke in my WSM. All I can contribute is my own limited experience. And that is that I too find lump very inconsistent. At least when it comes to smoking. The folks who I see that like using lump for smoking are typically NOT using a vertical smoker.

No idea about smothering your charcoal to put it out. Can you seal things up with some tin foil?
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Old 10-09-2011, 03:33 PM   #4
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Frankz: A pic would be very helpful. I'm visualizing a coffee can with a swinging lid, very similar to the top air vent on many barbecues.

Pacanis: Tin foil would be a lot of work and unwieldy. Surely I can't use glue to hold it to the top lid?! I'm hoping there's a very quick way to fix this. (I hope the wife folds and lets me buy a new grill)!
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Old 10-09-2011, 03:52 PM   #5
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I use tin foil on my smoker to seal where it's become worn, basically where the side door is. I use it as a gasket strip. That's what I meant, not stretching a whole sheet across, but just where you are getting airflow.
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Old 10-09-2011, 04:32 PM   #6
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If you're not happy with using lump a good alternative is natural hardwood briquettes. I use regular Kingsford charcoal briquettes, Stubbs natural briquettes, and mesquite lump depending on what I'm cooking and on which cooker.
My kettle grill and drum smoker will completely snuff out the coals at the end of each cook and I reuse them all the time.
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