Can You Grill Over Wet Charcoal?

It all depends on the type of charcoal and how badly it’s been damaged by the water.

Can You Grill Over Wet Charcoal

If you’ve ever had a disappointing grilling experience, it might have been because you were using wet charcoal. While it’s easy to think that any type of charcoal will do, there’s actually a big difference between dry and wet charcoal. Keep reading to learn more about what to do if your charcoal has gotten wet.

Summer grilling is one of the best things about the season. Whether you’re cooking for a family reunion or just your immediate family, firing up the grill is a great way to enjoy some delicious food. But what do you do when your charcoal gets wet?

Doesn’t matter whether it was a rain shower while you were setting up your grill or a leaky garage roof that got the charcoal wet. Can you grill over wet charcoal? The answer is yes, but there are a few things you need to know first.

Here’s what you need to know about grilling over wet charcoal. Firstly don’t panic!

If you brought some cheap briquettes then moisture is likely to make them crumble so they are completely useless and you’ll have to throw them out. If you are using quality charcoal then it is possible to stage a rescue and dry it out so you can use it on your barbecue.

How To Dry Out Charcoal?

Once you realize that your bag of charcoal is damp or wet there is a way you can try to dry it out so it can still be used for grilling. Assuming the water hasn’t made the charcoal crumble then empty out the bag onto a dry surface in your yard to let it dry in the sun. Separate out the driest lumps and discard any that are especially wet. After a few hours, you can turn them over to try and dry out the other side.

You might want to put down some plastic sheeting first to avoid making a big ugly mess though! The

Despite your best efforts, you may find you need to buy a new bag.

How To Store Your Charcoal

Try to keep the charcoal somewhere that won’t get wet! This will save you from having to mess about trying to dry it out. Avoid leaving the charcoal in your yard in case it rains. The weathermen don’t always get it right after all! Whether you choose to store your fuel in your garage, garden shed or basement make sure you roll the top of the bag over to help prevent moisture from getting in and keep it away from direct sunlight. If possible try to put the bag into an airtight container to be doubly sure of keeping moisture at bay.

What Happens When You Use Wet Charcoal?

Even if you manage to dry out the bag of charcoal it still may not perform as well. It might be difficult to ignite and is likely to produce more smoke while burning. It can often only be useful for slow cooking. One way to get the best out of it is to mix it in with some fresh dry charcoal.

charcoal grill
charcoal grill

What To Do With Wet Charcoal Briquettes?

There are basically two different types of charcoal. Lump charcoal tends to be of better quality. Charcoal briquettes are generally cheaper but many believe not as good for cooking.

Henry Ford popularised the briquettes when he decided to build a plant to make them using the offcuts and sawdust from his sawmills that produced the timber used in his cars. He got Thomas Edison to design the factory! That’s how Kingsford Charcoal was born.

Depending on the quality of the briquettes you might be able to reuse them although there is a good change that they will just crumble to dust if they get too wet.

The best option if you don’t want to just throw them away is to attempt to dry them in the sun.

Can You Grill Over Wet Charcoal: Summary

In an ideal world you would probably be better off throwing away that wet charcoal. However, you can dry to salvage it by drying it in the sun.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]

How long does it take to cook a steak on a charcoal grill?

Cooking time for a steak on a new charcoal grill will depend on the thickness of the steak, the type of grill you’re using, and your desired level of doneness. Try to avoid burning that steak though!

What is the best way to clean a charcoal grill?

The best way to clean a charcoal grill is to let it cool completely before removing the ashes and coal debris. You can then scrub the grill with soapy water and a stiff brush. Rinse the grill well and dry it before using it again.

Do you need to use lighter fluid when grilling with fresh charcoal?

No, you don’t need to use lighter fluid when grilling with charcoal. There are many ways to light a charcoal grill without lighter fluid, such as using a chimney starter.

Can I use charcoal after it’s been wet?

Unfortunately, cheap charcoal usually breaks when it gets wet and becomes completely useless. However higher-quality dried charcoal is often salvageable. Try to leave it in the sun to dry it out.

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