Throughout the years I have tried and tested several ways to store my charcoal some worked great and others did not.
So, how to store charcoal you buy or used and keep it dry?
Well, as in most situations, there is “it depends” before answering the question on how I store my charcoal have a look at these it depends on options.
How Much Charcoal Do You Use?
Although I also do grilling in the winter my use of charcoal is higher in the so-called “grill -season”.
So, if you use one bag of charcoal and it will last you a long time you don’t need a large storage capacity.
What Types Of Charcoal Do You Use?
I use several types and brands of charcoal depending on what I am cooking.
For my UDS smoker, I use charcoal briquettes from Kingsford in combination with wood chunks.
For my charcoal grill, I use most of the time lump charcoal.
When I buy a bag of Kingsford charcoal briquettes I usually leave it in my shed in the bag until I open it. I never had too many problems with that even after a few months it was still dry.
For Royal Oak lump charcoal I do the same and, for the simple reason that it is a different process to make lump charcoal, even in an opened bag it stays dry for a long time.
Storing Charcoal Options
Storing charcoal does not have to be complicated or expensive.
I have seen solutions online for products that were, in my opinion, way too high in price.
What can you use to store charcoal and not break the bank?
Keep It In The Bag
Use this method if you don’t use charcoal that much and just keep the bag as much closed as you can. I even did this with a bungee cord around it.
A simple plastic bucket that you can find in big-name hardware stores works fine for storing the charcoal left in the bag after you got some out to use on the grill.
More Options online
I have seen options to store charcoal in many online stores and although all are viable solutions I think the prices are in many cases a little steep
My Charcoal Storage Solution
As I mentioned I have used most of the things I mentioned above and still use some of them.
However, I prefer to buy larger quantities of charcoal and in many stores, you can buy a double bag of Kingsford charcoal, and doing it that way it will save you some money.
In my cheap plastic garbage can I can easily store these 2 bags, opened and unopened, and a large bag of Royal Oak lump charcoal. (I still have some room left for my bag of birdfeed)
What Brands Of Charcoal Do I use?
I have seen stories of people only using some expensive brands of charcoal and I am sure there are reasons for that.
My taste and smell buds are not soo developed that I taste the difference and that is why I keep using the following brands.
- For smoking, I use Kingsford charcoal briquettes
- For grilling, I use Royal Oak lump charcoal
What Charcoal I Don’t Use
I don’t use charcoal that lights itself. I have no proof for it but I don’t like to grill with charcoal that has chemicals in it.
For that same reason, I don’t use charcoal lighter fluid but my preferred way of starting charcoal is with a Weber charcoal starter.
You can read here how to use the Weber chimney charcoal starter the way I do.
What Is The Shelf life Of Charcoal?
I have unopened bags of charcoal sitting around for over a year and it was still dry.
Opened bags don’t last that long here but I have kept them for 2 months with no problem as long as I closed them very well.
Charcoal Storage – My Opinion
Just follow a few steps such as keeping it as dry as possible, keeping the bag as closed as you can, and storing it in your garage or shed and you will have not many problems with your charcoal.
When you use more than a bag I recommend my cheap garbage can solution to store your charcoal and you will be surprised how much you can store in there.
Eddie van Aken
Eddie van Aken has years of experience in running his full-service restaurant and with this came working with using and dealing with all types of kitchen equipment. With his experience, he is able to find all the pros and cons of grills and add them to the grill reviews he is doing. You can read more on the about page for Eddie van Aken