prep fail

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PreppingPingu
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prep fail

Post by PreppingPingu » Thu May 13, 2021 9:04 pm

Last year during the start of the first lock down, I bought extra bbq coal in case of power outages, short supplies ect. Didn't use much last summer as it happen. Opened up a bag last weekend to do a birthday BBQ for hubby's 50th, even though the weather was pants, and found that in spite of being stored in a dry shed that is regularly used/aired etc, the coal in the bag was a bit damp and looked almost mouldy. Would it light? Would it heck - spent half an hour trying but not wanting to chuck too much paraffin lighter blocks on it as who wants to taste fuel with their buggers? Gave up, muttered darkly and stomped inside to grill in the kitchen instead.

The reason it was a prepping fail is that I had bought this extra bag just in case of an alternative cooking source was needed. Grid down/ cooker packed up etc etc. It was primarily part of my preps. Got some of it on a tray in the bottom of my airing cupboard to drive off any moisture and will try again to use it but yes I need more bbq coals. Glad I found found now and not when it was an emergency situation!
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Arzosah
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Re: prep fail

Post by Arzosah » Thu May 13, 2021 9:27 pm

What a pain! Sorry to hear that. I bought a big bag of locally produced charcoal a few years ago - coincidentally, it's in the bottom of my airing cupboard :) but it's for potential water filtration. It took me ages to find, because it needed to be without any of the "quick light" chemicals. I confess, I've not opened the bag recently to check what it looks like :?

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Panther
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Re: prep fail

Post by Panther » Fri May 14, 2021 12:27 pm

Thanks for posting that. I'm immediately dashing to the garage to check a large bag of bbq charcoal I've been storing for several years now. I kept it for exactly the same reason; to be able to cook in an emergency if power supplies are disrupted. Didn't think it might deteriorate in any way. :o
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ForgeCorvus
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Re: prep fail

Post by ForgeCorvus » Fri May 14, 2021 5:35 pm

Charcoal can be used even if its dripping wet, well maybe not to start the fire but once its going (a small wood fire works quite well) you can bank the soggy stuff around the fire to dry out then rake it over as it dries.
I forge on charcoal and this is one of the ways of controlling the size of your fire.
I've stored half a paper bag in a not very dry open fronted shed for a couple of years and it burnt just fine.

I'm not a fan of adulterating one of the nicest fuels to work with by adding chemicals to make it do something that its very keen to do naturally.


Charcoal briquettes are a totally different beast. They're hygroscopic (or at least seem to be) so they can go mouldy and/or disintegrate into a porridge like slop. They also make a 'dirty' fire ( from a smithing POV) and leave quite a lot of nasty gritty ash...... I'd ban the ghastly things if I could :evil:
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peejay
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Re: prep fail

Post by peejay » Fri May 14, 2021 7:09 pm

Funnily enough I had a small bbq this evening using charcoal bought last year for similar reasons but other than some mouse damage to the bag it seemed to be fine, no issues so perhaps you were unlucky (our shed isn't the driest place in the world either!)

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PreppingPingu
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Re: prep fail

Post by PreppingPingu » Fri May 14, 2021 9:48 pm

ForgeCorvus wrote:
Fri May 14, 2021 5:35 pm

I'm not a fan of adulterating one of the nicest fuels to work with by adding chemicals to make it do something that its very keen to do naturally.

Charcoal briquettes are a totally different beast. They're hygroscopic (or at least seem to be) so they can go mouldy and/or disintegrate into a porridge like slop. They also make a 'dirty' fire ( from a smithing POV) and leave quite a lot of nasty gritty ash...... I'd ban the ghastly things if I could :evil:
Aye these are those hideous briquettes things. I make fire normally out of sticks, birch bark n a bit of cotton wool sometimes to take the spark from the fire steel for my forest school stuff so not using any petrol based accelerant at all so not used to using BBQ coals. Maybe what I had is just cheep nasty crap that has gone mouldy. We'll see as I will have a go with them again - I hate wasting stuff but I will replace with decent product next time - lesson learnt.
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GillyBee
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Re: prep fail

Post by GillyBee » Sat May 15, 2021 5:38 pm

If I remember rightly BBQ briquettes are made of charcoal dust bound together with a starch based glue which should burn cleanly. But that means they are basically held together with four and water so I can see how they could go mouldy if damp.

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