A fire pit is a great way to enjoy the outdoors. What makes it even better? Charcoal! Charcoal is an amazing fire starter. It is the secret to starting a fire fast in a fire pit, so your family and friends can enjoy it year-round. We are going to share some tips for using charcoal in a fire pit. This post will cover some different ways that fire pits can be used with charcoal.
What is charcoal for fire pits
Charcoal for fire pits is the same charcoal you use in a barbecue grill. You can buy charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal. The fire can be started with wood as kindling. You can also use a fire-starter log to get the fire going.
The charcoal for fire pits is typically made from oak, maple, or hickory (all hardwoods) and they burn hotter than softer woods like pine. Charcoal is made by tightly packing small pieces of wood in a metal drum with a hole in it. A fire is built around the drum with the hole right side up. Nothing can cover the hole. It is for moisture to escape.
The fire is heated until it reaches temperatures in excess of 500°F. Smoke will come out of the hole. The smoke should be white. If the smoke turns dark, then the wood inside the drum is burning. Once the wood inside is finished being turned into charcoal, the hole is then covered with a wet cloth to keep it from catching on fire. After it is completely cooled, the charcoal is removed from the drum and ready to be used.
The coals are scraped out when they have cooled enough.
Charcoal burns cleaner than firewood, but it does produce a small amount of soot and ash. There is no need to buy expensive fire starters when you have charcoal on hand.
The best way to make your fire pit inviting for guests is with good quality charcoal: the type that is made from hardwoods and burns at a high temperature. This type of charcoal is the only fire starter that you'll need to buy for your fire pit, as it will burn cleaner than firewood and be ready in just minutes without an expensive fire starter needed.
Why use charcoal in fire pits
The fire pit is a wonderful outdoor experience that can be enhanced by the use of charcoal. It is the secret to making fire pits an amazing experience.
Charcoal is easy to use firewood that creates a rich, thick fire. Charcoal stores more heat than wood which makes fire pits with charcoal burn hotter and longer. Charcoal also leaves less ash than wood which means you clean up less when you're done with your fire pit.
If you want your fire pit to be an amazing experience this year, these are just a few reasons why using charcoal in fire pits can help make it happen:
- fire burns hotter and longer
- less ash for clean up
- easy to use charcoal firewood that is readily available at any store now
How to use charcoal in fire pits
It's a good idea when starting your fire to have some pieces of fire-starter log, newspaper or lighter fluid close by.
You'll need a fire pit with holes in the bottom for airflow so that the fire will continue to burn.
Below are some fire pit tips to help you get the fire going quickly and easily:
- Start a fire in your fire pit outdoors in a well-ventilated area, away from natural elements like trees or plants and any physical structures. This will help prevent forest fires or accidental burning of any outside vegetation.
- Use plenty of charcoal briquettes in your fire pit to create an even temperature for an extended duration of time.
- Light the fire using lighter fluid or starter sticks. These can be found at any outdoor store by fire pits.
- If you're using firewood, you can stack the wood around the charcoals before starting the fire or once it has been started. Leave space between the charcoals and the wood so the charcoals can ignite and continue to burn while they are getting the firewood started.
Safety tips when using charcoal in fire pits
Use fire bricks or fire blocks that are taller than the fire to avoid burning anything outside of the fire pit. These can be found at most home improvement stores and many furniture stores as well.
Always use gloves when handling a hot grill, charcoal briquettes, or lighter fluid for safety reasons. There is no need to wear fireproof clothing or fire-resistant gloves if you are only going to be moving hot charcoal briquettes with a fire pit poker, but it is always important to use caution.
Always have a fire extinguisher ready in case of an emergency. It shouldn't need to be used with proper fire management, but fire is unpredictable and it's better to be safe than sorry.
Keep a bucket of water nearby in case you need to quickly put out any fires that may catch on the ground or other areas outside of the pit.
Tips on how to clean up after a fire pit event with charcoal
Cleaning up you fire pit area after using charcoal will typically involve the following steps:
- remove charcoal from fire pit
- clean ash out of fire pit and dispose in a rubbish bin
- sweep up any remaining ash on the ground to avoid fire hazards. Clean up with water if there is too much material that can't be brushed away.
Cleaning your fire pit area after using charcoal is important to avoid fire hazards and to keep your fire pit in good shape.
Ways to reuse the ashes from your fire pit once you've finished it's life cycle
One way to reuse fire pit ashes is to use them as fertilizer on your lawn or garden. Sprinkle the ashes around the plants in small amounts and water it in well after. The fire pit ashes can also be mixed with soil.
Fire pit ashes produced from charcoal are alkaline. Test your soil before you add ashes to the soil to make sure your soil and plants will benefit from it.
Charcoals are a great fuel to use in your fire pit. They burn hotter and cleaner. Charcoals produce less ash than firewood. Charcoal is also easy to get in a hurry. If your looking to try something different, try charcoals in your fire pit.