What to Do With Charcoal after Grilling? 5 Clever Things You Can with It

Are you one of those people who love to grill out during the summer? If so, you’re probably familiar with the joys of cooking over charcoal. After the fun feast is over, you may ask, What to do with charcoal after grilling? Here are a few ideas to help you dispose of it safely and responsibly.

First Things First: How to Put out a charcoal after grilling?

Before deciding on what to do with charcoal after grilling, you need to first properly extinguish the charcoal. Here are the 3 easy steps on how you can properly put out the charcoal after grilling:

Step 1. Cool your coals

To eliminate the possibility of accidental flare ups, always cool down old charcoal and ash. Here is how to cool the charcoal after grilling:

  1. Place the charcoal on a metal grate in an open area
  2. Douse the charcoal with water and let it soak for about 10 minutes
  3. Pour off the excess water and allow the charcoal to dry completely
Step 2. Dispose of old charcoal and ash

When you’re done with your barbecue, make sure to clean up all of the ash and leftover charcoal. This can be thrown away or recycled in some way so that it does not end up on our landfills.

Wrapping aluminum foil is a good idea before putting it in an outdoor trash to prevent harmful events from any possible remaining small embers.

Step 3: Re-use partially burned coals

By partially burning your coal, you can save money and have an extra grill charcoal for when friends come over. This will also allow you to have the convenience of not having to resupply each time and also save on gas!

If you want those charcoals to be re-used don’t submerge them with water, instead spray water little by little until it is fully extinguished. Let it rest for cooling and when the charcoal dry enough, it could be used on your next grilling.

5 Clever things to do with charcoal after grilling

Can You Reuse Your Charcoal?

The short answer to your question is yes. Reusing charcoal can be a cost-saving option. Charcoal grills have the best advantage of being able to reuse it compared to other grill types.

There’s nothing like the taste of grilled food, and after you’ve finished grilling, you’re probably left with a lot of charcoal. Rather than just throwing it away, here are some clever things to do with it.

Save the charcoal for your next grill session
1. Save the charcoal for your next grill session

The best thing to do with charcoal after grilling is to save it for reusing. Instead of throwing away every bit of charcoal that has been used, we recommend using the coals once more. You’ll save money and it’ll be good to the environment.

These are the three steps you can do to make grill charcoals useful again:

  1. Start with Fresh Charcoal
    Fill the grill halfway with fresh coal. Partially-burned coals are easy to burn but it will be difficult to light a fire if you fill the whole starter with second-round coals, as the smaller-sized, less-burned coals reduce airflow and are closer together.
  2. Add the Used Charcoal
    Add the used charcoal on the rest of grill space, and give it a shake over a trash can to release any ash that might hinder from lighting up the fire or preventing the coal from burning.
  3. Light them up and Grill!
    Start lighting your charcoal and heating your grill. Then start grilling the juicy steak, pork, hotdogs, vegetables or whatever and have fun.

It is important to remember that charcoal batches that were lit for quick grilling are better to reuse than those that have been slowly burnt in low heat. Cook’s Illustrated points out that the longer a charcoal batch burns, the fewer pieces are left.

The entire batch will reignite perfectly, even if some coals are more burnt than others. After each grilling round, give your charcoal a quick look to see how much you can save for the next batch.

Use charcoal for campfire
2. Use it to start a campfire

You can use your old grill charcoals to start a campfire! Just collect the ash from burning food and kindling on top of it. Then place some more dry materials over that like small branches or leaves before adding water with natural extinguishing agents such as bleach (sodium hypochlorite) if you want an extra strong flame without having anything catches fire easily; this will also help preserve wood for longer because bleaching makes them resistant against rot!).

use charcoal for soil drainage
3. Put it in your garden to help with soil drainage

The charcoal can be used in your garden to help with soil drainage and make the environment around plants healthier to help your garden flourish. It can be used in any area of the yard that needs more earth tone, such as near flower beds or at base mounds where it will take on some aesthetic qualities from its surroundings while also providing great drainage for moisture retention.

Mix charcoal with cat litter for an effective odor absorber
4. Mix it with cat litter for an effective odor absorber

Imagine the pleasant smell of fresh air after spending time outside, only to be met with an unpleasant dampness that will not go away. You come in from your walk and find yourself walking past rooms full or cat’s litterbox odors- some worse than others but all quite similar; it’s enough for you just want get out as soon possible! But wait…There may still hope on this side: Charcoal has been known by many people over generations because its absorbent qualities make great use when mixed together (especially kitty choir) which leaves less mess behind while also controlling unwanted smells more effectively.

Sprinkle charcoal it on icy sidewalks and driveways to help with traction
5. Sprinkle it on icy sidewalks and driveways to help with traction

Charcoal is a natural material that can be used to create traction on icy sidewalks and driveways.  Charcoals’ ability lies in its chemical makeup, which contains carbon particles sized perfectly for interacting with ice molecules; this causes them repel each other instead of sliding against one another like normal snow or slush would do so!


Charcoal is a versatile material that can be put to many uses after your grill session is finished. By saving it for the next time you grill, using it to start a campfire, or putting it in your garden, you can make the most of this inexpensive and easy-to-use fuel source. If you’re having trouble with odor control or ice traction this winter, consider adding charcoal to your list of solutions. Have you tried any of these ideas? If not, give them a try and let us know how they worked out for you.

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