This article may contain affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase following our links won’t cost you extra, but we may earn a commission. Learn more
The fall season is upon us, which means it’s time to start thinking about how best to enjoy the cool nights. One of the most popular ways, especially for those in colder climates, is by starting a fire pit with charcoal. If you’re looking for how to start a fire pit with charcoal, or how to extinguish one. This article will teach you how to do both with easy steps.
A fire pit is a great way to add warmth and ambiance to any outdoor event. But if the weather is too cold, or you don’t want to keep feeding the fire constantly, it can be difficult to start one with charcoal.
Charcoal fuels are usually burned in a fire pit, fireplace, grill, stove, or oven as opposed to wood which is usually only burned outdoors.
The first step in starting any type of charcoal fire is to make sure there’s enough airflow around it because too much heat can cause carbon monoxide poisoning if not properly ventilated. So, it is important to know how to start a fire pit with charcoal and extinguish it when you are done.
Why You Should Use Charcoal in a Fire Pit?
If you’re looking to add a bit of rustic charm to your backyard, consider using a charcoal fire pit. There are a few reasons why charcoal is the best fuel for fire pits:
- It’s easy to find and relatively inexpensive.
- Charcoal burns hot and creates long-lasting flames.
- It’s easy to light and doesn’t produce a lot of smoke.
- Charcoal imparts a delicious smoky flavor to food.
- It burns for a long time and It’s safe to use.
- It’s environmentally friendly.
- It’s easy to control and clean up.
If you’re sold on the idea of using charcoal in your fire pit, make sure you purchase the correct type of charcoal. When you’re ready to light your charcoal, use a chimney starter. This is a metal cylinder with a grate that holds the charcoal. Place the chimney starter on the ground next to your fire pit and fill it with charcoal.
Can You Use Charcoal and Wood Together?
Wood and charcoal can be used together, but it’s important to understand how they work before doing so.
Wood is a fuel that is made up of cellulose and lignin. Charcoal is made from wood that has been heated in the absence of oxygen. This process removes water and other volatile compounds, leaving behind a material that is mostly carbon.
The two materials can be used together, but charcoal burns hotter than wood. This means that it’s possible to overshoot your target temperature if you’re not careful. Also, charcoal doesn’t produce as much smoke as wood. This can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on what you’re trying to achieve.
If you’re looking to use both wood and charcoal in your fire, it’s best to start with the charcoal. This will give you a more consistent and controllable heat source. Once the charcoal is lit, you can add wood to the fire as needed.
Just remember to be careful not to overdo it with the wood. Too much wood can smother the fire and make it difficult to control.
How to Start a Fire Pit With Charcoal?
So, let’s get started! First, you will need a shovel, a bucket of water, and some kindling (sticks) to start a fire pit with charcoal. Second, you have to go through the steps needed to start your fire correctly. Here will go over what materials are needed and then show step-by-step instructions on starting the fire with these items. Follow these easy steps to start up that fire pit:
First, identify the location where you want to start your fire pit with charcoal. You will need a flat, level surface with enough room for both the pot and the flames that are created by lighting it up. This usually does not have to be more than two or three feet in diameter. So focus on an area of smooth ground that is about this size. Make sure there isn’t anything like plants growing nearby that could catch fire!
Prepare your fuel source for the fire charcoal briquettes. Put 8- 10 pieces of charcoal in the pit and properly stack them. If you are using a metal container, make sure that it is not too close to the edge and has enough room for any extra coals as they will be added later.
Ignite the charcoal briquette by lighting a matchstick at an angle halfway down one side of the stack then light the other ends quickly burning off excess material left over from the manufacturing process. Do this until flame takes. We recommend using a long-handled lighter made for outdoor use, but if you don’t have one on hand then a torch will do just fine; be sure not to miss the protective ring when setting these items down before proceeding.
Take care in how far away from the edge of your newly rebuilt structure you light your starter pile – ideally, somewhere that’s about one foot away from its surface at most – so that you can keep an eye on it until everything has caught alight properly.
Add one or two more layers of charcoal briquettes in a cross pattern as before and light both ends. Keep adding fuel from time to time until the fire is large enough for your needs, then add about four extra coals around the edge at a diagonal angle so that they can be easily pushed down with poker after some have been consumed by flames.
When you want the flame to continue burning, just add more charcoal in a layer on top of and around old coals- this will allow them time to get hot enough before they start emitting heat again. Add about four new coals at an angle so that you can push them down with a poker as older coal is consumed by flames.
How to Keep a Fire Pit Going With Charcoal?
A fire pit is an excellent way to provide warmth and ambiance in the backyard. However, it can be difficult to keep a charcoal fire going for long periods. The following are some ways that you can successfully maintain your fire pit without having to constantly feed it with new coal or wood logs.
To keep going on your charcoal fire pit make sure that your charcoal briquettes are put together as tightly as possible. Place a handful of kindling in the center and then add your charcoal briquettes on top. Light the kindling from a safe distance and watch as your fire pit catches alight!
A chimney starter is a small container made out of metal. It is designed so that all you need to do is fill the top portion with coals and light them on fire before placing them in the bottom part of the container which has holes designed for ventilation purposes. This will allow you to use less fuel because burning at high temperatures takes more energy than low ones, prolonging their burn time.
You can also use natural organic charcoal starters. They are made from applewood, pine needles, and other highly flammable materials that produce only a small amount of smoke when lit on fire– making them perfect for grilling or just as an emergency substitute in your fire pit or fireplace!
A few other things to remember- make sure you distribute your fuel evenly in your grill, that you turn the coals every hour to make sure they are evenly heated, and lastly, do not forget how much charcoal you need. To be prepared for how long it will take to burn through a certain amount of fuel, try burning an equivalent batch of wood or coal first so that you can guesstimate how many briquettes per hour will work best!
How to Extinguish a Charcoal Fire Pit?
Extreme caution is required to use charcoal in your fire pit. The pit must be extinguished properly. Otherwise, the hidden parts may re-emerge and spread easily, even triggering a fire. To avoid this disaster, you need to know how to put out a charcoal fire pit.
First, take away the charcoal to a reasonable distance from the fire pit. Take precautions not to let any hot coal sparks fly in unintended directions as you do this.
You will need water and an extinguisher suitable for use on liquids such as dirt or sand. Do not put out a charcoal fire with water! Your emergency materials must be appropriate for burning substances like these so they don’t rekindle.
Pour enough of the material around the edge of where it has been removed by several feet past its extent, just in case there are still some embers hidden beneath what you have taken off.
Create a ring around where the charcoals were placed about six inches wide and deep enough for the dirt to be collected and dumped.
Place a shovel full of gravel at one end, which will act as an anchor point for the fire pit’s protective ring. This is also where you should place your water supply and extinguisher if they are not already there and ready to use in case of emergency; just make sure that any wood or other combustible materials near them have been removed first so that they don’t catch on fire when lighting up again after being extinguished by these tools!
When you want to extinguish the flame, use a metal shovel (or whatever) to quickly close off gaps between burning charcoal. This will cut airflow through them leading up into smoke which contains all unburned material leftover including chemicals used during the production process. Pour on water if desired- it’s not necessary but limits residue remaining on the surface area of the fire pit.
What to Do With Used Charcoal?
If you have any leftover charcoal, here are some great ideas for what to do with it. You can mix the used pieces into potting soil or compost scraps and put them in your garden as a natural fertilizer. These can be added to an outdoor grill.
You use the charcoal as kindling when starting up a campfire (this is especially useful if you find yourself in an emergency), light them on fire, and place them around your home for natural air purification.
Even you can use it to make your bamboo charcoal toothpaste. There are also many fun crafts that you can make out of old charcoal-like these cool DIY projects!
If starting a fire in your backyard sounds like something that would be fun for the whole family, then we have some tips on what kind of things might go well with this activity. You could make smores, roast hot dogs or marshmallows, tell scary stories, and sing songs around the campfire- there’s so much more!
But, don’t forget about safety though; it may seem trivial but always keep an eye out for dry twigs and leaves nearby as they can easily catch on fire too. Follow these instructions carefully before using any type of open flame outside.
How Do You Start a Fire in a Fire Pit With Charcoal?
To start a fire in a fire pit with charcoal, first arrange the charcoal briquettes in a pyramid shape in the pit. Light the charcoal using a long match or lighter, and let it burn until it’s covered with white-gray ash, indicating it’s ready for use.
What Materials Do You Need to Start a Fire Pit With Charcoal?
To start a fire pit with charcoal, you’ll need charcoal briquettes, a long match or lighter, and optionally, lighter fluid or a charcoal chimney to help ignite the charcoal. It’s also recommended to have a fire extinguisher or water source nearby for safety.
How Long Does It Take to Start a Fire Pit With Charcoal?
The time it takes to start a fire pit with charcoal can vary, but generally, it takes about 15-20 minutes for the charcoal to heat up and be covered with white-gray ash, indicating it’s ready for use. This can be quicker if you’re using lighter fluid or a charcoal chimney.
How Do You Extinguish a Fire Pit With Charcoal?
To extinguish a fire pit with charcoal, start by spreading out the charcoal with a fire poker to let it cool down. Then, slowly pour water over the charcoal until the hissing sound stops. Stir the ashes and pour more water if needed to ensure all embers are out.
Is It Safe to Leave a Fire Pit With Charcoal Unattended?
No, it’s not safe to leave a fire pit with charcoal unattended. Always ensure the fire is completely extinguished before leaving the area. Unattended fires can quickly become dangerous, so it’s important to always supervise a fire pit when in use.
Can You Reuse Charcoal in a Fire Pit?
Yes, you can reuse charcoal in a fire pit. If there are larger pieces of charcoal that didn’t fully burn, you can save them for your next fire. However, make sure to remove and dispose of the ash as it can prevent proper airflow and hinder the burning process.
What Should You Do If a Fire Pit With Charcoal Gets Out of Control?
If a fire pit with charcoal gets out of control, immediately call your local fire department. While waiting for them, if it’s safe to do so, try to contain the fire by pouring water or using a fire extinguisher. However, never put yourself in danger to do so.