Joined: 23 Jun 2006
|Posted: Tue Nov 20, 2007 4:22 pm
| Charcoal still wet after a year.
Post Number: 103
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - 5:08 am:
I have about 2/3'rds of a pallet of KEC from about a year ago that is still quite moist. Just for fun, I put a piece of it in the oven under a glass jar for about an hour at 215° and no steam came out. I thought maybe this piece of charcoal was dry so I moved the jar into the microwave for 30 seconds and it literally started spewing steam out from under the jar (it was just an upside down jar, no lid). There were tablespoons of water on the plate after I did this. I wish I had weighed the charcoal before hand to see the difference.
Disclaimer: I wouldn't recommend doing this because the charcoal was smoking after 45 seconds and would probably have ignited after another 30 seconds.
When I try to cook with this charcoal, the Kamado steams so much that it looks like it's pouring smoke out, even when the charcoal is fully lit. Obviously, it eventually stops steaming, but it can take quite a while. Is there any way to safely dry charcoal other than laying it out in the sun? I live in Alaska and it's currently 25° outside, so that wouldn't work.
I guess I'll have to get my Kamado started extra early on Thanksgiving, as I wouldn't want to put the Turkey in while it's full of steam. I like the skin crispy. Also, the steam adds a funny taste to the meat.
Post Number: 497
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - 5:53 am:
I'm wondering if this would work using your K.
I don't know how long it would take. Potentially you could dry a carton or so at a time as long as you keep a fire going.
1. Get a fire going in your K (let the smell burn off).
2. Cover your heat deflector or the like with foil.
3. Place it on the main grill.
4. Spread a layer of coal on the foiled heat deflector.
5. Bake the koal until it dries.
6. Repack into carton.
Post Number: 282
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 - 8:44 am:
Easy. I have had K charcoal with moisture but moisture in other brands as well.
Just load the thing up with lots of charcoal - heap a whole box in at least. Open the top and bottom dampers and light it up. Watch the temperature carefully. It will stall at a bit over 200 since the heat is going into evaporating water which happens at...just over 200. When the charcoal is dry, the temperature will start to rise and moisture will stop condensing on the edge of the cap.
Be careful and watch the temperature closely. You want to have the top and bottom open for maximum airflow but as soon as the charcoal is dry, the temperature will rise rapidly. When it hits about 400, shut the dampers. You now have plenty of dry charcoal for several typical cooks. Just stir the coals as necessary before each lighting to knock off the ash. If you don't watch closely, you can fairly quickly hit 700-800 or more.
I sometimes light the thing for a few minutes after loading it up just to make sure whatever I put in is dry. Often I am cooking when I get home after work and I don't want to worry about moisture-caused delays.
The exception to this suggestion is grilling. The coals at the bottom light first (at least if you use the K burner) so there is little direct infrared heat. If you need those glowing coals on top to sear with, you could still use this method but remove the excess after drying.
Don't leave the burner on longer than necessary to light the coals. One of the byproducts of propane combustion is water which is what you are trying to eliminate.