Does Charcoal go Bad?

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Charcoal is a substance that is created from the decomposition of wood and other plant matter, so the answer to the question “does charcoal go bad” is no, it does not go bad, because it is not alive.


I am pretty certain that you have already used charcoal or if not, you plan to use the same in your home. This wonderful cooking fuel has been with us for quite some time now. Also, there is a strong possibility that it shall be with us in the long haul notwithstanding the advancements in technology.

To make great use of the fuel source, you need to really know how to care for and handle it. As part and parcel of this knowledge, you have to find out how long, if any, the charcoal gets bad. We would like to help you out with this one. Find the answers in the discussions that follow.

Does charcoal go bad?

NOT really! Charcoal is derived from dried wood. Its preparation also entails the extensive use of heat that goes a long way in sucking up all the moisture contents to leave the end products completely dry. Hardly does it have the ability to absorb the atmospheric moisture and is less prone hence to rotting.

Considering also that the wood that is used to make the charcoal is already dead, chances are zero that it may provide fodder for the termites and other kinds of insects. This means even if you store it for so long, there are zero risks that the termites might invade it and destroy it in any way.

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Inasmuch as the charcoal ordinarily does not go bad, the chemical components of the wood that is used to make it up lose its tenacity with time. That means it may not always provide the degree of heat that is badly needed to maintain your foods properly cooked in the long run.

Several things must be right though for charcoal to retain its proper working conditions. For one, you must store it in a cool dry place. The presence of any moisture is not good for the charcoal as this may be absorbed by and subsequently weaken the charcoal on the whole.

Further to the above, the containers in which the charcoal is stored have to be appropriately sealed and air-tight. It is only in this manner that the safety and the overall vitality of the charcoal may be upheld at all times. Proper sealing and packaging also prevent direct contact with small children and the dangers that come by.

From time to time, you also need to place this charcoal out in the open to dry out. That will contribute to the absorption of the moisture contents and the maintenance of the dry conditions overall. Proper exposure to the external air also serves to aerate the particles and to ensure proper burning thereafter.


When all factors are put into consideration though, charcoal does not get bad easily. Considering also that this is an item that is used readily and frequently, chances are high that by the time you use your stock, it is still within its ‘best before’ timeframe. Simply put: there should be no cause for alarm on your part!

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