Does Charcoal Go Bad? How To Properly Store Charcoal?

Does charcoal go bad

Charcoal is a form of carbon with a porous surface. It is artificial black residue from burning organic material in the environment, like wood. Charcoal can be store-bought or made at home by burning wood and turning it into ashes. The store-bought Charcoal comes in wide varieties, using adulterating by adding light fluid and flammable agents, removing the water and impurities in it to make the charcoal light easily. But does Charcoal go bad if store-bought, just as any other product? Though practically, there are fewer chances for Charcoal to be bad, it can be less effective over time.

Charcoal is used often, especially while cooking, to get a smoky flavor to your food. It is the main source to make your meat flavorful when grilling and BBQ (barbecue). Charcoal is also used in beauty products to remove impurities in your skin, used to purify water as filters,  teeth whitening, etc.

How Long Is Charcoal Good To Use?

Generally, a store-bought charcoal’s shelf life can last between  1 to 3 years. Charcoal made at home is pure with no added additives. But if you have store-bought Charcoal, it is crucial to know how long the Charcoal is good to use and how long it is effective after opening the package. Because store-bought Charcoal is degraded, it can lose its potent over time which will not be effective when lit.

Charcoal has to be completely dry, for it burns and ignites. Since Charcoal has a porous surface, it is only good to use as long as it is stored in an airtight container or package, preventing the air from absorbing your Charcoal.

Because when the Charcoal is exposed to the air, it is highly likely to get moldy and be of no use. It is recommended to store your Charcoal in a dry place at room temperature and prevent the Charcoal from getting wet or exposed to the humid air, as it could make the Charcoal moldy, making it of no use.

How to Store Charcoal?

As previously stated, the Charcoal will be less effective when exposed to the air, and it gets worse if the air is polluted and humid, resulting in the Charcoal getting moldy. Thus the Charcoal has to be stored airtight in a dry and room temperature area.

Keep the Charcoal away from water because the Charcoal has to be completely dry to burn, as water and fire are opposites. If at least one Charcoal gets wet, do not put it bag with the other dried Charcoal as the other could get spoiled too.

There are different ways used to store the Charcoal; below are some of the ways briefly explained.

1.      Sealed bags

Your convenience store can easily purchase sealed bags; this is also one of the cheapest ways to keep Charcoal airtight. Put the Charcoal into the bag and seal it. Prevent opening the seal too often as it can reduce the quality and not be effective as it used to be.

2.      Mason Jars

The glass bottle and the lid work great as an airtight container to store the Charcoal. Mason jars are one the easiest ways to store and secure the Charcoal airtight, preventing it from spoiling. Mason jars can be easily purchased or reused from empty jam jars.

3.      Original packaging

Some charcoal manufacturers use airtight packages to improve the quality and to protect the Charcoal even after opening the package. Airtight packages are usually made of foil with at least two layers.

Thus you can use the original package of the Charcoal and secure it by sealing it as it was after use. But ensure you store the Charcoal in a dry and room temperature area.

4.      Vacuum seal

If you have a vacuum sealer at home, you can put the Charcoal in a mylar bag or polythene bag and seal it with heat. The vacuum sealer will remove the air and seal the bag with a heat bar, which prevents air or water from entering the bag. Using the vacuum sealer is also of the safest ways to protect the Charcoal.

How To Dry Damp Charcoal?

If your Charcoal gets wet or is exposed to humid air, spread the Charcoal on tissue paper, coffee filter, oil paper, or baking sheet, and leave it in the sun for a few hours. If it’s not sunny, you can put the Charcoal in a baking tray with the baking sheet and put it in the oven for a few minutes. The above methods will help remove the Charcoal’s dampness and will be preferable to use.

Does Charcoal Go Bad?

Analyzing the previously stated facts in the article can be concluded that Charcoal can go bad if store-bought as it is adulterated with additives like light fluids and other flammable agents because Charcoal does not go bad if the Charcoal is made at home with zero additives and 100% organic.

But if the Charcoal has additives added to degrade the Charcoal, it can get expired, reducing its potency. Thus, Charcoal can only last 1 to 3 years.


Charcoal can be made at home easily by burning wood or any organic material in the environment, but the best Charcoal can be achieved by burning wood. Burn the wood and wait for it to turn into ashes. Once it has cooled down, you might see blocks of black residue in the ashes, this is called Charcoal. 

Charcoal can also be bought from a retailer, which is degraded. Charcoal is used in many ways,  one of the main sources to get the smoky flavor in the food. If you have wondered if Charcoal goes bad, the answer is yes, and it can; though the Charcoal doesn’t go bad, the additives added to the Charcoal can expire, making it less effective in igniting.

In the article does Charcoal bad, we included topics relating to the article, like how long Charcoal is good to use and how to store Charcoal, explaining each of the ways separately, for extra knowledge.

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