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It takes plenty of heat and a method for building and maintaining a fire to camp, cook outside, or survive a long winter in a cabin. You may wonder if you can burn charcoal directly in the firepit when building a fire or cooking food over your homemade fire. Although charcoal is a popular pick for certain outdoor grills, it is not always the best choice to use when you require heat or light when stuck in nature. 

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Can You Use Charcoal in a Fire Pit?

Yes, charcoal is absolutely suitable to use in a fire pit. The type of charcoal you use or the method in which it is used will depend on whether you are using it for a standard campfire or even for campfire cooking. 

Is it Better to Use Charcoal Than Firewood in a Firepit?

Technically, charcoal is wood that has been condensed and burned in an oxygen-free environment. However, there are different ways that charcoal can be used along with firewood. Firewood is typically used to help create a firebase, especially if you are building a campfire. Charcoal can be placed on top of firewood, or even in a firepit designed to burn charcoal efficiently. 

What are the Advantages of Using Charcoal? 

Using a firepit to burn charcoal, such as a Legacy firepit from Walden Backyards, provides numerous advantages, such as:

  • Cooking benefits: Burning charcoal in the right firepit makes for an optimal cooking environment, whether grilling steaks and burgers or slow-roasting a stew. 
  • Source of heat: You can also use charcoal as a heat source, especially when building slow-burning fires.
  • Long-lasting: Using charcoal can provide long-lasting fires, which work well for campfire cooking.
  • Easily accessible: Lighting a fire with charcoal is simple and only requires a few seconds.
  • Less cleanup: Using charcoal will produce fewer ashes even after your fire is completely out, requiring less cleanup. 

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When Would You Avoid Using Charcoal

Although charcoal is considered an excellent fuel source for campfire cooking and grilling, it is not always the best choice for every scenario. You should avoid using charcoal in the following situations: 

  • In a fireplace or another contained area that is not specifically designed for charcoal use
  • Indoors
  • When you intend to keep a fire burning all night unattended
  • On grass or in an open firepit that is not suitable for charcoal

Safety Tips When Using Charcoal

When you use charcoal in a fire pit for campfire cooking or to keep warm, there are a few safety tips to keep in mind, such as:

  • Use outdoor/fireproof gloves when handling charcoal, kindling, or fuel when lighting a fire. Even if you are just adjusting the fire or adding additional charcoal, it is best to wear proper gloves for maximum protection. 
  • Keep a fire extinguisher or fire dissolver near you, even when outdoors and in the middle of nowhere. Fires spread significantly faster outdoors and when the fire is exposed to oxygen and dry brush.
  • Use blocks or fire bricks designed for building fire pits or protecting firepit areas when necessary. These are useful when you do not have a Legacy firepit and are in need of building a fire outdoors. 

How to Clean Your Firepit After Using Charcoal

After you are done cooking with charcoal using your firepit, you can clean the fire pit using the following steps:

  1. Scoop and remove all of the remaining ash that has piled up after you are done cooking.Note: Allow the ashes to cool completely before attempting to clean your firepit or grill.
  2. Dispose of the ash in a nearby trash receptacle.
  3. Sweep the surroundings to eliminate remaining ash and wipe the exterior of the fire pit to ensure all ash has been properly removed. 

Using a Professional Solution For Campfire Cooking

If you want to ensure the best possible charcoal cooking and fire experience the next time you are camping or spending time outdoors, consider a professional BBQ grate, such as the Walden Backywards BBQ grate. Along with fire pokers and stokers, you can't go wrong with a BBQ grate designed for the outdoors from Walden Backyards. 

From grilling fresh fish to letting your campfire soup cook from dawn until dusk, using charcoal can help with creating just the right type of fire you need. With the right Legacy firepit, a stoker poker, and charcoal, you can enjoy the great outdoors knowing that you are fully prepared at all times. 

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