Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Charcoal - Fuel Storage

I picked up these bags of Charcoal BOGO for $7.50 

Charcoal is a perfect emergency preparedness fuel to store. It will keep for a very long time and is one of the least expensive options that a family can store per BTU. (British Thermal Unit- a way of measuring thermal energy.) My family has a gas grill that we plan on using in an emergency situation. But if we run out of gas or something happens to the grill during the disaster, charcoal will be a nice backup fuel.


When storing charcoal you will want to dump it out of the paper bags it comes in and store it in an airtight container because it has a tendency of absorbing moisture. I've seen a lot of people use metal garbage cans. The metal lid on the garbage can could come in handy too as a place to start your charcoals if you didn't have a grill. (You would then place them into whatever you were going to use to bake in. More on that in another post.)

The nice thing about charcoal is that there isn't too much estimating when it comes to cooking temperatures and times from your normal recipes. Each charcoal briquette supplies about 40 degrees of temperature. So if you needed to back something at 400 degrees you would use 10 briquettes. If you needed 325 degrees you would use about 8.

Charcoal is great because the coals stay hot for a long time and if you bury them you could always have a starter so you wouldn't need to waste your matches.

Although charcoal emits almost no smoke do not be led into thinking that you could use them for indoor heating. When charcoal burns it requires a ton of oxygen which helping it produce huge amounts of carbon monoxide which can be deadly in an enclosed area.

Tips:

*You can make your own charcoal from wood
*Charcoal can be used to purify water
*You may want to store lighter fluid or newspaper to help in ignite it later.
* Don't place charcoal on cement to cook, it will make your concrete crack
* Stock up for great prices at the end of summer sales





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