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How to Keep Charcoal Burning Longer in a Folding Fire Pit?

November 24, 2022 4 min read

Barbecuing is one of the most popular forms of cooking. Although gas barbecues are very widely used today for their convenience and speed of cooking, the traditional charcoal barbecue fire pit is still irreplaceable due to its unique cooking characteristics. Charcoal generates a lot of heat when it burns. This makes it ideal for any recipe that requires a medium or high heat. However, it burns significantly faster than other heat sources, such as gas or wood. Fortunately, there are several different ways to extend the time that charcoal burns in your collapsible fire pit. With that in mind, here are some tips to make your charcoal last longer on the fire pit.

Keep the fire pit away from the wind
A factor in prolonging the burn time of charcoal is the location where you place your folding fire pit. If you place the fire pit in an open area, for example in the middle of a lawn, the charcoal may burn faster because it is exposed to the wind. Even a light breeze will make the charcoal burn hotter and faster. As the air passes over the charcoal, it provides additional oxygen to the charcoal. If you want the charcoal to burn more slowly, place it away from the wind. For safety reasons, avoid placing a foldable bbq fire pit near your home. If you place a fire pit against the side of your house, it may cause a fire. Therefore, keep your outdoor fire pit at least 10 feet away from your home or any other flammable objects.

Keep the Folding Fire Pit Away from the Wind

Spread out the charcoal when it turns white
You can extend the burn time of the charcoal by spreading it evenly across the bottom of the foldable fire pit after it has turned white. When initially preparing the fire pit, it is best to stack the charcoal in a pile. Once stacked, you can easily ignite it from the bottom and let it heat up quickly. Once the charcoal pile has started to heat up, spread the charcoal out evenly before adding the food so that it will continue to burn. If you pile the charcoal into a pile, the heat will cause it to burn too quickly, which will result in less overall cooking time. By spreading it out, you ensure that the charcoal lasts throughout the grilling process.

 Evenly Spread out Charcoal in a Folding Fire Pit

Switch to type coals
Not all types of charcoal have the same burning time. There are two main types of charcoal: lump and briquette. Lump charcoal is the most common type. It is made by burning wood into small pieces of almost pure carbon. Briquettes come from combining sawdust and other wood chips with other materials that are bonded together. Natural lumps burn hotter and take less time to cook. On the other hand, briquettes tend to burn slower and take longer to burn. Lump charcoal does not burn as hot as its briquette counterpart, but it is able to burn more slowly and for a longer period of time. This makes it an excellent choice for grilling food at low temperatures. If you don't want to keep adding more charcoal to your barbecue, switch to briquette charcoal.

Choose Briquettes Over Lump Charcoal in a Folding Fire Pit

Add cooking wood
The addition of firewood to charcoal slows down the burning process. This is because cooking wood itself burns more slowly than lumps and briquettes. By simply placing a few pieces of good quality cooking wood inside the grill, you can minimize your reliance on charcoal. As for the type of wood, you can use anything from kiln-dried to hardwood as they burn longer. The added benefit of using wood is that it can add flavor and make your barbecued food even more delicious. Different woods have different flavors. For example, cherry wood has a fruity flavor, while hickory wood has a rich, bacon-like flavor. By using charcoal in combination with cooking wood, you will be able to focus more on caring for your food rather than constantly adding new charcoal to your camping bbq fire pit.

Add Cooking Wood in a Folding Fire Pit

Don't use lighter fluid
If you have difficulty lighting charcoal, you dip it into lighter fluid. While lighter fluid does help to start a fire, you should avoid this method if you don't want the charcoal in your folding bbq fire pit to burn too quickly. The purpose of lighter fluid is to make your charcoal burn faster. In addition to the shorter burn time, dipping the charcoal into a lighter liquid may affect the flavor of grilled food. As the lighter fluid burns, it releases vapor chemicals which rise and enter your food. If you are still unable to light your charcoal, chimney starters are a safer option. They provide an enclosed space where charcoal can be easily lit.

Use the snake method to place charcoal
A variation on the snake method is the domino or fuse method. The charcoal is arranged in thick C-shaped coils around the perimeter of the grate of the collapsible fire pit. The coils should be about three coals thick. Wood shavings can be sprinkled on top of the coals or pieces of wood can be placed on the coils at regular intervals. An electric igniter is then used to light three or four coals at one end. It also allows the charcoal to burn at a slow rate to extend the cooking time. This is an ideal method if you plan to get a cold smoking temperature in a few hours.

Charcoal Placement in a Folding Fire Pit Using the Snake Method

We hope this information will help to eliminate the problem of fast burning charcoal when you use a folding bbq fire pit, thus providing you with a great barbecue experience.

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