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How to put out the coals of the barbecue

You may already know how to light a barbecue, how to make the most of the embers. But, do you know how to put out the embers of a barbecue properly? Because you could burn yourself or cause a fire if the embers are not properly extinguished.

Why Is It Important To Turn Off The Embers?

The embers generated in a chimney are not the same as those generated in a barbecue.

In the chimney, the embers are inside a closed space, and since the fire consumes them little by little, these are slowly extinguished . But in the case of the barbecue, they are designed to have a lot of oxygen, and the embers last as long as possible.

When you have finished cooking, it is important to properly turn off the embers because some could jump without realizing it and fall on the ground, causing a fire. Another reason, and also very important, is that it is not good that the embers are continuously lit inside the barbecue . Or then the cleaning process could be a real problem.

How Can You Put Out The Embers In A Wood Barbecue?

First of all, let’s talk about how you’re going to put out the embers in a wood-burning barbecue. It is neither easier nor harder than in a charcoal barbecue. You just have to do it with patience.

1. Heat water in a pot

The first thing you will do is fill a pot with a good amount of water and heat it until it forms steam. It must be a large amount , since, depending on the depth of the compartment for the barbecue coals, you will need more or less.

2. Pour it on the barbecue

Once the water is boiling, pour it into the barbecue. This should reach about 5-10 cm in height on the grid (2 to 4 inches.) Covering all the pieces of wood and ashes completely.

Wait a little to cool what is in the water and gloves, that are fireproof, remove the pieces of wood and ashes in the area of ​​the grid. All this you can pass to a container.

Remember that, before removing the pieces, check that all the wood is well wet and that there is not a single sparkle left.

3. Or pour everything in the pot

Another solution that can be equally practical, but dangerous if you are not careful, is to pass everything to a pot with steam water.

In this case, you pour the same water on the barbecue, but the pieces of wood and ash you pass to the water with steam. In this way, the heat of the water will cause all the sparks to go out. It is important that you wear gloves that withstand the heat.

4. Let everything rest

When you have removed the wood and ashes from the barbecue, let them sit in the pot for about 10 minutes . The water will filter through the openings and extinguish any trace of embers.

Things change a bit with coal, since the previous trick is not recommended to use it. However, you have others that you can perform so that the coal embers go extinct.

1. Close the lid

This is the most traditional way of putting out the coals of a charcoal barbecue. The lid is closed and the embers are allowed to extinguish by themselves .

They can be left a day or longer, and these will end up becoming ashes. Then they are very easy to remove. The problem is that if they are left for a long time it is possible that some ashes, especially the first ones that are generated, are stuck to the walls of the barbecue . This in the future will worsen the taste of barbecued dishes.

Before removing the embers, bring the hand to the fire, but at a safe distance. If you feel any source of heat, this means that there are still coals burning. Only when you notice that they are cold, you can remove them.

2. Uses sand

The sand is very used for the extinction of small fires. So, why not use it to put out the embers?

When the embers are hot, cover them with sand and let them rest until the next day . A very effective trick. The problem is that it is quite dirty and then the barbecue will need a good cleaning.

3. Add other embers

Surely it will have happened to you once when trying to make the fire have more life. If you add more coal, sometimes the fire is paid, right?

This is because the oxygen flow of the embers is cut off . Therefore, using cold embers on hot ones is good for turning them off. Another option would be to add coal, in this way the flow of oxygen from the embers will be cut off.

Although, mind you, the coal you add can get hot, so you’ll have to wait for it to cool before removing the embers.

4. Regulates the amount of oxygen in the barbecue

There are some barbecues that allow regulating the amount of oxygen that passes through the spaces of the grids. If this is the case, these are the easiest to turn off.

You only have to reduce, as much as possible, the amount of air that passes through the grids and reaches the embers. In a few hours they will be completely off.

5. Use salt

A small trick that is very useful to extinguish the embers, especially those of coal. But make no mistake, when it comes to cleaning is a big headache.

When coming into contact with a heat source, the crystals of the salt release water, in an adequate amount. Perfect to put out the coals of coal . But the subsequent cleaning task is much heavier than if it were made with sand.

More Tips To Extinguish The Embers Of A Barbecue?

Do you want some more tips to extinguish the embers of your barbecue? Very good, take good note:

  1. This is a somewhat primitive system, but one that is very useful. You must separate the source of heat from the embers that are already cold. For example, if you have cooked the food with indirect fire (putting the embers on the sides), this means that the central zone will be colder. You can place a brick to cut the passage of oxygen through that area.
  2. In the case of having a brick barbecue, in some cases bricks are removed to separate the grill from the flame. Another useful trick to extinguish the embers without having many problems, and without going through the fear that you can burn.
  3. If you do not want to have to perform a complicated task of extinguishing fire in a wood barbecue, you can use damp wood . Being wet, this will cut the flow of the flame and in a few hours the embers of the barbecue will be off.
  4. Before proceeding to extinguish a wood barbecue, it is possible that not all the wood has been consumed completely. In this case remove the pieces of firewood that are “whole or almost whole” and soak them in water to avoid any risk of ignition.
  5. It is important that, at the time of handling the embers, at all times wear gloves that withstand the heat, to avoid having an accident.
  6. It is true that you can use water to extinguish the embers of a wood barbecue, but in no case do you ever think of pouring water to put out the coal embers . Especially if the charcoal you are using is vegetable. This, when in contact with the water, generates a lot of steam (similar to a sauna) and you could get burned or some embers could jump to the ground and a small fire could be produced.
  7. By letting the embers go out by themselves, they will generate cenia, which you can take advantage of later. So instead of using it, you could take advantage of it.

Why Is It Good That You Keep The Ashes From The Barbecue?

Once you have cleaned the barbecue, it is good that you stay with a good handful of ashes. The first reason is because you can come well to extinguish the embers.

When you put them on hot coals, the ash works better than sand or salt could. In less time the embers will be off. And as more ash will be generated, you can continue to take advantage of them.

In addition, it has other uses. The ash is a good repellent to prevent insects from entering your house or bothering the garden. They also serve to eliminate strong odors from pets or clean the glass doors of the fireplace.

But the most common use is its use as fertilizer. When the ashes are made of wood, it has many nutrients that can be used to enrich the soil. For that reason it is so used. Or, if you want to be more creative, doing a little process can turn the ash into a very good liquid detergent to clean clothes.

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