The first time I found a rock in my charcoal I was so confused. The second time I found a rock in my charcoal I was more frustrated than anything.
If you do find rocks in your charcoal, don’t panic, it’s actually a fairly common experience. Luckily, it won’t impact the cook significantly. The best thing to do is remove them and check the bag for any others.
Let’s look at why there are rocks in your charcoal, how it impacts the cook, and what actions you can take.
Why Are There Rocks In My Charcoal?
Finding rocks in your charcoal is much more common than you would think. Mainly found in bags of lump charcoal, the rocks or pieces of concrete you find are a direct process of the huge commercial process that’s behind the making of charcoal.
Rocks and other debris can be picked up from the gathering of wood at the lumberyard, transport, and processing at the commercial charcoal kilns. The rocks are usually in the kiln with the wood as it combusts and turns to charcoal. The rocks also come out with the black color and shape of lump charcoal so they are easy to miss at the production line or quality control.
Although finding a small rock every now and then is a slight nuisance it usually won’t impact the cooking process noticeability. If you do consistently find rocks in your charcoal, whether it’s lump charcoal or charcoal briquettes, it could be time to pick up a different brand.
Do Rocks In Your Charcoal Affect Cooking?
Luckily, if you do find rocks in your charcoal they are usually small or there aren’t many of them. So when it comes to cooking, although they don’t actually burn they won’t really prevent all the other charcoal from combusting normally.
However, if you do notice the rocks in your charcoal before you light it up or put it in the charcoal chimney then it’s always worth taking them out first of course. If the rocks are particularly large or there are more than a few of them then it can cause issues, like your charcoal not lighting, just smoldering, or even cause your charcoal to smoke too much as it’s smothered.
Don’t be too concerned if you are clearing out your charcoal from your charcoal grill and you find a few rocks leftover. It’s a very common occurrence.
What To Do When You Find Rocks In Your Charcoal
If you do find rocks in your charcoal, it’s best to take them out before cooking. This will ensure you don’t damage any internal parts of your grill or smoker, as well as making sure you have nothing interfering with the combustion of the charcoal.
As soon as you notice a rock, whether it’s before or after the cook, you should tip out the bag of charcoal onto a clear surface and sift through it to make sure there aren’t any more. If you’re using charcoal briquettes the rocks will be easy to find as they will be the only objects that aren’t uniform in shape. If you are using lump charcoal it may be a bit harder as they will often be covered in the same black charcoal look.
If there are only one or two and you haven’t had a problem with the charcoal brand before, chances are everything will be fine moving forward. If you do find significantly large rocks or lots of them, then you do have a few options.
Move On To A New Brand Of Charcoal
Although it does happen, finding rocks in your charcoal is always frustrating. If you’ve had numerous occasions where you have found rocks of any size in your charcoal then it’s probably time to look at other brands with a bit more quality control. We’ve done extensive research, and I have personally used countless brands from charcoal briquettes to lump charcoal.
Of all the high quality brands of lump charcoal, Jealous Devils Lump Charcoal never disappoints.
Contact Their Customer Support
I wouldn’t rush into this step, as often the charcoal companies are aware of the problem and will make sure the bag of charcoal actually weighs more than its stated weight. This accounts for any variations and debris within the bag.
But, if you feel like you have missed out then you can always contact the customer support for the charcoal company. This will not only let them know of the issue, but you may get a free bag out of it too!