Saturday, May 9, 2015
The decision as to whether or not to stockpile charcoal is up to the individual.
Some prefer to stockpile propane.
Some prefer to cook with wood.
Some say that if you’re going to use charcoal to make your own.
I say that is asinine when you can buy charcoal cheaply and not have to waste the time making a supply.
Making your own ANYTHING only makes sense if there is an advantage and there is literally no advantage to making your own charcoal.
When summer comes, “everybody” is grilling so charcoal is cheap. Buy some. Keep it handy, but it should not be your #1 cooking fuel for a longer-term SHTF scenario.
I prefer Matchlight, but if I were amassing charcoal, Matchlight would NOT be my suggestion.
There are too many safety hazards in stockpiling Matchlight.
The problem with buying bags of charcoal while they are on sale is that the paper bags do not guard against the charcoal inside taking on moisture.
And it does.
The solution is to buy charcoal caddies for your stockpile.
And by stockpile, I advocate about four to six bags for two to three people, but more—though not radically more—for a larger family.
Always use from your stockpile for non-emergency barbecuing and replenish with new.
Because Matchlight is made with the "lighter fluid" in it, Matchlight poses two risks (1) spontaneous combustion with improper storage and (2) being utterly useless if the lighter fluid has outgassed.
Plastic caddies are designed for conventional charcoal that will not easily burst into flame of its own accord.
But even then, proper storage is critical.
During summer when I use Matchlight for convenience, it is always kept indoors where it will degrade less and be less likely to combust.
I also buy it in barbecue-ready bags that you light even though doing so is more expensive.
I like the convenience of Matchlight during the grilling season, but am beyond cautious.
The charcoal that I have in my small stockpile is conventional charcoal.
Store the caddies in a cool, dry place away from a fire source such as a water heater.
What I do advocate having on hand is charcoal lighter fluid. It’s cheap and easily stored.
It’s also great for lighting wood fires too.
Just remember, never squirt lighter fluid onto a fire because that’s just hella stupid in so many ways.
You might want a small arsenal of fire extinguishers as a side note.
That is if you don’t already have several on hand.