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Leftover Ash


Joined May 26, 2013
After cooking some burgers for my wife and I (and a mini burger for the pup) I wondered if there is any way I could recycle my charcoal ash instead of throwing it away? Maybe adding it to the compost?

madman mike

Smoking Fanatic
Joined Feb 6, 2014
i add it to my garden. Not sure if it does any good, but the little I've added hasn't hurt any either


Smoke Blower
Joined Nov 29, 2015
once rain hits ash it's going into whatever it's on. if it's in your compost it will go to the soil below it.  it's better to put it directly on the garden.


Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Nov 12, 2010
In the garden... then add Urea fertilizer... the sulfur helps to neutralize the alkalinity in the ash......

OR make soap like Kevin suggests... soap is made using lye... that's what wood ash has in it...


Joined Jul 5, 2016
Is it okay to use the charcoal ash as well as wood ash?

I use Kingsford charcoal & or course no lighter fluid.


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Mar 14, 2013
Is it okay to use the charcoal ash as well as wood ash?

I use Kingsford charcoal
Kingsford and other briquettes contain ground limestone in them.  Ground limestone is also sold as garden lime, it is useful if your soil is acidic.  If your soil is alkaline, then it may not be a good idea.  But as DaveOmak said above you can compensate for this by adding sulfur.


Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
Joined Dec 26, 2007
I use mine to spread on the icy sidewalk in the wintertime instead of salt. It doesn't melt the ice like the salt does but you won't slip on it either. I always have a bucket of it in the trunk of the car in case I get stuck.


Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
Joined Aug 13, 2015
I dump it in the composter through the summer and on the garden over the winter.


Fire Starter
Joined Apr 25, 2017
I screen sift my woodstove and BBQ smoker ash and reclaim the small chunks of charcoal, that can be burned as fuel again. 

If not, no biggie, charcoal can be beneficial to compost, garden and lawn.

Mostly the ash I scoop goes directly  into the compost pile and gets turned in.

I try to mix it in most times, but sometimes just put on top of the pile and the next rain, or snow, will melt it right down into the pile.

Wood ash will change Ph to alkaline very quickly, but is not long lasting. 

My area, Mid Atlantic,  tends to run on the acidic side, so the ash can be used anywhere except near acid loving plants.

Ash can change the Ph of your compost, but again, it will eventually wash out. 

If there is a drought it will add to the dryness of the compost pile, and stall the composting action due to dehydration.

If in doubt, follow the ash with a bucket or two of water and turn the pile.  I'm talking about larger open air piles.

If using a barrel or bin type of composter, maybe add the ash in "doses" , mix it in, with an equivilent amount of water.  I gallon bucket of ash into a 30 or 50 gallon composter, mix it in, then toss in a gallon or so of H2o to offset the dryness of the ash.


Meat Mopper
Joined Feb 17, 2016
I have a long row of Lilac bushes they get all my Ash they love alkaline soil

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