Hot Charcoal Guide

Whenever you need to burn a loose incense blend, the best way to do so is on a hot charcoal disc. Here’s everything you need to know:

First, here’s what you need:

  • A heat-resistant dish to burn your incense in. I recommend grabbing a charcoal incense burner off of Etsy or Amazon, though in the past I’ve used simple ceramic bowls and dishes with a small plate underneath for extra protection.
  • A lighter, preferably one with a long stick. You’ll need to heat the charcoal for more than a few seconds, and matches go out too quickly.
  • A handful of sand, salt, or dirt to pack under and around the charcoal disc (for added insulation and protection.)
  • Charcoal discs. You can find them here on Amazon, about 100 discs for $10.00.
  • Loose incense (which you can make yourself, or if you want some really fancy, top-notch loose blends…do yourself a favor and check out Mermade Magickal Arts. They are 1000% worth it.)

When I set up a new charcoal burner, here’s my method:

  1. I put a handful of sand, salt, or dirt into my heat-resistant bowl, and another plate underneath the bowl if I feel like I need some added heat-protection.
  2. I nestle a single charcoal disc into the material in the bowl, not burying it completely. I like to leave at least half of the disc sticking up all the way around.
  3. Pay attention! You’ll want to light the disc before putting your incense on so it has enough time to get warm. Grab your lighter and light an edge of the charcoal. You may need to hold it there for a little while. What you’re looking for is some sparks, a little bit of crackling, and a little bit of smoke to know the disc is getting started. You’ll know when it’s starting to get hot when you can see the charcoal begin to turn grey.
  4. If you’re burning your charcoal inside, I would recommend cracking a nearby window so the smoke has somewhere to flow (other than into your smoke detector.) I find that all of my resident poultry and wild birds enjoy the smell of the incense, so it’s a little gift for them, too.
  5. Check and see if your disc is getting hot. You can either carefully hover your hand a few inches above the disc to feel the heat, or you can visually check for it beginning to turn grey. If it is, put just a pinch of your incense onto the center of the disc. You can always add more later.
  6. Typical discs will burn for about 30 minutes, so if you find that you have to leave before it’s out, make sure you extinguish it completely before you leave.

And that’s that on that!

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