In the aromatic world of incense, there are a few different options you can use. You can try stick incense, which is the more popular choice, or you can go with the tried-and-true method of charcoal tablets. Although charcoal tablets aren’t mainstream anymore, they’re very useful for when you’re testing out different loose incenses in your home. For example, many incense producers use charcoal tablets to test the quality of their individual resins before using them to manufacture incense sticks. Testing each resin on their own allows them to be sure that their ingredients are of a high caliber. Whether you make incense for a living or you just want to try charcoal tablets, here are some important things you should know.
Types of Charcoal Tablets
There are two types of charcoal tablets, traditional and self-lighting.
Traditional tablets require exposure to an open flame for an extended period of time to light them and keep them lit as they heat the incense. Self-lighting charcoal, on the other hand, requires a small spark to ignite, and they stay lit for quite some time without going out.
While both methods work well with loose incense, self-lighting charcoal tablets tend to emit a peculiar odor after some time due to the saltpeter added for easier ignition. The saltpeter acts as an oxidizer. Traditional charcoal takes longer to burn, but also allows you to fully experience the incense smell without this stranger odor.
Once you pick the type of charcoal tablet you want to use, it’s time to light it. Because these tablets are essentially an extension of open flame, you need to keep it in a fire-proof dish when lighting. Fill the dish with sand, lava rock, or even salt to give the tablet a base and keep it from touching the dish itself. Use tongs to hold your charcoal tablet, and add it to the source of flames. Depending on which type of tablet you used, you might have to hold it there for a few minutes before it catches fire. Once that’s done, you place the tablet in the sand and slowly add a few pieces of your loose incense.
That’s all it takes to get a great smelling room using a reliable method!