Charcoal for Incense Burners (Best Choices)


When it comes to burning incense, whether it be for spiritual or aesthetic reasons, or simply to experience new natural fragrances, there are several types of charcoal discs to choose from. But, with so many options available, it can be difficult to determine which one is the best choice for your needs.

In this article, we will delve into the top charcoal options for incense burners, providing you with the knowledge and tools to make an informed decision.

Charcoal Discs for Incense Burning

Charcoal has been used as fuel for thousands of years. It is a type of carbon, made when animal or plant matter is burned in an environment with limited oxygen.

Charcoal discs are used for burning incense because they have a consistent burn time and temperature. 

Note – While browsing Amazon and eBay, I noticed some product listings use the term “charcoal disks.” It’s possible that this is simply a typo. In general, when “disc” is spelled with a “k” as in “disk,” it typically refers to computer storage disks.

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Best Charcoal for Burning Incense

The best type of charcoal for incense burning is natural coconut shell charcoal. It burns at a high, even temperature without smoke or odor. It is made and sold in small round discs or tablets to fit most incense burners.

Bamboo wood charcoal discs are also popular for use in incense burners, although they can add their own odor to the burning incense.

Most good-quality charcoal briquettes are made by pressing or compacting charcoal, which gives a longer burn time.

Quick Light Charcoal Tablets

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Quick Light Charcoal Tablets

These charcoal tablets for burning incense come in a box of 100, and each tablet has an indented surface with a rim around it, to hold the incense without spilling.

Quick to light, a single match will light them in seconds. They light easier when held up in a pair of tongs rather than lying on a flat surface, and they burn at a constant heat for about 45 minutes.

They burn slowly and evenly without smoke or odor, however they do have an odor when being first lit due to the quick lighting material coating on the disc.

This particular brand, Sunlight, is the most popular and biggest selling charcoal brand on Amazon.

Charcoal for Burning Frankincense and Resin

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Shoyeido Square Charcoal Type A

The Shoyeido Square charcoal is in fact rectangular, each piece 1 inch long by 1/2 inch wide. Made in Japan from pressed charcoal, these are slow to light and burn for about 30 minutes. They burn without smoke or smell and have no artificial additives, just the organic charcoal.

They can be used with Japanese White Ash incense, (an aromatic wood chip), and also they are ideal charcoal to burn frankincense.

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Cocous Natural Coconut Charcoal

The Cocous cubes are made from natural coconut wood and are 1” by 1” by 1”. They are slow to light, and best lighted on a stove top burner. Lighting these is a little tricky, in that each cube has to be turned over so that each side can be lit.

In addition for use with incense these cubes are also suitable for Shisha pipes, and can burn up to four times longer than other charcoal briquettes.

Bakhoor Charcoal (Bakhoor Coal)

Bakhoor is an Arabic word meaning smoke or fumes. Bakhoor burners have been used in Arab households for centuries, and the most common type of incense used in them is Oud, a mixture of wood chips soaked in scented oils.

They are also used with charcoal for burning frankincense, also very popular in Middle Eastern homes.

Best Charcoal for Bakhoor

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Charcoal Masters Premium Charcoal Briquettes

The Charcoal Master Hookah, or shisha set is, as the name suggests, designed for hookah pipes and can also be used in incense burners.

Video: How to use Charcoal for burning Bakhoor

To suit the shisha, the circular tablets are 33mm wide, which is also convenient for smaller incense burners, such as the small burners that are designed for use in a car.

They are fast to ignite with a match or a lighter, and last for about 45 minutes.

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CHARCOAL MASTER Instant Light Coal Disks

The Charcoal Master Instant Light tablets are wider than the previous type, at 40 mm and are more designed just for use in incense burners.

They light almost instantly and burn for around 45 minutes without smoke or odor, and are made from natural wood from fruit trees.

Best Charcoal for Burning Oud

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Woodbine Incense Charcoal Fire Starters
Woodbine 200 Charcoal Tablets for Incense

These Woodbine charcoal discs come in two pack sizes: 100 disc pack and 200 disc pack. They are smaller discs, at 33 mm wide, and are ideal for hookah pipes, although they should be lit separately from the pipe since they can produce an odor when first ignited. However, once they are alight and burning they do not have a smell or smoke.

They can also can be used for burning incense, in small or large burners. They ignite quickly and burn evenly for up to 45 minutes.

The charcoal discs can be used in Bakhoor burners for burning Oud incense or frankincense.

Charcoal for Burning Herbs

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Swift Lite Charcoal Box

The Swiftlite charcoal disc tablets are designed to ignite immediately. They are coated with a special chemical which makes sparks when a flame is used on them, and this speeds up the lighting process.

Because of the sparks, and because sometimes little bits of the charcoal ‘pop’ and can fly out, it is recommended that they are lit in a burner with a metal screen or mesh lid, to avoid accidents.

At 40 mm wide they are suitable for all burners, and each disc has a small depression in the top to hold the burning incense.

They come in a box of 100 pieces: 10 rolls of 10 discs each.

A Few Safety Precautions 

It is great to fill your home with the sweet smell of incense, but it is important that you follow a few safety precautions when doing so.

You should first ensure you have read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully if you are unfamiliar with the process of burning incense with charcoal.

When burning charcoal, you must use a heat resistant surface in order to avoid the risk of fire.

Underneath the charcoal tablet, place sand to prevent surface damage. Also, you should not dispose of the tablet until you are completely sure it is not still burning.

Video: How to Use a Charcoal Disc: A Witchy How To

Children and pets are attracted by the scent and may approach the burning charcoal. Adult supervision is recommended when burning incense charcoal.

Burn incense in a well-ventilated area. Leave windows open to allow air to circulate.

Parting Words

When it comes to burning incense, the choice of charcoal discs can greatly impact the overall experience.

Incense charcoal discs are specifically designed to be used with incense burners, but not all charcoal discs are created equal.

They come in various shapes, sizes, and burning times, ranging from 5 to 15 minutes.

The quality of your incense experience is closely tied to the quality of the charcoal used. Through my own experimentation over the years, I have come to understand the nuances of different brands of charcoal discs.

Trying out various brands can be a fun and enlightening experience, as it allows you to discover your personal preferences. However, it is important to take your time and carefully select the brand that best suits your needs.

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