How To Use A Charcoal Incense Burner

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Using a charcoal censer  to burn raw aromatic ingredients is a fun and easy incense-burning technique. Users love it for its customizable, personal quality, and the way it lets them be more involved in scent selection. 

This involvement requires a few more items and steps than simply burning an incense stick would, but many consider this extra effort worth it. 

Many wonder how to use a charcoal incense burner. It’s definitely more complicated than igniting a stick, but it’s not hard.

This article will go over the steps necessary to successfully use a charcoal incense burner, and what items users will need to do so. Finally, this overview will answer some of the questions related to using charcoal incense burners. 

After reading this overview of the procedure, any incense-lover should know how to use a charcoal incense burner. 

How To Use A Charcoal Incense Burner: The Items

Charcoal Censer

It is fairly easy to learn how to use a charcoal incense burner. In order to successfully use a charcoal incense burner, users will need a few things: 

  • the Censer
  • Sand, ash, or salt to fill the censer 
  • Quick-ignite charcoal 
  • Tongs
  • Lighter
  • Aromatic ingredients for burning 

How To Use A Charcoal Incense Burner: The Steps 

Beautiful Charcoal Incense Burner

The procedure for burning incense involves filling the censer with ash and then burning charcoal, after which the censer is ready for the raw aromatics.

After gathering all the above items together, users need to follow the following steps required for using a charcoal incense burner: 

  1. Pick up charcoal with tongs
  2. With other hand, light edge of charcoal with lighter flame
  3. Place burning charcoal on sand in censer 
  4. Fan the charcoal with a paper card or other flat, flimsy object. The fanning should brighten and enlarge the burn on the charcoal. Blowing on the charcoal will create too strong a wind, while fanning is gentle enough not to stir up the ash. 
  5. Drop raw aromatic ingredients onto the charcoal with tongs or bare hands. Possible aromatics include frankincense or garden herbs. Using raw rather dried ingredients is recommended. 
  6. Enjoy the rich aromatic experience of a charcoal incense burner!

Product Information 

Charcoal incense censers, charcoal, and aromatics are typically sold separately. There are many high-quality decorative censers, like this beautiful porcelain incense burner with stick holder from Amazon.

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Many censers have lids or other components that can hold incense sticks, while they can hold burning charcoal and aromatics when the lid is off. 

So for any incense enthusiast, a censer-type incense burner could be a great idea since it often accommodates both sticks and loose ingredients. 

Amazon also has charcoal available in packages like these from No products found.. Good charcoal should be able to burn for up to 45 minutes or an hour. In addition, raw aromatics are available online or in stores. For example, Talisman 4U offers No products found.

Finally, any normal lighter or match should be able to light a piece of charcoal effectively so it can burn the aromatics in turn. 

Related questions 

Below are answers to some of the questions that many people using charcoal incense burners have asked. 

Can you burn loose incense without charcoal?

It is possible to burn loose incense without charcoal, though this is most easily accomplished using a glass jar or metal strainer. Doing so on a sandy surface like in a dedicated incense burner is likely possible as well. 

What are the benefits of burning incense?

The aromas from burning incense can help people sleep or relax, and can also increase a person’s ability to focus. Some people therefore like to study or read while burning incense. Overall it reduces stress and increases one’s ability to relax and focus, while also producing scents that anyone will be able to enjoy. 

How do I burn bakhoor?

Bakhoor, which are incense tablets made from agarwood chips, is most effectively burned by placing directly on top of a burning piece of charcoal. Many users love the rich scent of this incense. 


Charcoal incense burners are easy to use and provide a novel and relaxing way to burn aromatics like herbs and frankincense, as well as incense tablets. Moreover, many of the censers designed to hold charcoal can also hold incense sticks. 

This dual functionality adds value and practicality to the project of burning aromatics in a charcoal burner. Moreover, these burners as well as the charcoal and aromatics are widely available for purchase online and in stores. 

However, some may not like the idea of dealing with burning charcoal. If that’s you, you may want to check out an electric resin burner!