Burning Loose Incense & Resins

Burning Loose Incense & Resins
by Debbie Gent

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  1. Fill a heat proof bowl with at least 2" of sand to provide insulation for your burner. Charcoal can burn at up to 1500° F. Be sure your bowl has feet or is on a heat proof tile so you don’t burn the surface underneath.
  2. Form a cone shape with the sand and place the charcoal tablet at the peak. This will allow air to flow around the charcoal.
  3. Use tweezers or tongs to hold the charcoal tablet and light the edge. If it's self-igniting charcoal (contains potassium nitrate) you will see tiny sparks as you light it and it will ignite quickly so never hold it in your hand! Place it on the cone you made in the sand.
  4. If your charcoal tablet has a concave indentation, place it in your burner with the hollow facing up. Use the "bowl" to hold your incense ingredients. 
  5. Wait until the charcoal is glowing red hot and is covered with grayish-white ash. This could take about 5 minutes or so. If you like you can fan or blow on the charcoal to help get the whole tablet started. 
  6. When ready sprinkle a pinch or two (about 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon) of incense (e.g. resin, dried herbs, etc.) directly on top of the hot charcoal. The incense will begin to smolder. Be careful not to place too much incense on the charcoal or you may smother it and you'll have to start over. 
  7. When the smoke begins to thin out, add more incense. The charcoal will stay hot enough to burn incense for about 45 minutes to an hour.
  8. Be sure the charcoal is completely cool before disposing of it. Or leave it in the sand and sift out the ash before the next use.