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How To Burn Resin


The items needed to burn traditional incense resins are:

"Charcoal-Safe" incense burner/censer.  Whether choosing a metal or ceramic burner, the most important things to look for are air flow, insulation and safety.   Air should be allowed to circulate around the tablet.  A lidded censer should have air holes in the top and bottom.  A dish shaped burner should have a large mouth. 

Insulated Material.  Always insulate the inside of your burner with stones, ceramic pieces or sand.  Form a cone shape with the insulation and place the charcoal tablet at the peak.  This allows for adequate air flow around the charcoal. 

All burners should also be insulated from the outside.  Always place your censer on a burn-proof surface, such as a stone or ceramic tile, since it may get very hot.  Use any safety precautions that are normally considered when fire and heat are involved.  Use metal or wooden forceps or tongs to move the censer and avoid placing the censer under something flammable since heat rises.  Never leave a censer unattended and keep it away from children and pets. 

Charcoal Tablets (designed for incense use).  The most common and recommended charcoal for incense use is self igniting.  Igniter is mixed into the tablet before it is formed.   The tablets are easily lit by holding the edge with forceps over a match or lighter for a moment.  Immediately place it in your burner, using the forceps, since the tablet gets hot very quickly.  The tablet will then light across the surface.  When the charcoal tablet is glowing red and covered with a fine white ash, it will be ready for use (between 5 and 10 minutes).  The charcoal will stay hot enough to burn incense for about 45 minutes to an hour. 

Again, use the safety precautions that are nomrally used around fire or heat.  Since the charcoal contains igniter, it will sputter or spark once lit.  If the igniter is unevenly distributed in the tablet, it could pop, breaking off small pieces.  Some igniters will release smoke for a moment so be sure to use it in a well-ventilated area.  Always store the charcoal tablets away from excessive heat, moisture and humidity.  Do not use igniter fluid and only use charcoal tablets made for incense use.  Keep away from children and pets. 

See our excluisve Charcoal De-Lites and we have a display.   We also offer Japanese Charcoal

Aluminum Foil.  Traditionally, incense is put directly on the hot charcoal.  Before it scorches, but after it is burned, it is scraped off the charcoal with forceps.  Consequently, the melted resin spills into the censer and melts onto the forceps.  Each time the censer or forceps gets hot, the incense releases it's fragrance again.  This works well if only one type of incense is burned, but does not allow for changing incense frequently. 

There are advantages to using aluminm foil between the charcoal and the material to be incensed.  Form a cup approximately the same diameter as the charcoal, leaving a quarter inch lip.  The cup can be maipulated easily with your forceps and can be placed on the charcoal after the charcoal is hot.  Incense can be added and left on the heat until it reaches its maximum incense effect.  It can be removed again with your foreceps before it scorches.  At that point, either more or different incense(s) can be added to the charcoal in a new cup.  As a precautionary note, be aware the incense in the aluminum foil cup becomes very hot, can be in a liquid state and might burn the skin if it comes in contact with it. 



1.  Prepare the incense burner

2.  Light the charcoal tablet. 

3.  Place the alminum foil cup directly onto the hot tablet. 

4.  Add incense inot the cup (be conservative at first).

5.  Cover (or not), depending on choice. 

6.  Remove the foil cut and incense before it scorches. 

7.  Allow the tablet to burn out and cool in the censer.  To extingusih a tablet before it has fully cooked, quench in a container of cold water.