Making Lump Charcoal [General]

2010 Jul 27
Looks like it is pretty easy!

Though probably a bit much for my postage stamp yard. Though I have had an inkling to make a 55 gallon drum smoker like the one here

Could probably make it do double-duty for making charcoal

2010 Jul 27
I've made charred cloth for matchless fire starting, essentially the same process, just cooking pieces of cotton in an oxygen deprived environment instead of wood. It pumps out a lot of smoke, even just a couple slices of an old t-shirt in an altoids tin over a coleman stove. I can just imagine the clouds billowing out of a 55 gallon drum. Then you have to consider cost, time, all that stuff and decide whether it's worth it. If you're in it for the hobby aspect/ knowing where your stuff comes from then that's something that changes the calculation. Enjoy.

2010 Jul 27
Cost should be next to zero after the initial cost of the barrels.

I get so much free wood it is crazy - way, way, way more than I can use. I am forever turning it down

Time is zero too if it something I can keep an eye on in the yard while doing other stuff.

2010 Jul 28
I often thought of doing this.
I use charcoal exclusively and darn it!
It is expensive to buy.

You can't even buy charcoal made from apple wood.

Anyone going to Toronto anytime?

I'd love to get a few bags of charcoal from this place
to try out.

2010 Jul 28
Rona sells the Maple Leaf Lump Charcoal, although I really have not found it much different than the Royal Oak. I will buy either depending where I am when I need it, although the Maple leaf is a few dollars cheaper.

I find the quality varies in both from bag to bag, mainly the result of the size of the charcoal. Both have a few random stones mixed in the bag. I seem to remember the nakedwhiz loving the Maple Leaf, though.

I tend to use the charcoal only for grilling - very short hard searing and then moving my meat to the cold side of the grill, adding maple hardwood, closing the lid and let the heat and smoke do its work. It is the hardwood that delivers the flavor.

Last summer, my neighbour had to take down a dying apple tree and he gave me enough for a dozen or so bbqs, it was exceptional.

I am very interested in your making your own charcoal. My wife may commit me, but it is a really cool idea.

2010 Jul 28
I also just use hardwood and no charcoal for my smoker, and find it gives me pretty incredible results.

But now I want to convert an old propane grill to charcoal for regular grilling, and I am not sure whether or not the hardwood would work well there.

We shall see ...

Oh, I'm helping a guy trim a cherry tree in a couple weeks - wheeee!!!

2010 Jul 28
Out of my three bbqs the $160 brinkman from Lowes in the US is my favourite. It has excellent grill height control, easy access to add fuel and I have gotten it up to 700 degrees.

I have always found it hard to grill directly over hardwood, I have never been able to control the flames. That's why I use it only for smoking (unless I have run out of charcoal).

The cherry wood will be amazing, I am so jealous. Grab as many small branches as you can as well and grill over them while they are green. What smoke!