A Complete Guide to Making Charcoal Yourself

Making Charcoal

A Complete Guide to Making Charcoal Yourself

Heating pieces make charcoal of wood until all the impurities are gone from the wood and only the charcoal remains. It can then be used for grilling. Charcoal is relatively expensive at the store while making your own is cheap and easy. Read on to find out how to make charcoal in two different ways.

The campfire method

Find a place where you can make a fire.

You may be able to do it in your yard, but if not, make sure that lighting fires are allowed in your chosen spot.

Get a barrel of metal.

This is the container you will put the wood in. Choose the size of the barrel according to the amount of charcoal you want to produce. Make sure the bin has a fireproof lid.

Select the wood you want to process into charcoal.

What kind of wood do you want to use for your charcoal? In any case, opt for already-dried wood. Cherry, oak, or walnut wood are all excellent. Look around your area to see if people are selling wood, or get some from a hardware store or other store. You’ll need enough to fill the barrel to the brim with wood. The wood should be cut into approx—10 cm pieces.

Fill the bin with the dried wood.

Place the wood as densely as possible and fill the bin to the brim. Close the bin with the lid. It should be tight enough not to slip, but not make the bin airtight.

Set up the campfire.

Buy or gather extra wood to start a campfire and keep it burning for about 3-5 hours. Set it up in your chosen spot, leaving a hole in the middle for the bin. Place the barrel in the hole and also cover it with wood.

Light the campfire.

Keep it burning for at least 3 hours or more if you use a large barrel with lots of wood. Allow the fire to burn down completely and cool before approaching the barrel.

Remove the charcoal from the barrel.

If you open the lid, you will find your self-produced charcoal inside. You can now grill with it all summer long.

Use of two tons

Buy a small and a large bin.

The small one has to fit into the large one, so there is still enough space around it. This works e.g., B. with a 100l bin in a 200l bin quite well.

Cut an opening in the large barrel for post-firing.

Use a hacksaw and cut a rectangle about 30cm high and 50cm long in the bin. This opening is urgently needed for re-firing the barrel.

Drill holes in the bottom of the small barrel.

This allows the heat to enter the smaller barrel and cook the charcoal inside. About 5 to 6 1.5cm holes should be drilled in the ground.

Fill the small bin with dried wood.

Cherry, oak or walnut wood cut into 10cm pieces is ideal. Lay the wood together and close the bin with a lid so moisture can still escape.

Build a pedestal in the big barrel.

Place two bricks flat on the bottom of the large barrel, one on each side. Now place two bricks on the edges lengthways on the two stones. This pedestal prevents the small barrel from standing on the bottom of the large barrel, allowing you to re-fire through the opening.

Place the small bin on the pedestal.

Make sure it fits snugly in the large bin. If not, use smaller bricks and build a smaller base. Place the lid on the larger bin, leaving a gap for airflow.

Light a fire in the large barrel and keep it burning for 7-8 hours.

Fire through the cut hole. Use larger pieces of wood once the fire is burning properly. Keep an eye on the fire. Fire up when it gets too weak. The fire should be as hot as possible, so use suitable wood.

Let the fire burn down

After 7-8 hours, impurities, moisture, and gases have escaped from the wood, and only pure charcoal remains. Wait for the fire to go out completely and for everything to cool down before approaching the barrels.

Remove the charcoal from the barrel.

Empty the small bin into a suitable container where you can store the charcoal for later use.


About the Author


Linda Jeasie

Linda Jeasie is a writer and content editor with over a decade of experience covering consumer gadgets and mobile tech. Before going freelance, she got her start as an editor at MoneyGuide.com, a coupon and review website. These days she writes about gaming, life hacks, apps and software, and financial subjects for a variety of publications.

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