|How to make Charcoal
to char Wood (Char-coal) for your Burger Grill or art work.
make Charcoal by digging a fire pit in your back yard, or by getting a
55-gallon steel barrel, or by using a 1-gallon metal Paint Can.
you're like me, you don't relish digging a pit, or wrestling a
55-gallon Barrel. And who needs 55 gallons of Charcoal, anyhow? So
let's explore an easy method that most people can have fun with, and save a
couple bucks in the process.
1-gallon Paint Can can make as many Charcoal Briquettes as a
55-gallon Barrel can; but it takes 55 days to do it. So what ! Unless you
need them this weekend, what's the hurry? Sit back and relax, while your fire does the work.
MUCH to be said for the gallon metal Paint Can. It's probably free, and you may even
have it in your garage with a half-cup of dried paint in it. It's easy
to store. And best of all; preparing and using it in your Fireplace or
Stove is easy and fun.
clean it out as good as possible. Then burn newspapers in it (outdoors)
until all signs of whatever it contained is reduced to ash. Don't breathe the smoke. Then
remove the ash with a Putty Knife, or by filling it with a pint of
small Stones, and shaking them around inside(with the Lid on).
drill or punch two opposite holes in the Lid and adjacent sides. If you
use it with the Lid on tight, it's very difficult to get off. If you
have the Lid on loosely, it may fall off and the contents catch fire.
So we will fasten it with two short wires, which will allow steam and
smoke to escape, but keep Oxygen out.
for the wood. Dry hardwoods are best. Shop scraps are great. 2" x 2" x
1" or 3/4" is fine. Thicker wood takes longer to char, but they also last longer in the Grill. Do not use
painted or pressure treated wood. You don't want these compounds in
your Buns or Burgers.
you are artistic, and want to make Charcoal Pencils, then cut 3/4" x
3/4" x 6" pieces(with the grain lengthwise). Try several species like
Cedar, Redwood, Sumac, Willow, Poplar, Birch,
Maple and Oak, to discover the different characteristics.
You may have scraps of Wooden Dowels that will make perfect Pencils.
the Can with the wood pieces. Then shake it to settle the pieces so
you can add more. Fasten the Lid snugly with the two wires. Add a wire
tether, so you can retrieve it from the fire. Then put the Can in
your Fireplace, Stove, or Campfire (with one of the Lid holes at the
top) . . . and wait.
on the moisture in the wood and how hot your fire is, it may take
twelve hours or more to finish the process. To test it, cut the
thickest piece in half. If it's black in the center, you're ready for
the next batch. When your first batch is finished, you'll know about
how long the next similar batch will take.