Hitch Covers

References to charcoal

Discussion in 'The Smokehouse' started by FatBoy85, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. FatBoy85

    FatBoy85

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    After I tried a hand at this, I've Been wanting to make my own charcoal in larger amounts. The barrel method works but the vessel itself is not as air tight. Really I finangled two kerosene barrels together 5 gal, and the heat may have been a bit much for the gauge. Started flaking off so I need to find something that will work better.
    I do have something but its holding wood right now.

    The reason why I am asking to make charcoal and get some pointers is to know likely what wood is to make charcoal for cooking and which is for say forging. I have black locust and some say this is good for charcoal but others say not for food. So which is which?
     
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  2. Canadian border VT

    Canadian border VT

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    I think it's clemsonfor that's has most knowledge on this
     
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  3. saskwoodburner

    saskwoodburner

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    I'd just make charcoal out of whatever wood you might smoke with/ cook with to be safe. But that's a "guess", not a "know"
     
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  4. FatBoy85

    FatBoy85

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    My supply of oak is moderate to my taste. I feel comfortable with the anount of wood I tend to collect. Its something to play around with as well. While the oak is not seasoned per se, I wonder if this could be a blessing in disguise. When I made the charcoal at first, it made that Jet like noisr as the smoke turned to flame. But really the MC content may help keep the fire under control inside? Introspective thoughts here...
     
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  5. bocefus78

    bocefus78

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    lukem has done this.

    Lukem, please pick up the courtesy phone
     
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  6. lukem

    lukem

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    I have a food grade 25 or 30 gallon metal drum with a lid. I fill this with 2" - 3" wide pieces of hardwood...hard maple and hickory mix is my favorite. Length doesn't matter as long as it fits in the drum....it breaks up easily later. More than 3" wide doesn't "cook" enough on the inside.

    I have a 55 gallon metal drum with the top and bottom cut out. Does not need to be food grade.

    Set the small drum on the ground and put a brick on the lid. The lid shouldn't be tight....place 3 or 4 bricks around it and set the big drum over the top and around it...held off the ground by the bricks to create and air draft.

    Fill the gap between the two barrels with anything flammable. Branches, scraps, cardboard, whatever, and burn for 2 or 3 hours. When the smoke escaping froom the lid turns clear and/or no longer flares off...its done.

    Leave the lid on overnight....if you take it off too early the oxygen will set it on fire and you loose your charcoal.
     
  7. lukem

    lukem

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    I've made charcoal from oak, maple, hickory, and some hedge just for fun. Hedge charcoal could run a forge....but barely.
     
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  8. Jon_E

    Jon_E

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    I cheat.

    I just dig a couple shovels full of coals out of my outdoor wood furnace every so often, and dump them in an airtight galvanized can. Does not take long to accumulate quite a hoard of charcoal. I do try to fill the firebox with species that I normally would cook over - favorites being maple, beech or cherry. Although by the time it's become charcoal, there isn't much in the way of wood smoke flavor left. It's just heat that that point. Which is why most people cook over compressed sawdust/chemical cakes a/k/a briquettes. So any good coaling hardwood would work fine.

    You could even go back through the cooled-off charcoal and sort it by size, and screen out the fines and ash.
     
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