If you’re looking for a cheaper and better way to enjoy your barbeque, then making your own charcoal is the way to go. In this article, we’ll show you how to make charcoal in just a few simple steps by using things that you probably already have lying around your home.
How is Charcoal Made?
The process of making charcoal is an ancient one that has been used for centuries to produce a variety of objects, from fuel to art. The basic process involves burning wood in the absence of oxygen, which produces a substance that is rich in carbon.
Charcoal is created through the wood pyrolysis process. Pyrolysis is the decomposition of organic material by heat in the absence of oxygen. This process can be carried out in several ways, but the most common way to make charcoal is by using a metal drum filled with wood placed over a fire.
In terms of its use as a fuel, charcoal is an excellent source of energy. It burns hot and long, and it produces very little smoke. Charcoal is also commonly used in barbecues and grilling, as it imparts a unique flavor to food.
Charcoal can also be used as an artistic medium. Artists have been using charcoal to create beautiful works of art for centuries. The medium is particularly well suited for creating detailed and realistic drawings.
So, if you are wondering how to make charcoal, check out this step-by-step guide. It is easy and fun, and you’ll end up with a great product that you can use for fuel, barbecues, or art.
Making Charcoal: Smoldering in The Barrel
This is the most common method for making charcoal. The barrel is filled with wood that has been cut into small pieces, and then the lid is placed on top.
The barrel is then placed in a large fire, and the wood is allowed to smolder for hours or days. Once the wood has turned to charcoal, the barrel is removed from the fire and allowed to cool.
The charcoal can then be removed from the barrel and used as needed. So here is a step-by-step guide on how to make charcoal by smoldering wood in the barrel.
1. Gather Your Materials
The first thing you’ll need to do is gather your materials.
Find or buy some wood. Any hardwood tree will work for making charcoal. The best woods are oak, hickory, and maple. They have high density and slow-burning properties. Fruitwoods like apple and cherry also work well. Avoid coniferous woods like pine and spruce. They have a lower density and burn too quickly.
You’ll also need a chamber that can be sealed off from oxygen. A metal drum is the most common type of chamber used for this purpose.
2. Dig The Pit
Find a spot in your yard at least 10 feet away from buildings or flammable materials. The pit should be about 3 feet deep.
Once you’ve found the perfect spot, use a shovel to dig the hole.
Fill your barrel with wood that has been cut into small pieces. You can use any type of wood, but hardwoods work best. Once the barrel is full, cover it with a metal lid or something that will create a seal. You must trap the heat inside the barrel and make the burning process more efficient.
3. Light The Fire
Light the fire in the barrel using a small piece of paper or kindling. Once the fire is going, add some larger pieces of wood to keep it going.
As the wood starts to burn, you’ll see smoke coming out of the barrel. Continue to add wood to the barrel until it’s almost full.
The wood should be tightly packed in the barrel, as this will help create a more consistent burn. Once the barrel is almost full, put the lid on tightly and allow the wood to smolder.
4. Let The Fire Burn
It takes about 24 hours for the wood to burn and transform into charcoal in a barrel. The specific timeframe will depend on the type of wood being used, as well as the size of the barrel. To ensure that your charcoal is of good quality, it’s best to burn it for the full 24 hours.
5. Wait Until Charcoal Is Ready
After 24 hours, open the chamber and let the charcoal cool. If your barrel is cool, it means your charcoal is ready. Please be careful while touching the barrel for the first time. If the barrel is still hot, let the wood burn for 24 hours more.
Charcoal can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to 2 years.
6. Use Your Charcoal
You can use your charcoal for different purposes. It makes an excellent fuel for grilling, barbecuing, and other cooking applications. You can also use charcoal for drawing. It’s a popular material for artists because it produces a deep, intense black. Charcoal can also be used for blacksmithing, as it’s a good conductor of heat.
If you’re looking for more traditional use for charcoal, you can always burn it in your fireplace or fire pit. It burns hot and long, making it a great choice for a cozy fire on a cold night. Just be sure to use a proper fire screen to keep embers from flying out and starting a fire.
Image Source: instructables.com