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Homemade Lump Charcoal

ribmasterribmaster Posts: 209
edited October 2011 in EggHead Forum

I have decided to try and make my own charcoal.

I have read instructions that call for two metal drums...55 and 35 gal.

Does anybody make their own or have any tips?

I am guessing if I can get the barrels for free, the wood for free and figuring charcoal cost a minimum of .66 cents per pound...

I might could break even on the deal.

I grill therefore I am.....not hungy.


  • 4Runner4Runner Posts: 2,948
    Sounds like a lot of work to breakeven though.  I think one would do it not to save money, but to just do it.  Certainly someone will chime in for you.  
    Joe - I'm a reformed gasser-holic aka 4Runner Columbia, SC Wonderful BGE Resource Site: and  and
    What am I drinking now?   Woodford....neat
  • JasperJasper Posts: 378
    The Naked Whiz knows all...

    And another post, from another forum:

    And another site: CHARCOAL.htm

    Does seem like a lot of work, unless you want to try it for fun!
  • geegee Posts: 71
    I am gonna try the two drum method. I just want to do it because I can. I have the wood and the time so why not. I know lump is cheap enough that it doesn't really pay for doing it but at least I will know what is in it.
    Who cares I'll post where I want
  • ribmasterribmaster Posts: 209

    The two drum method is the one I saw also. I got a line on a 25 gallon and 33 gallon. Still looking for a 55 gallon.

    I got a chain saw and truck. People around here list oak wood on craiglist for free.

    It is less about the cost but more about quality control. With the inconsitancy I have heard of in charcoal it seems the only way to know exactly what you are getting. Atleast with the choices available locally.

    Thanks for the links Jasper.

    I grill therefore I am.....not hungy.
  • Bushcraft Magazine - Making Charcoal Part 1 and 2 check this out on you tube. I do it this way. After the wood is split I cut it into chunks a little bit bigger than a softball. Throw some wheat straw in the drum just enough to get a good fire started. Fill the drum to the top with the chunks. Lite the straw thru the holes in the bottom of the drum. Once it gets burning good I put the lid back on it with it raised up on one side about an inch. A few warnings, don't breath the smoke it will make you sick, it smokes a lot, let you neighbors know that the woods ain't on fire. The smoke changes from a intense thick white smoke to a thin blueish color when it's done. I get about 35 lbs of charcoal per burn.
  • The smoke is thick and stinks and will make you sick. It's nothing like the smoke you get from sitting around the camp fire. That was some cherry wood I was converting to lump. Cherry, oak, hickory, walnut, apple or peach, once its converted to charcoal you loose the smoking attributes if you did it correctly. I can't tell one from the other after its converted, I do however keep it all separate.
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