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Q: Making Charcoal with old grill

TexasliveoakTexasliveoak Posts: 21
edited 6:31PM in EggHead Forum
I read the recent posts about making your own charcoal - and I've decided to do it. I am planning on building a charcoal kiln with the 55 and 30 gallon drums from the The Whiz's website - and I'm still looking for a 30 gallon drum.

However, would it also work if I used my old pit to make charcoal. I have an old (never use anymore) pit with a firebox...if I fill the main chamber with chunks of oak, and get a roaring fire in the firebox would that make charcoal? Do y'all think that would work?

Thanks in advance.

Lexington, Texas


  • dubahdubah Posts: 60
    From my experience - making charcoal 2 times, the fire under the 30 gallon can needs to be roaring hot. I don't think the offset fire in your old pit will accomplish that.
    I placed the 30 gallon can on some bricks inside the 55 gallon drum and had the fire going on directly under the 30 gallon can. It was very "direct" heat.
    Good luck, Larry
  • I was afraid it might not be enough heat. Thanks for the tip. I'll have to build the kiln then.

    Warm Regards,

    Lexington, Texas
  • you need to expose wood to heat in a low (or no) oxygen environment.
  • RascalRascal Posts: 3,806
    Is it really worth it? From an unnamed source... "I used to fish until I found I could buy them in the store"... 8 - )
  • It's a very good question, and the first one I asked.

    Here is my logic:

    We have to clear out about 100-150 cedar and post oaks from our farm anyway, and I operate a part-time tree cutting/trimming service with my Dad. So the wood and fuel supply is plentiful - that isn't an issue.

    However, my free time is an issue. Regardless of cutting the wood and having the wood anyway - It would still take up some considerable time to actually "cure" and turn the wood into charcoal...but since I am now unemployed, I have the free time. Once I get a job again, then I probably won't be able to do it.

    And the other thing is, it might be fun and/or therapeutic. For example, my wife and I started beekeeping a year+ ago. It is much cheaper to just buy honey from the store, but working with the bees and harvesting our own honey and rendering the wax is recreational for us (fun), and it's therapeutic too - I get an untold satisfaction from doing it...and that is worth it's weight in gold.

    Sorry for the long answer.

    Lexington, Texas
  • Erich, it sounds like a fun project during your free time until you find a new job. I would be very interested in your process, please post pictures along the way if you can!

    John - SLC, UT

    2 XLs, Medium, MM, and Mini

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