ALMOST BEEKEEPING - RELATED TOPICS > FARMING & COUNTRY LIFE

Homemade BBQ Lump Charcoal

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Lesgold:
Hi Folks,

With the family coming down for a few days, I thought I?d get some lump charcoal organised for the BBQ. I use a 205 litre (55 gallon) drum to hold the fire with a lid and chimney attached.

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Two 20 litre semi sealed paint drums are used to hold the timber that will be converted to charcoal. A fire is built in the gap between the drums to allow the pyrolysis process to take place.

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Here is the charcoal produced in one of the smaller drums

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Plenty of BBQ?s and pizzas to come in the next week or so.

Cheers

Les

gww:
This is another thing on my bucket list to do that I haven't got around to yet.  Thanks for sharing.
Cheers
gww

Ben Framed:
This is something I do as well. I use a 55 gal drum as you do, but I place my vent holes in the 'bottom' of the barrel with a dug out hole or space beneath the whole drum, while adding a dug vent hole on one small area on the bottom side for drawing fresh air into the bottom, the burner and wood area. When the time is right, I fill the hole with dirt, eliminating any chance of any draft while  placing the drum top down flush and sealed on top, allowing the fire to completely extinguish itself (smother itself out) 'rapidly', saving as much charcoal volume as possible. I learned this from a fellow from either Ireland or England. It has been several years and I can't remember his name.

Phillip

Adding I usually get anywhere for a half or more barrel full of charcoal, usually more,  from a filled barrel of oak wood pieces.. The is counting the starter wood placed instill the bottom of the barrel which will burn up. 

Lesgold:
That method you mentioned would be a quite bit more efficient than what I?m using. The little drums are normally about 2/3rds full of charcoal at the end but I use a lot of timber to generate the heat. I have seen clips of your method done on a large scale and it looks very effective. The only advantage of the system that I am using is that it does not require any input or tending of the fire once it is lit. I light the fire, put the lid and chimney on and then come back next morning and the job is done. (I obviously keep an eye on the retort for safety reasons) After the bushfires went through three years ago, there is a lot of dead, unburnt timber lying around so accessing raw materials is easy.

Ben Framed:
Thanks Les, yes I need to watch my fire for a short time. Once lit I place the lid on with a stick between the lid and the drum for a chimney draft effect as well as a site gauge for observing the smoke. Once the smoke turns deep blue, its done!

Simply shut off the ventilation with dirt as described above, as well as the lid and wait 24 hours or until the outside of the barrel is totally cool, and you have it. I like to wait a couple days (just to be sure) as Sherlock use to say, "patience my dear Watson, patience"..  lol...

Phillip

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