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Author Topic: Homemade BBQ Lump Charcoal  (Read 2291 times)

Offline Lesgold

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Homemade BBQ Lump Charcoal
« on: September 27, 2022, 08:53:32 pm »
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.



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.



Here is the charcoal produced in one of the smaller drums



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

Cheers

Les

Online gww

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Re: Homemade BBQ Lump Charcoal
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2022, 09:37:40 pm »
This is another thing on my bucket list to do that I haven't got around to yet.  Thanks for sharing.
Cheers
gww

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Homemade BBQ Lump Charcoal
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2022, 11:06:18 pm »
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. 
Jeremiah 5:21 King James Version 
Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Homemade BBQ Lump Charcoal
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2022, 11:58:37 pm »
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.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Homemade BBQ Lump Charcoal
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2022, 12:33:13 am »
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
Jeremiah 5:21 King James Version 
Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Homemade BBQ Lump Charcoal
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2022, 07:07:40 am »
When I was in Afghanistan we would make pizza using charcoal, a slab of stone and a cover.  The local charcoal looked just like what you're making.  No "briquettes", just wood that had been turned into charcoal.  We didn't make our own charcoal.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
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Offline Lesgold

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Re: Homemade BBQ Lump Charcoal
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2022, 05:04:05 pm »
The pizzas would have been magnificent. I have used my charcoal to cook pizza a couple of times as well. It is an excellent heat source for that type of cooking. I have never liked the idea of the commercial briquettes due to the chemicals used in their manufacture. I make briquettes from the smaller pieces of charcoal that are not used on the BBQ. The charcoal is broken down almost to a powder and mixed with a flour glue, sawdust, a bit of lime and some powdered clay to produce a moist mixture that can be pressed into a briquette shape. Next time I make some, I will get some photos of the process.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Homemade BBQ Lump Charcoal
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2022, 06:57:52 am »
>The pizzas would have been magnificent.

They certainly seemed that way to me, but anything that tasted of home was great.  The first 8 months I was there I ate British food cooked by Sri Lankans.  I lost 20 pounds.  The next two years it was American food cooked by Afghans.  Our own pizza cooked by us (Americans) was a treat for sure.  The slightly Smokey flavor from the charcoal gave it a nice effect.  My avatar actually has KIAA (Kabul International Airport) in the background.
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm en espanol: bushfarms.com/es_bees.htm  auf deutsche: bushfarms.com/de_bees.htm  em portugues:  bushfarms.com/pt_bees.htm
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Offline Lesgold

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Re: Homemade BBQ Lump Charcoal
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2022, 09:32:32 pm »
Hi Folks,

I just posted a YouTube clip on how I produce the charcoal. The smaller charcoal will be made into briquettes and there will also be some turned into biochar for the garden. Hope you enjoy the video.

Cheers

Les

https://youtu.be/Vr6i08of-CE

Offline Bill Murray

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Re: Homemade BBQ Lump Charcoal
« Reply #9 on: October 11, 2022, 09:01:42 am »
I used to make mine more or less like phillip. Now I have succumbed to buying it.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Homemade BBQ Lump Charcoal
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2022, 08:25:19 am »
I used to make mine more or less like phillip. Now I have succumbed to buying it.
Probably a better choice where the impurities can be controlled.
Brian Cardinal
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Online Ben Framed

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Re: Homemade BBQ Lump Charcoal
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2022, 11:33:51 am »
(Lump Charcoal)  contains no fillers or additives which makes it one of the cleanest ways to barbecue and a great choice for barbecuing, offering a great source of heat.
Unlike lump charcoal, Briquettes contain additives included in the process of their making, sometimes petroleum additives.
Lump charcoal is made from pure wood.

Many in the South, especially 'Old Style Southern Barbecuers' don't even bother with charcoal, (whether made themselves or purchased), but instead use 'raw 'natural' 'hardwood' for their fuel source when Barbecuing.  Oak is among several favorites because of the wood smoke flavor it provides secreted from the 'natural' 'wood chemicals', 'sap', and 'moisture' while slow cooking the meat.

Barbecuing contest have become a tradition here in the South with HUGE contest seeking the prize for World Champion Barbecuer' along with the status and recognition. "Memphis In May" offers this Contest held on the banks of the Mississippi River each May with more contestants than can be easily counted. The award of World Champion Barbecue and the bragging rights which go along with the win attracts many..

World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest
 https://memphisinmay.org > events > world-champions...
Recognized by USAToday as the "Most Prestigious Barbecue Contest," the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is a four-day competition ...
Recognized by USAToday as the "Most Prestigious Barbecue Contest," the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest is a four-day competition held in Memphis, TN. Teams representing the best of barbecue that have been honing their craft for years compete for the title of World Champion and a share of the more than $145,000 in prize money. The Contest features championship pork categories of Ribs, Shoulder, and Whole Hog, as well as the ancillary competitions of Hot Wings, Sauce, and "Anything But Pork."
« Last Edit: October 12, 2022, 11:48:17 am by Ben Framed »
Jeremiah 5:21 King James Version 
Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Homemade BBQ Lump Charcoal
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2022, 05:08:11 pm »
I have never liked using briquettes due to their additives. Recently I have started making my own and therefore have control over what goes into them. If I?m searing a steak or making pizza, charcoal does a great job due to its instant heat. If I?m cooking a roast,  briquettes are favoured as they last longer. Smaller pieces of charcoal are ground up and mixed with  binders and a few other natural ingredients to make the briquettes. Experiments are showing that varying the recipe can change the burn time and temperature of the grill. Cooking on a wood fire is always amazing. When the caravan is taken away on holidays, my wood bbq cooker is the first thing that is packed.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Homemade BBQ Lump Charcoal
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2022, 06:39:08 pm »
Just finished making a batch of briquettes using some of the smaller lump charcoal that I can?t use on the BBQ due to its size. The charcoal is pulverised, mixed with a small quantity of garden lime, some hardwood sawdust and finally some clay. A glue binder made from flour and water is then added to the dry mix. The briquettes are pressed to the required size and shape and are allowed to dry in the sun for a few days. I may use some of these briquettes this evening to roast a chicken. My recipe uses no chemical additives and provides a good cooking heat for slow roasts where extended cooking times are required. Here is the latest batch drying outside on the lawn.



Cheers

Les

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Homemade BBQ Lump Charcoal
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2022, 06:55:25 pm »
Just finished making a batch of briquettes using some of the smaller lump charcoal that I can?t use on the BBQ due to its size. The charcoal is pulverised, mixed with a small quantity of garden lime, some hardwood sawdust and finally some clay. A glue binder made from flour and water is then added to the dry mix. The briquettes are pressed to the required size and shape and are allowed to dry in the sun for a few days. I may use some of these briquettes this evening to roast a chicken. My recipe uses no chemical additives and provides a good cooking heat for slow roasts where extended cooking times are required. Here is the latest batch drying outside on the lawn.



Cheers

Les
I wonder if you showed that picture to people without context, what they would think all of those were.  :cheesy:  Seriously though, that's super neat!  :grin:
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Online gww

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Re: Homemade BBQ Lump Charcoal
« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2022, 07:15:54 pm »
Quote
:cheesy:  Seriously though, that's super neat!  :grin:
I agree.
cheers
gww

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Homemade BBQ Lump Charcoal
« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2022, 08:05:02 pm »
Great Job Les!

Phillip
Jeremiah 5:21 King James Version 
Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline BeeMaster2

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Re: Homemade BBQ Lump Charcoal
« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2022, 08:07:03 pm »
Why go through that. How much better are they than the lump charcoal?
Jim Altmiller
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Online Ben Framed

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Re: Homemade BBQ Lump Charcoal
« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2022, 08:58:08 pm »
Why go through that. How much better are they than the lump charcoal?
Jim Altmiller

Jim I noticed when I make my charcoal (lump form) there is always  a small quantity of 'scrap' portion which is to small for barbecue and grilling use. (Some pieces may be small enough they might slip through the grates). I am assuming Les, to his credit, saves the small stuff thus utilizing this charcoal by creating briquettes. Of course I can not speak for Les, he may have other reasons as well. But this is one thing I have noticed from my own experience.

Phillip
Jeremiah 5:21 King James Version 
Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not:
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Homemade BBQ Lump Charcoal
« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2022, 09:37:05 pm »
Hi guys,

There are a few reasons my I make the briquettes. First of all, they burn at a lower temperature and for a longer period than charcoal. This makes them ideal for long, slow cooks. The second reason is that these briquettes don?t have any artificial additives or chemicals. And the final reason is because I can. I just enjoy making and doing stuff for myself rather than relying what is purchased from a store. It?s a bit like the satisfaction you get from growing food in the garden. I?m probably a bit of a nut case but doing the simple things in life (like keeping bees), brings a lot of pleasure.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Homemade BBQ Lump Charcoal
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2022, 07:50:18 am »
Just finished a clip on the making of the charcoal briquettes. Hopefully it gives you some ideas if you are interested in making your own.

Homemade BBQ Charcoal Briquettes
https://youtu.be/CneqH5g9QsE

Cheers

Les