Sunday, 6 January 2013

Mini Charcoal Kiln

I hate having to buy charcoal, especially the stuff you get from the supermarkets. Which more often than not is unsustainable sourced, imported rubbish and you end up having to burn half a box of firelighters just to get it going, it then takes an age to get up to cooking temperature.

Now I've dabbled in charcoal burning before and I've also brought proper British charcoal, (made by a sooty smokey man living in the woods somewhere!) and the results are so much better. Its easy to light and you can cook on it in as little as 15 minutes.

My previous endeavours at making charcoal have revolved around the '45 gallon drum method' I had mixed results, but always ended up with 'some' charcoal. But it was never especially precise or consistent and I've always wanted something better. Not wanting to shell out huge sums of money I set to building my own mini kiln. Below is a picture of what I was aiming for


I started off with this old water tank that I had previously turned into a bbq (one that only ever incinerated your food!)


And ended up with this

Maybe not quite as pretty as the original, but it was £500 cheaper, in that all it cost me was some of my weekend. the picture doesn't quite show it but the green bit at the top is actually a lid that can be lifted off for loading/unloading.
hopefully I'll get a chance to see how well it works this week. If all goes well I'm planning on turning all my 'waste wood' into charcoal e.g. all the slab wood from the mill and all the stuff I have that isn't good enough to sell as proper fire wood.