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Old 08-05-2009, 01:16 PM   #1
roylee
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I'm wondering if there are others on here who make their own hardwood lump charcoal? I do it in my old Weber (usually use apple or walnut wood as we have a lot of it) and it turns out fine. Curious as to how others do it, what kind of wood they use, etc. The way I'm doing it works fine, but there's probably better.

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Old 08-05-2009, 02:14 PM   #2
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Dude, you gotta provide the details on how you do that. I'm assuming you can still use the grill for normal grilling, right? I have a 22" Weber that's our every day grill and would like to try this with it. I've read up on making your own charcoal but everything I've found talks about digging a huge hole in the ground and covering it with sheet metal to dampen it. I don't have the space for that. How much charcoal can you make at once? How long does it take?

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Old 08-05-2009, 03:05 PM   #3
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no doubt... write up with pictures....another thing for all us crazies to do our selves because we like it better!

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Old 08-05-2009, 03:22 PM   #4
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Interesting idea, using a Weber. Haven't made charcoal, except in big holes and long ago.

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Old 08-05-2009, 05:04 PM   #5
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No, it doesn't hurt the grill. As to your question regarding how long it takes--start to finish quite a while, but your part doesn't last long. I usually do it when I'm smoking... made a batch last weekend so won't need to again for a while but will take some pics next time. I generally use branches (dried hardwood) to keep the size standard (if you mix large and small diameter the small will burn before the big is ready). Wrist size or a bit smaller works for me.... cut in 3 inch lengths, pile them on the Weber (not too big a pile as you'll have to stir them). Split wood would probably work, it's just that branches are handy and I don't have a splitter. What I do is spray them with starter, ignite, try to get them burning uniformly. Restrict the air flow... when the smoke starts to lose color shut the air off altogether. Leave it overnight (don't be tempted to open the lid too soon or they'll reignite.) It's a bit trial and error as when to shut the air down. . . I can pretty much tell from experience, but don't know to explain it. I imagine the type/dryness of the wood and tightness of your air opening effect that... but it works for me. Darned good charcoal. (You need a tight-fitting lid on the Weber, and don't forget to close ALL openings... I made a batch once but forgot to close the bottom vents and had nothing but ashes by morning.)

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Old 08-05-2009, 05:25 PM   #6
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I'm definitely trying this out this weekend. We had two huge branches come down out of the oak in our front yard and I was planning on just burning them this fall in a bonfire. Now I've got a use for all of them. Thanks for the info!

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Old 08-06-2009, 11:55 AM   #7
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Turkeyfoot--- oak is ideal but if that branch just came down you might want to give it some time... may work with green wood. never tried. I season it for a few months. Let me know how it comes out. One issue with the Weber is that I have to make charcoal three or four times to have enough to get us through the summer. When I posted this I was wondering if others used something bigger.... I may try the Brinkman smoker next time.

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Old 08-06-2009, 12:21 PM   #8
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Just curious...how much charcoal does this produce? I mean, you say two or three times of making it will last you the summer. I would have to say I went through 6-8 big bags (what are they, 15lbs?) already this summer. Would that be comparable?

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Old 08-06-2009, 01:55 PM   #9
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I was figuring I'd have to let it dry out before I tried making charcoal but I may try some green just as a test. Some of the oak that fell has been dead up there for a while, one branch fell and landed on another and then sat there for several months before both came down.

Assuming I get a chance to try this out this weekend I'll try and take photos of what I make to give you guys an idea of how much I can make in one load of the Weber.

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Old 08-06-2009, 03:25 PM   #10
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SOB... I don't know in pounds, but the batch I made last weekend came close to filling a five gallon bucket. I took a picture of the grill setup and finished charcoal but I'm not a paying member so apparently I can't attach it. Turkeyfoot.... I don't think I made this clear earlier, but the cooking surface grill thing comes out. Just pile the wood chunks on the lower rack where the charcoal would go. Leave the bottom vent open till the fire gets going. Also I noticed when I took the pic that the gill is a John Deere, not a Weber (bought it at a sale a few years ago. Didn't even realize JD made a grill). Looks just like the Weber with a tight fitting hood and all you need is a cooking chamer where the air can be restricted and shut down, so the brand should make no difference.

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