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Thread: Homemade 'Charcoal'

  1. #1
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    Homemade 'Charcoal'

    Home made 'charcoal'


    I live on disability but love good food
    and have learned how to make cooking outside cheaper.
    Store bought charcoal costs $8. a bag.
    but I can buy a ham for $8.
    Cooking inside costs propane and the kitchen needs cleaning afterwards.
    I much prefer cooking over a fire.
    I have used wood but it takes too long to burn down to coals.
    And doesn't last long enough to finish the meat.

    I took left over fire wood and split it
    and sawed it into 3" long pieces but the shorter pieces are hard to cut.
    I have to hold the pieces down with my foot and the last piece is 10" long.
    Today I had a better idea.

    I found a hardwood limb about wrist size or smaller but real long.
    And took the skill saw and cut short pieces off of it,
    as short and I could make them.
    About as short as the limb is wide.
    Then took a hatchet and split them till I had a bucket full of wood.
    The larger pieces split two or three times
    and smaller pieces not split at all.
    I use it as readily as charcoal.
    And today cooked chicken and it was great.
    I prefer 'BBQ'ed' to 'fried' chicken.
    And now don't have to buy charcoal.

    You can add firewood as the fire burns down.
    And this firewood doesn't produce much flame.
    I would hardily recommend 'home made charcoal'.
    Except it isn't charcoal.

    J. Winters von Knife

    'The following was written by a friend.'

    Here in WA we have Alder trees growing wild everywhere.
    I usually cut this up into small chunks like you are saying and BBQ with them. Alder smoked meat is like "meat candy". The key to making it last is to let it dry thouroughly, then just before you use it soak it with water. This makes a cooler burn, and more smokey, which consequently makes more flavor. Make sure your chunks are no bigger than 3X3 inches. In BBQ terms this is called "natural chunk charcol", and it is actually what many "pro" BBQ cooks prefer.

    Yer Cap'n

    Re: Home made 'charcoal

    Thank you for the 'valuable new idea.'
    I remember seeing 'wood chips soaked in water' for BBQing with.
    But I have never used the technique
    but now, using natural wood
    'wood chunks'
    rather than store bought charcoal,
    'water soaked wood' would be a critical element to BBQing.
    The 'water soaked' chunks would obviously burn slower,
    not be too hot
    and add the essential 'smokeyness' too.
    This is really big!

    Thank you Captain sir,
    for this essential piece of BBQing knowlege.
    'Lets git drunk and eat BBQ.'
    'Then go coon hunting."

    J. Winters von Knife

    The 'water soaked wood chip' idea,
    'at first hearing', was obviously a profoundly good idea and the critical 'missing link' to my BBQ'ing knowledge, overlooked for 50 years,
    and like all of the greatest things I have ever learned,


    I realized it instantly and thanked you before I even tried it.
    But now I have tried it!
    Is the means to control the fire.
    It's so simple, so obvious.
    And I so excited about it I have to go get me a beer,
    hold on........
    .............Alright, it may not seem so brilliant to you,
    or anyone else reading this,
    but it is brilliant to me.
    I never thought of it and I don't know why.
    Being an amature gourmet chef anyway,
    {I have been making pizza from scratch for 40 years}
    {Caramelizing bbq chicken and onions on a hibatche for 40 years}
    {Brewing homebrew for 15...}

    What could be more obvious than water?
    {I can't believe I missed it}
    What could be more basic and so simple?
    A fire can be controlled within a degree ot two
    simply by the use of water soaked wood chips
    and a little water out of the wood chip bucket too,
    to 'throw, sprinkle, or drip' on the fire
    with your 'hand, or a stick to cool it down.
    Or to put out a flame up on one paticular wood chip...

    It is perfect.

    Thank you again!

    I sure appreciate it...
    and now I'm off 'to cook chicken'

    'Water' is overlooked in many things in cooking.
    While I BBQ I keep a spray bottle right next to the grill, and if the fire gets too dry, and starts to heat up too much, I spray the coals down.

    Another trick to keeping your meat moist is to create a steam environment in the grill. I place a pie pan in the middle of the coal rack, and fill it half way with water for beef, or applejuice for chicken/fish. This steam keeps the meat moist, and can be a great avenue for adding unique flavors. When cooking Salmon on the BBQ I use white wine, the flavor of the wine steamed into the fish expands any herbs and seasonings I add to the fish, and gives it a unique twang, as well as keeping the fish moist, the hardest thing to do with fish on the grill.

    When baking bread in the oven, I place a pie pan half filled with water on the lowest rung of racks. I put this in while the oven is preheating, then just prior to placing the raised bread in the oven, I spray the sides and top with hot water, and quickly place the bread in the oven. This makes for a crisp, and flaky crust on the bread.

    The key to cooking,,,,,it's in the water.

    Yer Cap'n

    Thank you 'Captain' sir...

    J. Winters von Knife

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    Thanks for posting the info Jack!
    If the country keeps going to hell we might just need more of that kind of info.

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    I have made hard wood charcoal for use in a forge and in a iron bloomery.This sounds like a much faster way of making charcoal than I used.

    I used a method were I piled hardwood into a large pyramid(12') and covered it with about 18" of soil. When I started the fire it took almost 2 days to burn into charcoal.

    With this new cap and trade bulls**t forge coal is going to be hard to get and expensive and propane does not get hot enough.

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