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How to Make Charcoal

 

The Bulworthy Project in association with the Devon Wildlife Trust. Restaurant grade charcoal made in Devon using a 3 meter diameter steel kiln. A step by step charcoal burn process to show you how natural lumpwood charcoal is manufactured in the heart of the Devon countryside. The stages show below can vary depending on the wood used and should not be performed without professional advice. Without the correct skills and knowledge the charcoal burning process is very dangerous.    

 

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Charcoal Burn in progress

Charcoal Burn in progress at Rackenford, Devon

The Bulworthy Project, accredited by and in association with The Devon Wildlife Trust.

The basics of natural charcoal production is burning seasoned wood in a low oxygen atmosphere.

Produced this way for thousands of years by lighting the wood and then controlling the oxygen feeding the fire by means of covering the fire with dirt, turfs or the use of a kiln.

The moisture content of the wood dissipates at temperatures of above 500C. Seasoned wood is used because of it's lower moisture content.

The charcoal kiln or "retort" on the left is used at Rackenford, Devon for the manufacture of lump-wood charcoal.

The steps of a controlled charcoal burn using a steel kiln were recorded in the Summer of 2010 at Rackenford Devon.

Wood ready for the kiln

Seasoned Wood

Wood ready for the barbecue

Charcoal Ready for the BBQ

 
        

  wood is laid at the base

To start, the seasoned wood is laid at the base of the kiln to allow air flow and ignition at one of the 4 foot vents.

charcoal is placed in the centre

Charcoal from a previous burn is placed in the centre of the kiln with kindling to aid ignition and the first stages of the fire.

Seasoned wood is added

Seasoned wood is added in redials and concentric circles around the outer section which will produce the charcoal yield.

Layer upon layer

Layer upon layer is skilfully placed until the kiln is full.

 

  Filling the kiln

Filling the kiln is labour intensive and hard work on a hot Summers day.

 

Full of seasoned wood.

The steel kiln, now full of seasoned wood.

lid is placed onto the kiln

 The steel lid is placed onto the kiln. Note that the kiln is raised from the ground to maximise air flow during the initial burn.

Kiln wedged slightly open

To aid air flow and draw of the initial burn the lid is wedged slightly open.

 

  chimney support

One of the 4 foot vents and chimney supports which was chosen to light the burn

Lighting the kiln

Lighting the kiln with cloth twined round a wooden stick

nspecting the ignition

Inspecting to make sure the ignition is successful.

Steam emitting from the kiln

Steam emitted from the kiln as the fire takes hold. The chimneys are ready for assembly onto the foot vent supports.

 

  sealed with sand

Once the wood has settled and the burn has taken hold, the base of the kiln can be sealed with sand

chimneys assembled in place.

The kiln base is now sealed and chimneys assembled in place.

sealed with sand

The kiln lid is lowed and sealed with sand.

air intake regulated

To aid a consistent even burn, the chimneys air intake can be regulated and controlled.

 

 

When the colour of the steam changes to a blue tint the wood is dry and the moisture has evaporated.

The kiln is now fully closed by removal of the chimneys and sealing the 4 foot vents. This staves the kiln of oxygen and prevents the wood burning to ash.

At least 24 will elapse before the kiln is opened to retrieve the charcoal.

 

After 24 hours the lid is removed to reveal a kiln of charcoal.

The charcoal is then removed and graded for packaging.

 

Kiln of charcoal ready to remove

Kiln of charcoal.

 

 

  Bag of Bulworthy Project Charcoal

The Bulworthy Project in association with the Devon Wildlife Trust.

 

Ready to cook in approximately 10 minutes.

Free from binders, accelerators and other chemical additives.

Less ash so easy clean up

No Need to Buy Firelighters!

2.25 Kg Approx Per Bag

Have a Barbecue using a fuel similar to that used over 5 thousand years ago!

In Stock

7.99

 

 

 

 

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