Making Charcoal

Why? 1. BBQ charcoal (the briquette stuff) sucks. Too much slag, doesn't burn very hot, and isn't very strong when hot either. 2. Wood works for the furnace, but won't in a cupola. 3. The reason for any of this stuff, MORE FIRE!!! :->

Here are a few websites on making charcoal:

A brief overview of these:

The bottom line, it seems to me, is this: for maximum efficiency, it should be burned out as cold as possible, with as little oxygen as possible. If you're getting a perky orange flame from your direct method most of the time, you're way too hot, and not rich enough; it should be redder and certainly smoky. Indirect seems pretty fool-proof, since the wood is sealed up nice in a can. Also good for making specialty types of charcoal; that used in black powder for instance. As for the mound, I get the impression it hasn't been used in a few centuries, so I have no idea what could happen there...

So How'd I Do?

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