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Making my own charcoal??

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I found a couple websites that ell how to make charcoal, looks kind simple.

My motivation? We have an Amish sawmill about 3 miles away, and I can get a 1½ yard dumper of hardwood blocks for $20 and a 3'x3'x4' long bundle of cants for $6.

My question is- just how good is oak for charcoal and/or smoking?

I grew up in a non-oak tree place (northern Michigan). I've used the usual suspects (maple, apple, cherry) for smoking, but never oak. How's it fit tastewise in these, or is is between let's say cherry and hickory?

Since I'm laid off right now, what would you expect to pay for 'real' charcoal (rather than briquets), because this may turn into a sideline.
post #2 of 7
Northern Michigan a non oak tree place?????????????? What part would that be? Somewhere in da UP?
post #3 of 7
oak is a good fuel wood, not as strong as hickory but a little stronger than plain apple taste wise from what I have seen.
post #4 of 7
Oak is a very good fuel source with a mild flavor, I usually get started with oak and then add something else ( pecan, hickory, cherry,apple etc) for flavor

as far as charcoal is should work nicely, I am not sure what is costs these days , I mainly cook with splits but I am sure someone who does will be along shortly to help

Good Luck and Happy Smokes
post #5 of 7
Once it's dry, oak would be good for cooking, smoking or charcoal. Most charcoal made in the midwest is exactly the type you are talking about....oak scraps from sawmills.

Oak smoke is similar to but not as strong as hickory. Not sweet like the fruitwoods. But which oak? Around here, we have white oak, red oak, shingle oak, pin oak, burr oak, shumard oak, black oak and post oak, just to name a few. All just a little different.

I think the retail price for Cowboy lump is $12 for 20# bag. Get a drum and give it a try. Would love to hear what you final cost per pound is.
post #6 of 7
My main wood is red oak, it's very mild imo and makes for some great Q. I use it with fruit woods, cherry, apple and mulberry.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
It's mainly white oak from the looks of the logs.

lcruzen, I grew up around Boyne City. The hardwoods are mainly maple and beech. The few oaks in the area I was raised where around Harbor Springs.

And yeah, it's 'almost' the UP *grin*

Thanks for all the input!
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