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Making Your Own Charcoal


Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
Joined Oct 29, 2020
I did once for the sake of saying I tried it.
Basically, you need to burn wood to make other wood turn into carbon. A very wasteful process... however if you have to burn the wood to get rid of it anyway it's a pretty cool thing.
Don't use softwood to make grilling briquettes. Softwood is used to make "activated charcoal" and has other uses.
Joined Dec 25, 2020
That's why I want to try it. I have a big sand blow that would be the perfect spot. 'course if you weigh the cost difference between homemade charcoal, store-bought, and firewood sales it's not a very economical venture.


Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Feb 3, 2009
take a look here;


Smoking Fanatic
SMF Premier Member
Joined Oct 29, 2020
Yeah, definitely not economical. I'd say it is a skill to have and try at least once...
There are preppers and survivalists out there that tout it as a survival skill. Making activated charcoal can remove toxins and other stuff in your system and has the ability to filter water and such if you put it in a shirt... for example. It can also serve to create an oven without a fire to draw attention and etc...

I'd say go for it to try once. If you have enough wood to keep going, go!


Joined Aug 25, 2018
I've been making lump charcoal to use in my kamado . I use a small drum inside of a 55 gallon drum. I get all the 2x4s for free for cooking the charcoal and use oak and hickory for the charcoal. The key is starting with the right size chunks.


Meat Mopper
Joined Sep 5, 2013
If you have free wood to use it is very economical. I have made charcoal foryears. A 55 gal drum would yield about 25 gals of finished lump charcoal. All it cost me was my time to do it plus a little gas and oil.

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