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Reef's Backyard Lump

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Launch preparation. T minus approximately 22 hours.

Put the small barrel up on a pedestal.


Fill it with wood for charcoal. For this test burn I just used a few pieces of old leftover firewood.


Put the big barrel over it upside down.


Tip it over.


Finish tipping it over. Pack the space between the two barrels with sticks (fuel for the burn).


Add a few pieces of fat lighter (for ignition) and some more sticks and twigs.


Ready to go. Ignition at approximately 6:00 pm tomorrow night.

I ain't scared - LOL

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Failure to launch - LOL

An incomplete burn. Primary cause of this is wet hardwood for the charcoal. Makes sense considering the wood had been sitting out in the open through the last 2 months of crazy rain we had.




No worries. The concept is there I just need to perfect it. If I can secure some really dry oak hardwood today will give it another test soon.

Going to drill 4 more 3/4" holes in the bottom to complete my 16 hole pattern.

On the brighter side, this is a set it and forget it burn. Once the lid is on just walk away and come back the next day. No need for babysitting it. I also did complete one of two planned test burns to clean out the barrels.

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ckreef - this is great! Thanks for posting this. I know I'll never make my own charcoal because I live in the city, but I'm living it vicariously through you!

Failure is the cornerstone on which success is built. Edison tried how many times before he perfected the light bulb?

ckreef - you rock, Buddy. You just keep on rocking along and soon you'll be the charcoal king!

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My internet has been down since Thurs and I thought of all the rotten luck, I'm going to miss the big burn :sad8::sad8::sad8: Looks like a work in progress and success just around the corner :smt045

Test burn #2 tonight. Will post some details tomorrow morning.

I had really dry oak wood for this test. A completely different beast - almost scarey. I think we'll have some decent lump in the morning. (if I didn't turn it to ashes - LOL)

Will post results of burn #2 tomorrow morning before me and Mrs skreef go riding the IronHorse.

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Last night was lump burn #2 - we have success.

I went to Academy Sports and bought a large bag of kiln dried oak and loaded it up. (wanted to make sure I had dry wood)


What a monster this burn was. Once the off gases started to burn it was roaring good. The smoke plume went 300' or better up in the sky. I'm sure you could see it from miles away.


The off gassing happened so hard it was making a woo, woo, woo, woo ........... Sound you could hear all across my yard. It was popping little smoke rings out some of the bottom holes.


This morning I dumped it out. That pile is 45" x 20". Enough to fill a used, large, RO bag.



The scrapes that were left.


The key is really dry wood. I'll have to figure out a source for that. Also a larger inner barrel (30 gallon instead of 16) would yield more lump for the same amount of effort.

I now have a much bigger appreciation for the Lump producers of the world.

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Ckreef - nicely done! Great idea getting that dried/cured wood. How will you secure feedstock for your retort? I know you have plenty of trees aounr, but cutting trees is dadgummed hard work! You gonna make Hawke sing for his supper!?

That's some good looking lump. Let us know how it burns.

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I have a friend who sells firewood cheap. He'll cut and split to my specifications. I can probably talk him into the back of a full size pickup truck for less than $100. Especially now that it's spring and nobody else is buying firewood.

Hawke's job is gathering up the fuel wood. I have an unlimited supply of that laying around.

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I've currently made 3 batches of Backyard Lump. The first 2 I threw away as they were test burns and to help burn out/clean out the barrels.

The third batch was a mixed hardwood batch with well seasoned wood. I have used this for the last few cooks. It burns hot, not too fast and not sparky. A successful experiment so far.

I need to secure a good source for proper wood (I think I have that figured out)

I also need to get a 30 gallon inner barrel instead of the 16 gallon I'm using. A 30 gallon should produce twice the lump and only require about 75% of the work to get that. A win win all around.

If I can get all this together I'll probably never buy lump again.

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