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maf 03-04-2011 02:09 AM

Wood Alternatives

I was wondering if I could use compressed wood blocks as a fuel source in my oven. The addative free 100% low ash wood brickettes like Homefire Blazers or those by Lantanemen fuels ?

Any thoughts?



dmun 03-05-2011 04:10 PM

Re: Wood Alternatives
If they are really additive free, they might work, but such stuff is really expensive compared to firewood in the states.

We've got tons of trees here on the east coast. People pay to get rid of wood when a tree comes down. If you have a bit of space for storage, wood can be your cheapest alternative. If you have to pay to have it aged and split, it's more expensive, but still nothing like processed wood fuel.

azpizzanut 03-05-2011 07:35 PM

Re: Wood Alternatives
Hello MAF,

My suggestion would be to combine the compressed fuel as an adjunct with natural wood. You decide the ratio, but I think 50/50 should work ok. This method will allow you to ration your natural wood without having to purchase a large amount of manufactured blocks as a sole source of fuel.

I have a little experience using compressed charcoal blocks as a substitute for both wood and charcoal briquettes. These compressed blocks were larger than BBQ briquettes and burned much hotter. Needless to say, I had a problem on my hands trying to manage a too hot fire in a Weber Kettle grill. I had used the same volume of larger blocks as I would charcoal briquettes, but that was too much. Later, I learned to combine a few of the larger blocks with regular briquettes and now the fires are manageable.

There are some interesting YouTube videos of people making charcoal and of others making fuel blocks from ground, extruded, charcoal for use as a cooking fuel in developing countries. Many of these blocks have hollow centers.

Here is an interesting bit of information regarding charcoal. Many developing nations cook their meals over an open fire using whatever is at hand as fuel. Dried dung, vegetative matter, scarce wood and charcoal, etc. In Haiti, most cook with charcoal, but it is hard to get. There is a black market for charcoal there. A family may spend more than half their daily wages to buy charcoal just to cook with. Haiti shares an island with the Dominican Republic. It is illegal to transport charcoal across the border into Haiti, but many apparently do and sell it at a huge profit. I am thankful I live in the U.S.A. where my biggest cooking problem is deciding which wfo to use.


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