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Old 02-16-2009, 12:31 PM
egalecki's Avatar
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Default Hey, it really IS charcoal!

Upon being informed that the gas grill was out of gas (which is why I dislike it. It's always out when I want it), I pulled out some of the combusted logs from my can of ashes and made a small fire with them, part of a firestarter, and a little bark. It was merrily burning pretty quickly, and we were grilling sausages within half an hour.

These were some of the biggish pieces I had pulled out when I was going to bake, and I would not have thought there was much left for them to give, but I was wrong.

So now I guess I need to sort through my can and pull some out for later...
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Old 02-16-2009, 04:49 PM
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Default Re: Hey, it really IS charcoal!

Yes, it's really charcoal, and moreover you know what it's made of. Charcoal briquettes are made of sawdust, bark, fillers, binders, and increasingly, "mineral carbon" aka coal, probably the nasty brown bituminous stuff. Smells like it, too, when it burns.

I've given thought to putting a grid in my ashcan, so as to easily separate ash from charcoal, but I've never gotten around to it.
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Old 02-16-2009, 07:36 PM
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Default Re: Hey, it really IS charcoal!

I found a great way to make charcoal chunks after a night of pizza is to put a couple last logs on the fire and let them get about 50% burned. I throw the door on the oven without really sealing, perhaps leaving an inch or so gap at the bottom. The fire dies down to coals pretty quick, and once at that stage, I just tighten up the door up and in the morning, I've got big chunks of charcoal.

I don't think this is dangerous. My door has a draft hole at the bottom. I would never seal off the oven with a real fire burning away in there.
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Old 02-17-2009, 12:22 AM
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Default Re: Hey, it really IS charcoal!

Retired Officers are a worry, Sir George, but I'm pleased you're onto the charcoal source. Gives a beautiful burn, yes?
Mate, a bloke very near to my heart has been known to seive old campfires for their unused fuel. Once we found a divine lump the size of a volleyball:beautiful! Chucked it on the back of the ute for next night's grill.

Hmm. Didn't realize that it housed a very healthy colony of black ants until quite some hours later.So - there may be downsides.
Meanwhile, like yourself, we'll continue to seive the ash from the fuel before re-setting the oven. Oh the joy of it all!
Mushy J.
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Old 02-17-2009, 02:38 AM
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Default Re: Hey, it really IS charcoal!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gjbingham View Post
I would never seal off the oven with a real fire burning away in there.
Why not? Isn't that really how they make charcoal? get a good fire going and then shut down the kiln. Let it cool and you have lot's of charcoal.
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Old 02-17-2009, 05:02 AM
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Default Re: Hey, it really IS charcoal!

XJ,
My sentiments also - but with a qualifier.(Bugger! I should have been a politician: or maybe a loan shark at least, for I speak with forked tongue.)
My tenuous grip on charcoal production is that, once the initial fire gets going, a trickle feed of air keeps the whole show on track. Too much air, and you burn your intended product. Too little, and you have superbly dried wood, with some charcoal.
I refrained from commenting on GJB re sealing a burning fire, because I felt that he may have considered it from an aesthetic angle.[Is 'aesthetic' the write word? I dunno eh. Advice welcome.]And I commend that attitude.
Personally, we shut the door once the pizzas are cooked, and the resulting charcoal will fire grills for a couple of knights. (Read that as you will).
I must post an apology to Egalecki, then stop hijacking his post and go to "chit Chat". You buggers stay safe eh.
Mouldy luddite jeffie.
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Old 02-17-2009, 06:22 AM
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Default Re: Hey, it really IS charcoal!

Egalecki is a woman, Jeff.... and she doesn't mind being hijacked every now and then. Considering she's guilty of it herself sometimes.
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Old 02-17-2009, 08:26 AM
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Default Re: Hey, it really IS charcoal!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeff View Post
<snip> Didn't realize that it housed a very healthy colony of black ants until quite some hours later.So - there may be downsides. <snip>
Well, yes, I have heard that most prefer them medium-rare and not well done.

J W
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:35 AM
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Default Re: Hey, it really IS charcoal!

JW,
Good call. Humour sprinkled on mere facts makes them just so much more palatable.
Betul.
JH.
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:58 PM
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Default Re: Hey, it really IS charcoal!

Good story Jeff! I can just imagine sifting through fire pits for chunks of charcoal. That mate of yours is obviously very serious about his grilling to go to that extent to find fuel. At least they weren't fire ants, eh?

XJ - I had no idea how real (wood) charcoal is made. I started to read about it once, but it sounded too complex for my interests, so I moved on. I guess I happened upon the answer serendipitously. I see now that I'm not the only one harvesting charcoal from the oven.
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