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Easy Step-by-step Instructions on How to Make Charcoal Briquettes

How to Make Charcoal Briquettes
Homemade charcoal briquettes are inexpensive, easy to make, and environment-friendly. In the following article, we have provided detailed steps on how to make charcoal briquettes. Take a look...
Marian K
Last Updated: Feb 17, 2018
Charcoal is a gray-black light porous substance that is composed primarily of carbon, along with some volatile chemicals and ash. Apart from its most significant use as cooking fuel, charcoal was used as a component of gunpowder and to power steam engine trains. Even though there are many indoor and outdoor gas-powered stoves available for grilling, majority of people will agree that charcoal briquettes help make better-tasting meats. So if you like using charcoal briquettes while grilling but don't wish to spend a lot of store-bought kind, here is a do-it-yourself option that'll reduce your expense considerably.
What are Charcoal Briquettes?
Charcoal Briquettes
They are uniform chunks of charcoal that are used in barbecue grills. The primary components of these briquettes are char (traditional charcoal) and coal, such as sub-bituminous lignite or anthracite. The best raw materials used to make traditional charcoal are from different types of wood scraps such as beech, birch, hard maple, hickory, and oak.
Apart from these, a binding agent such as starch made from corn, milo, or wheat, an accelerant (such as nitrate), and an ash-whitening agent (such as lime) are also required. Briquettes are highly flammable, catching and maintaining fire easily. Which is why they are preferred during barbecues.
Items Required for Making Charcoal Briquettes
Before we begin, it is necessary that you gather all the essential tools and items needed for the process.
Old Newspaper
Old Newspaper
Metal Barrel
Metal Barrel
Empty Container
Empty Container
Electric Drill
Electric Drill
Wood Scraps
Wood Scraps
Steps to Follow
Step 1 - The first thing you need to do is collect some wood scraps. The kind of wood you are looking for should be dry. It doesn't matter if the scraps are smaller or larger in size as the briquettes will form on their own. However, if you wanted the briquettes to be smaller in size, you can cut up the wood scraps into smaller pieces.

Step 2 - Now we need an old metal barrel with a lid for this step. Using the electric drill, make a few holes in the base of the barrel. Each hole needs to be 1.5 inches in diameter and should be closer to the center. Place about three bricks on the ground and balance the barrel on them. The objective is to give the barrel some elevation.

Step 3 - Crumple a few sheets of old newspaper into balls and toss them into the barrel. Add sufficient amount and light it. Once the paper achieves full fire, add some of the wood scraps. After there is a strong fire going, add the rest of the wood.

Step 4 - Keep an eye on the appearance of the smoke. When it turns from yellow-white to a much reduced wispy blue, it is time to cut off the oxygen supply. This will help in charring the wood scraps. Place the lid over the barrel, remove it from the bricks' platform, and securely place it on the ground. Keep the bricks on top of the lid so there is no way oxygen can go inside. Lastly, gather some dirt around the base of the barrel.

Step 5 - Now all that's left to do is give it time. After the wood scraps are properly charred, allow it to sit for another 24 hours. By this time, the barrel should be cool to touch. Remove the lid, take out the charcoal chunks from the barrel, and place them in the empty container. Take the charcoal dust from the bottom of the barrel and crush the smaller pieces of charcoal into dust, to make the briquettes.

Step 6 - Having gone through all the preliminaries, it is finally time to form the briquettes. You need a thick paste made from cornstarch and water. Mix the two and stir over heat till you achieve thick consistency. Add in as much of the charcoal dust to the paste as possible. Put this gooey paste into Styrofoam egg cartons and allow it to dry. They should be ready for use in about a weeks time, and are almost totally smokeless, and as good as any store-bought ones.
Charcoal briquettes are great to use as they provide long-lasting and virtually smokeless fire; which is why, they are environment-friendly. The above article has provided you with all the necessary items required to make the charcoal briquettes and the steps. However, if this proves too cumbersome, you can always opt to purchase some when needed.
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