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Malvern Hills BBQ Charcoal

By Wildwood Coppice Crafts
How our charcoal is made…

Our charcoal is made using sustainably coppiced wood from Park Wood in West Malvern. We are restoring the woodland to produce quality hazel for craft use whilst improving the habitat for wildlife. Last winter over 700 new hazel trees were planted by volunteers as part of this restoration. The poor quality timber resulting from this work is converted into firewood and charcoal

Loading the charcoal kiln with locally coppiced wood  - The wood needs to be seasoned for up to a year before being converted into charcoal. It is stacked radially, leaving a hole down the centre in which a fire can be set

Setting the charge - A small fire is made on the ground next to the kiln and the hot embers are placed into the centre of the kiln on to a prepared bed of kindling and fire wood. The fire is fed by air through the 8 ‘ports’ on which the kiln sits.

Placing the lid - once the fire has taken hold, the lid is put on and the four chimneys are placed on top in order to warm them up. This will help them to ‘draw’ once they are placed in the ports. As the fire burns the lid will slowly settle down into place. Only then can the chimneys be put in place in their ports.

The burn – once the lid has settled down the rim is sealed with soil to make it air tight. Four ports act as chimneys and four as air inlets. The fire is kept small by restricting the air flow though the ports. The wood is effectively ‘cooked’ as moisture and volatile compounds are driven off by the heat. The inlets and chimneys are periodically swapped over.

The finished product  – when the chimneys start to produce a clear blue-ish  ‘smoke’, the charcoal is ready. All ports must be completely closed so that the fire goes out and the kiln can cool. When it has completely cooled down, the lid can be lifted and the charcoal bagged!                                         

The Ultimate BBQ

Cooking sausages ......
A pregnant Kelda cooking sausages on the extremely hot charcoal kiln!!


CHARCOAL COURSES

If you would like to come and learn how to make charcoal please see our courses page
 

 

page last updated: 28 April 2016

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