Size: 450 x 250 x 250mm (17.7 x 9.8 x 9.8in) Weight: 2.4kg (5.3lb)
Make charcoal at home with this simple domestic sized kiln. Fill with hardwood logs then put the whole unit into a fully lit large fire pit, cover with more firewood and leave over-night. The following day, when cool, open your charcoal maker and the wood should have turned into charcoal ready for your next barbecue, etc. Use smaller wood to make artists charcoal.
N.B. These charcoal makers frequently display surface rusting both inside and out from new. This is normal and in no way detracts from the usefulness of the product. A light oiling between firings and dry storage will ensure that your charcoal maker will last for years.
- Make Your Own Charcoal With A Kadai Home Charcoal Maker Review by John Adams - Permaculture magazine
I used a Bon-Fire Fire Pit which I slightly modified by cutting three 350mm lengths of 15mm copper pipe and threading these over the existing short legs to raise it about 300mm off the ground. This proved to be a good adaption as you can now sit round it to keep warm and it saves the grass.
The Charcoal Maker is a 450mm long steel drum, with doors at either end and two small chimneys on top. To make charcoal you fill it tightly with well seasoned lengths of hard wood about 30mm diameter. Close the ends and place the drum in a low fire of scrap wood. Next you build up the fire around the drum and watch the immediate effect on the wood in the drum as steam comes from the chimneys. Keep the fire going, though it doesn't need to be huge so don't waste too much wood on it. After about an hour flames will appear from the chimneys and around the doors. This is the wood gas burning off. After two hours, the flames will go out and the fire can be left to die down. Leave the drum overnight to cool as hot charcoal can spontaneously combust.
The next day, open an end and tip out your charcoal. I managed to make just over a kilo of high quality charcoal which, for a first try, I think was a success. The Kadai certainly works and I would be interested to try using it to make bio-char as well.
Update: It has been used many times since by the Sustainability Centre with similarly good results, including to make high quality artists charcoal from the willow that grows in their WET system. (Posted on 30/11/2012)
- Great fun product Review by Martin
I have a fascination with charcoal making ever since visiting Ben Law's place but live in a town.
I bought the product not realising that it is actually designed to go in the Kadia fire bowl (which is beautiful but quite an investment)
However, it fitted into my Barbecue and would work well with an open outdoor fire.
My first burn was quite exciting although I suspected the wood had caught and I would awake the next morning to a pile of ashes.
However, much to my surprise I had a good amount of useful charcoal.
My second burn was with oak and it did not completely char the wood - you have to have courage and leave it quite a while in the fire.
However, I like the process of learning.
It is a great way of teaching people the principles of charcoal making and the main benefit is that you can make it in your back garden as long as the wind is in the right direction away from the neighbours. (Posted on 20/07/2011)