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Thread: How to maker charcoal from coconut husks

  1. #1
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    Default How to maker charcoal from coconut husks

    To make 30-40 lb of charcoal, you will need:

    A clean 55 gallon metal drum with the lid cut off roughly (you will be able to reuse this drum many, many times)
    Enough dry coconut husks/shells to fill said drum
    A bag of sand
    3 or 4 bricks
    Time and patience

    Start by punching/cutting 5 holes in the bottom of the drum which are each 2" square. Try to keep them towards the center. Put the drum down on the bricks, placed so it is off the ground and fill it with the wood. Start a fire in the drum. When it is going well, put the top back on to reflect back the heat. Since it was cut off roughly, there will be slight gaps to allow the a draft.

    Now, turn the whole thing over, placing it back onto the bricks. ( It will be heavy. And mind the lid doesn't fall off!) The smoke will start out white. This is the water vapor burning off. Next the smoke will go blue/grey which is the alcohols and phenols burning off. Then the smoke appears yellow, which is the tar burning off. Finally the smoke will clear and you will just see waves of heat.

    When this happens, Carefully remove the bricks out from underneith. Take the sand and make a pile around the bottom lid, plugging up the bottom draft. Also, cover the top with either a piece of turf or a large piece of metal. Use the sand to seal around the turf/metal so no air can get into the drum. We are trying for a closed system here. If air/oxygen/fire-fuel DOES get into the drum, the charcoal will just burn up.

    Also, try not to let the sand fall down into the drum through the holes. Allow the drum to cool (2-3 hours). Then turn back over, pry off the top and remove your charcoal. If there is a spark, the charcoal may "catch", but just douse it with some water. The charcoal will still be hot enough to dry out. Repeat above process as necessary.

  2. #2

    Default Re: How to maker charcoal from coconut husks

    who will be trying this one first?

  3. #3
    TRN's fiesty redhead catahoula fan's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to maker charcoal from coconut husks

    No gracias...all that work, there better be a fully cooked and ready-to-eat pig waiting. Thanks for the info, Mike! I'm guessin' you got to watch this process recently, quizás?
    "Patience is a virtue, but persistence to the point of success is a blessing."

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How to maker charcoal from coconut husks

    No, didn't see it happen. Cut and pasted it from the web. I would like to try it but would need help. Does seem to be an awful lot of work. I am trying to figure out how to turn a barrel full of burning husks upside down without the llid falling off! Seems to me an ambulance needs to be standing by with the motor running.

  5. #5
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to maker charcoal from coconut husks

    Atta a boy Tom.. You make friends every where you go....


    Mikeh -- I think I caught the jist of it.. But it begs the question... Does Coconut husk charcoal add any unique flavor to what it cooks??
    ==================================================
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: How to maker charcoal from coconut husks

    Quote Originally Posted by bill_bly_ca View Post
    Atta a boy Tom.. You make friends every where you go....


    Mikeh -- I think I caught the jist of it.. But it begs the question... Does Coconut husk charcoal add any unique flavor to what it cooks??
    Yes but more importantly people in countries like Nicaragua make charcoal from wood which contributes to deforestation. As far as I understand Nicaraguans don't use coconut husks for anything, they just discard them.

    Coconut husks actually have a wealth of uses but that's for another day.

  7. #7
    TRN Surgeon General El Doc's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to maker charcoal from coconut husks

    They make an extruded version for commercial consumption.

    http://www.anteromas.com/charcoalbriquettes.html
    "Un Estado que no se rigiera según la justicia se reduciría a una gran banda de ladrones." --San Agustín

  8. #8

    Default Re: How to maker charcoal from coconut husks

    Does Coconut husk charcoal add any unique flavor to what it cooks??
    I do lots of bbq/smoking and have used all kinds of charcoal from hardwood lump to crappy store bought briquetts including coconut charcoal. As far as I'm concerned the only difference between any of them, other than the additives that are put into preformed briquetts is the temp at which they burn.
    The charcoal making process "cooks out" all of the elements of the wood that would impart any flavor to your food,leaving behind pure carbon.
    When I smoke pork shoulders I always mix chunks of hickory and/or apple wood to flavor the meat.

  9. #9
    Viejo del Foro Just Plain John Wayne's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to maker charcoal from coconut husks

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicago John View Post
    I do lots of bbq/smoking and have used all kinds of charcoal from hardwood lump to crappy store bought briquetts including coconut charcoal. As far as I'm concerned the only difference between any of them, other than the additives that are put into preformed briquetts is the temp at which they burn.
    The charcoal making process "cooks out" all of the elements of the wood that would impart any flavor to your food,leaving behind pure carbon.
    When I smoke pork shoulders I always mix chunks of hickory and/or apple wood to flavor the meat.
    Here most of the cooking and making of charcoal is done with the Nancite fruit wood......

    It is very prolific and makes the food taste great, but the wood burned right under the cooking will blacken it, better to burn it off and use the coals from it, and then if you want, throw a few green guava leaves along on top for flavor.....

    Here everyone throws the coconut husks around the bottom of the trees to let them rot into fertilizer..
    To be called a "Has Been" I must surmise, is much Greater than to be called a "Nevah Been"... JW...



  10. #10
    Papatara mupitara's Avatar
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    Default Check out my blog!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeh View Post
    Yes but more importantly people in countries like Nicaragua make charcoal from wood which contributes to deforestation. As far as I understand Nicaraguans don't use coconut husks for anything, they just discard them.

    We´ve done our part to contribute to deforestation! However, charcoal from either wood or coconut husks is not a viable cooking alternative for us in Alamikamba. We use the real thing and not a charbroiled imitation! Check out the blog Kuka´s Kubús on TheRealNicaragua.com.

    Aisabe,
    Papatara
    Papatara, S.A. - Semaforos de Montoya 3c al sur y 1/2c abajo, frente ENIMOSA, Managua, Nicaragua
    Hotel Papatara - Alamikamba, Municipio de Prinzapolka, RAAN, Nicaragua

  11. #11
    Dog Whisperer cookshow's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to maker charcoal from coconut husks

    Someday I hope to have an abundance of coconut and have thought of how to use the husk, I will try this one of these days, but looks like you would need a few strong helpers.

    My idea for the husk, is that I will buy or have built a shredder, shred the husk and use as mulch or throw in the compost pile.

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