Grilling with self made charcoals

Remember the charcoal I made? And the grill I was planning? Well I was trying out the location of the new grill and I decided to grill using self made charcoals! Did they work? Read on!

Yes, the self made charcoals worked. I managed to grill a salmon fillet with them. Where they any good? Well, no.

Self made charcoals

I made the charcoals from alder, a tree that I have ample amounts of. Alder is not a very dense wood and hence the charcoals are also quite low density. That means they burn quickly and you need to be constantly adding new charcoals to the grill.

If you look at commercial charcoals, they’re usually made from really hard wood species, oak, walnut etc. Olive trees are used as well and depending on the carbonizing process, some flavors can be imparted to the food from the various wood species.

The alder charcoals gave a light smokey flavour, that was very pleasurable. But the sheer amount of coal that I needed was huge! This naturally has some implications to my bloomery project as well.

self made charcoals
Lakeside grill location. Ignition of the charcoals


I made the charcoals using a very traditional mound method. If I’d do them again (and I will) I would use an old oil barrel (which I already have sourced!) in a method described by TweakGeek1. And I’ll use birch.

Self made charcoals
Just a bunch of bricks laid to the potential permanent grill location

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.