charcoal

Warning! You will need a *SMALL* mountain of it - it's nice in many ways, but it is a low density fuel.
Also, in many cases the "charcoal brikets" sold may say "a mineral
product" - that means it's coal dust pressed into shape. Not a fun fuel!
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On Mon, 1 Sep 2003, David Smith wrote:

Real charcoal, on the other hand, works quite well and is quite a clean fuel. But he's right about the low density. Charcoal is a good fuel pound for pound, but those pounds take up far more space than when the carbon is in the form of coal. More space on your forge, more space in your truck if you have to haul it in from somewhere. Also, it throws sparks and hollows out really fast, which you have to learn to fill in more often than you would with coal.
Storage is not too much of a problem, though--weather won't hurt it. It's expensive if you have to buy it. It lights wonderfully easily, and a handful of charcoal will bring back a fire you thought was going to die, or keep a fire banked nicely if you want lunch.
IMHO charcoal is really great if you have lots of scrap wood available, especially if it's already in pieces and doesn't need cutting. It's easy to make yourself, and it's the only _free_ fuel most of us have available. It's also the authentic fuel for the first two thousand years of the Iron Age, so it's educational for us to experience and of course appropriate for a lot of reenactors or museum demonstrators.
Conrad Hodson
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