Charcoal is one of those 'useful' things that we've talked alot about on campouts and outings with the kids. The kids were wondering why people in 3rd world countries would burn up jungle and rain forest to make it, and what it is used for.
It is difficult to find - BBQ brickettes have too many chemicals and additives like Lime to use... so we are going to try over the summer to dial in a simple means to make it.
We did some BBQ of our own this weekend, so we wrapped some dry cedar kindling wood in heavy aluminum foil, and placed it in the grill. We put a very small hole in the foil to let the gases from the wood escape. This attempt was for 40 minutes @ about 350*F.
As you can see, we didn't get much change. Some discoloration and charing at the edges, and that was it. We've re-wrapped the wood, and its waiting in the grill for our next BBQ...