The Pennsylvania Pyramid Kiln is designed for ease of use whether putting it together or using it to make charcoal.
Quick Guide to using the
Pennsylvania Pyramid Kiln
The 76 pound kiln is assembled using four sheets of steel that are held together with 5/16″ bolts and nuts. Once bolted together, the kiln is ready for use.
Dig a 2″ hole for the base of the kiln sealing the inside with packed dirt. The key is to keep air from filtering in through the base.
Use some twigs to get the fire started, and you are ready to start making charcoal!
The design of the Pennsylvania Pyramid Kiln allows you to burn all shapes and sizes of wood and boards, turning it all into charcoal.
When you have enough charcoal you can either let the fire burn out, or use a hose to put out the fire. Always make sure to stir the charcoal to check for embers. You don’t want your charcoal to continue burning on its own or catching the whole batch on fire!
The best way to store your charcoal is in a metal, air-tight container. Only use a bag if you are completely certain all the coals are out and cold to the touch.
How the Pennsylvania Pyramid Kiln works
The Pennsylvania Pyramid Kiln is based on the design of an inverted pyramid. This allows a large opening to preheat and burn wood in an oxygen rich atmosphere, thereby keeping smoke to a minimum. As the wood is changed to charcoal, it falls to the bottom of the kiln where it cannot burn up due to lack of oxygen.
This kiln is three feet square and a foot and a half deep. It tapers down to an opening one foot square. It is made from 1/8” thick plate steel at a shop in Pennsylvania. A unique feature of this kiln is the ability to bolt the four sides together. This makes it easy to ship the kiln, easy to assemble and easy to break it down for storage, if so desired. It is held together with sixteen bolts that are supplied.
Making charcoal produces intense amounts of heat as well as giving off carbon monoxide. Never use this device inside any building or within 50 feet of any burnable structures. Also be aware of grass, leaves or other materials on the ground that may catch fire and burn. Do not use this kiln on days when the winds are over 5 miles per hour. The wind may move burning embers from the kiln into burnable material in the area. The wind also reduces the amount of charcoal obtained due to the excess oxygen swirling into the top and burning up the charcoal.
Directions and Use
To make charcoal, simply build a fire in the bottom of the kiln. Make sure to place the small end of the pyramid kiln on a non-burnable material, preferably dirt or sand. The wide end is “up”, and that is where the wood is added. Keep laying wood over the top of the fire and along the sloping sides of the kiln. Here the wood gets preheated and starts to dry. As it begins to burn, push it into the fire and add more wood. With some practice you should be able to figure out how a poke here and a prod there will get your wood converted to charcoal.
When the kiln is filled with hot charcoal you can stop the fire by dousing it with water or shoveling the hot coals into an air-tight container.