All Natural Burn Out Bowl





Introduction: All Natural Burn Out Bowl

About: My reason for life is Christ for he gave me life.

I've walked into the woods with only a fire starter and a real hankerin for boiled burdock. Natural containers are hard to come by in the natural so I'm gonna have to make one myself with nothing but a fire, nope not even a chainsaw.

Step 1: Locate Materials

Select a log stump or whatever, something not too rotten, and obviously big enough for what you want it for. Don't use a hollow log, you'll do all the work and then realize that all of your water flows out of the end.

A few long straight rocks are very helpful for scraping.

Build a fire. An upside down fire with a nice trench underneath is a great way to make large hot coals. Since I am using a rounded log I found that it is easier to make a separate fire, if you are using a flat stump or something of the sort you can build your fire directly on top.

Step 2: Start Burning

Once your fire has burnt down enough, use a scooper of any sort and pile on as many coals as possible. For maximum time efficiency, blow the coals red hot. It'l go slow at first so don't get discouraged. A reed is a nice touch for keeping the heat from your ugly sweaty face. Replace coals as they are needed.

Caution: coals will roll off so move away leaves from underneath, remember the wise words of smokey the bear, only you can prevent forest fires.

Caution # 2: hyperventilation is bad for the brain cells, don't faint in the middle of the woods and force someone to drag you out.

Step 3: Scrape

When your coals die down, scoop them out and scrape the burnt wood. I wanted nice flat sides, so I only scraped the bottom, and scraped the sides at the end.

Step 4: Finished

Do a final and thorough scraping of ashes to reveal your purdy bowl. Put water in your bowl and rub the sides with your hands, change the water until it is clear.

Step 5: Calipers

The picture above is my version of an already existing tool called calipers. It wasn't necessary with my log to hole ratio, but if you were wanting to know the thickness of the bottom of your bowl here's how it works.

Pinch the two ends of the sticks, put the other two ends together. Make a mark on that little middle jut, where the stick overlaps it, this is zero inches. Then open the jaws to one inch and make a second mark on the middle jut where the stick overlaps it now. Do this repeatedly for the amount of inches you think you might need. Pinch the jaws around your bowl and look to see what mark is overlapped, this is the amount of inches of your bottom.

Step 6: Boil

Collect stones. I had about 10 stones, golf ball sized. I switched five at a time with half buried in the coals and half in the water.

The stones should be visibly red hot ( in the dark), and they should make the water boil. I actually had the stones hot enough at one change, that the water boiled over the top. I found that about five changes of stones was enough to make the burdock soft. Eat um up. And don't forget to slurp down that nice nutritious burdock water.

Step 7:

Native Americans used this method of boiling water for centuries. All the books tell you to stay busy while surviving. This is a useful, non energy expending, time consuming project. Remember, don't learn how to do this stuff when your life is on the balance, learn it now, and you'll be glad you did.

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    I'm confused. The water in that log does not look hot enough to boil anything. Having eaten burdock root before it takes a huge amount of cooking to make it tender. It is very fibrous and tough so I don't think what you made will cook it. I'll stick to cooking it on the stove.

    1 reply

    As long as you keep putting hot stones in the water it will continue to boil. This method of cooking has been used since humans learned how to boil. You just rotate the stones from the fire to the water and back as needed to keep the temperature up and you can boil anything for as long as you want. Sticking to the stove top is all fine and dandy unless you find yourself in the middle of nowhere with next to nothing. Knowing this skill can save your life, not only can you cook food but you can boil water to kill anything in it that would make you sick before drinking it. By the way, boil water for a minimum of 5 minutes to make it safe to drink. You may never need it but it's better to know how to survive just in case.

    Congratulations on your win.

    How long did it take to make? And, have you figured out a way of making it portable? I ask because while it seems to hold water, what else can you do with it?

    It tastes almost exactly like kohlrabi. So if you don't like kohlrabi chances are you will not like burdock root. Burdock root has lots of medicinal qualities and is good for you if you want to give it a try. Chop it in very small pieces with a sharp knife and cook it for a very long time otherwise it will be really chewy.

    somewhere between parsnip and sunchoke. It is common in asian cooking.

    I look for burdock root at the base of burdock plants. Seriously though, it is a fairly large and easy to spot plant, you've probably seen it before and not realized it.

    Impressive I'ble, too bad the star-rating system doesn't exist anymore. I would have given this, let's say, 500 stars. Sounds reasonable, to me ;)

    Are there ancient, I mean historic, bowls like that conserved yet?

    Finally, a cure for complicated syphilis. I'm saved! Thanks for the info Spider Tech and I'm quite sure it doesn't taste of Chicken.

    I wonder if you could make a survival canoe if you just keep going with the coals and scraper,..I think I read that in a book Call it Courage

    1 reply

    That's exactly how you make a dug-out canoe.

    This takes a lot of time, but it's a great basic survival technique. You can speed up the bowl-making process greatly (2-3X) by using something (rock shard, piece of steel scrap, etc.) to gouge/scrape the bottom of the bowl while the coals are still in it. This carves the soft charcoal loose from the bottom, which then becomes part of the main fuel for the burnout. The more air you blow in, the faster your progress. Do both and you'll have a bowl in record time. I favor making portable bowls, so the work isn't wasted when it's time to move on.

    I like the spoon idea. Any suggestions for the best kinds of wood to use to make a spoon or bowl?

    1 reply

    Yeah, a lighter wood like pine goes faster, but obviously isn't as strong. Another thing i like to do is, well, have you ever seen those round knots on the sides of trees where a branch died and the tree grew around it. these are great because the wood is kinda soft on the inside and you don't have to go against the grain. i like to keep a handle on it as i chop it out.

    great idea on the spoon, a fork is easy as a sharpened stick, but a spoon is a different story.

    i've done this on a portable bit o' wood. dont recall if it was lumber. not necessarily an easy thing to find in the woods. cool to see it made with whats available.

    You can also do this on small flat piece of wood to make the bowled portion of a spoon. Just use a single coal pulled from a fire as your heat source. Then you just whittle the wood around the burn out into the shape of a spoon. My friends and I have utensil making competitions when we go camping.