Introduction: Basket-hopper to Make Embers (Cesto-tolva Para Hacer Brasas)

Hace años me construí un dispositivo para hacer brasas, basado en una maceta común de cerámica, que me dio muy buen resultado. Es como una tolva que se alimenta por arriba y se va vaciando por abajo.

La ventaja de este método es que las brasas que uno obtiene están perfectamente hechas, y no se corre el riesgo tan común de que por haber usado brasas "crudas", el monóxido de carbono que despiden intoxique la carne y luego de comer el asado uno tenga pesadez y dolor de cabeza.

El único inconveniente que presentaba la maceta es que inevitablemente se iba resquebrajando con el calor, y al cabo de 5 o 6 años de vida productiva es un rompecabezas sostenido por la red de alambre que lo rodea, y que al menor tropiezo se desparrama por el piso de la parrilla.

Con motivo de construirme mi propio chulengo (pronto publicaré el instructable correspondiente) decidí cambiar la estrategia constructiva: en vez de hacer la tolva con una maceta, la haría con varillas de acero de construcción, de 6 u 8 mm.


Years ago I built a device to make embers, based on a standard ceramic pot, which gave me very good result. It is like a hopper which feeds at the top and is emptied from below.

The advantage of this method is that the coals one gets are well made, and not so that common risks for using "raw" coals, the carbon monoxide given off intoxicates the meat, and after eating the roast one has heaviness and headache.

The only drawback is that inevitably the pot going cracking with the heat, and after 5 or 6 years of productive life it is a puzzle supported only by wire mesh that surrounds it, and at the slightest slip spreads by floor of the grill.

Due to build my own BBQ (
corresponding instructable coming soon) I changed the build strategy: instead of a pot, I would build it in steel rods of 6 or 8 mm.

Step 1: El Molde Y Los Materiales (mold and Materials)

Entre las macetas vacías que guarda mi mujer, encontré una más o menos apropiada para servir de molde. Le faltaba un poco de altura para mi gusto, pero eso es fácil de solucionar, agregando algo que la mantenga levantada del piso unos centímetros.

Compré una varilla de 12 m de acero de construcción, de 8 mm de diámetro. Pedí por favor que me la cortaran en trozos de 1.5 m, lo cual hicieron sin quejarse.


Among the empty pots my wife keep, I found one more or less appropriate to serve as mold. It lacked a bit high for my liking, but that's easily fixed by adding something to keep it raised off the floor a few inches.

Bought a rod 12 m of building steel, 8 mm in diameter. I asked them please
to cut itinto pieces of 1.5 m, which they did without complaint.

Step 2: La Estructura (structure)

Dado que mi cesto-tolva tendría la forma de un cono truncado, con la punta hacia abajo, hice un aro chico para el extremo inferior, y otro más grande para el de arriba.

Corté casi todos los restantes trozos de 1.5 m de hierro de 8 mm en 6 trozos de 25 cm c/u. Las medidas son aproximadas, porque en este tipo de adminículo, un micrón más o menos no afecta el resultado final.

Con un poco de trabajo, y ayudado por algunos conjuros del tipo de "¡pero la p... quedate ahí!" logré ubicar en sus lugares algunos largueros, sostenidos precariamente por los aros de soporte. Entonces comencé a soldar. Fue la parte larga del trabajo, me llevó más de una hora. Finalmente resultaron ser 22 largueros, separados más o menos uniformemente.


Since my basket-hopper has the form of a truncated cone with the tip down, I made a small ring to the bottom, and a larger one for the top.

I cut almost all the remaining pieces of iron 1.5 m of 8 mm in 6 pieces of 25 cm each. Measurements are approximate, because in this type of gadget, a micron or so does not affect the final result.

With a little work, and aided by some incantation spells such as "oh, sh... stay there!" I managed to locate some stringers in their places, supported precariously by both rings. Then I started welding. It was the long part of the work, took me over an hour. Finally found to be 22 beams, separated more or less uniformly.

Step 3: Las Patas (legs)

Las patas tienen que mantener el cono erguido en posición invertida, es decir con la parte chica hacia abajo, retirada del piso unos 7 u 8 cm. La parte ancha sirve como boca para alimentar el combustible (carbón y maderas) desde arriba.

Hice tres patas, las soldé en sus lugares y las reforcé con sendos puntales de hierro de 6 mm que justo pasaban por ahí.


The legs have to keep the cone upright in an inverted position, ie with the little mouth down, lifted from the floor about 7 or 8 cm. The wide mouth serves to feed the fuel (coal and wood) from above.

I made three legs, soldered in their place and reinforced with individual iron struts 6 mm just passing by.

Step 4: Fosfatizando (phosphating)

Dado que al cabo de unos días de estar a la intemperie el cesto se había oxidado un poco, le di una mano de fosfatizante. Ignoro si el calor intenso al que será sometido afectará demasiado la capa de fosfato, pero como cuesta poco hacerlo, lo hice de todas maneras.


Because after a few days of being in the open the basket was a bit rusty, I gave him a hand of phosphatizing. I do not know if the intense heat that will be submitted will affect too much the phosphate layer, but as it costs little, I did it anyway.

Step 5: Estreno (premier)

Puse en el cesto/tolva una hoja de papel de diario convenientemente estrujada, le prendí fuego por debajo, luego fui agregando rápidamente astillas de madera alrededor hasta que se hizo un fuego suficiente como para empezar a agregarle trozos de carbón. Al cabo de unos segundos, tal vez dos minutos, ya estaba encaminado. Al estar las maderas y el carbón expuestos al aire, la combustión se facilita enormemente. En unos diez minutos ya había brasas suficientes como para comenzar a ponerlas bajo la parrilla. Saqué algunas por abajo y agregué carbón por arriba.

Promediando el asado me di cuenta de que había subestimado la eficiencia del chulengo, que consume mucho menos carbón que la parrilla tradicional. Así que tuve que moderar las brasas que tenía en el cesto, para lo cual usé una botella chica de gaseosa llena de agua, con un agujerito en la tapa. Eso me permite controlar la cantidad de agua a verter, y apuntar el chorrito a las brasas elegidas (última foto).


I put in the basket/hopper a conveniently crumpled sheet of newspaper, set it on fire underneath, then went quickly adding wood chips around until it became a fire enough stable to start adding coals. After a few seconds, maybe two minutes, it was as intended. Being the wood and coal exposed to air, combustion is greatly facilitated. In about ten minutes and had enough coals to start putting them under the grill. I pulled them from the bottom and added some charcoal on top.

At half the roast I realized I had underestimated chulengo (bbq) efficiency, consuming less coal than the traditional grid. So I had to moderate the embers had in the basket, for which I used a small soda bottle filled with water, with a hole in the lid. That allows me to control the amount of water to pour, and point the dash to the coals chosen (lasta photo).

Step 6: Conclusiones (conclusions)

El dispositivo es tan bueno como fue en su momento la maceta, pero mucho más sólido. Lo recomiendo sin restricciones a quien quiera hacer carne a las brasas, ya sea en parrilla tradicional o en un chulengo. Es barato, fácil de hacer y muy sólido. Si usted no tiene soldadora, puede hacer las uniones con alambre negro, dos vueltas cada una.


The device is as good as was once the pot, but much stronger. I recommend without restrictions to who wants to make grilled meat over embers. It's cheap, easy to make and very solid. If you have not welder, can make connections with black wire, two turns each.

Comments

author
kAwO made it!(author)2015-01-17

genial rimar ya estoy por hacer el mio el mio!
pregunta: que diámetro aprox te quedaron los aros?

author
aleixoar made it!(author)2012-05-10

Yo suelo cocinar con leña pensas que se adapta? alguna sugerencia? .
I use to cook with wood instead do you think it fit my needs? thanks

author
rimar2000 made it!(author)2012-05-10

Totalmente, la leña produce brasas igual que el carbón (Totally, wood produces embers like coal).

author
Phil+B made it!(author)2012-05-09

I never gave any thought to carbon dioxide seeping into the meat. But, I always started the coals in a metal tube about 20cm in diameter and placed the ignited coals onto the fire grate after they had been burning for 20 or more minutes and were very hot. I see how it works from the Instructable on your barbeque grill.

author
pfred2 made it!(author)2012-05-09

I use a charcoal chimney myself. It has changed my barbequing life.

author
Phil+B made it!(author)2012-05-09

I have used a variety of things, some of which involved starter fluid. The chimney is the best by far.

author
pfred2 made it!(author)2012-05-09

I soak one charcoal briquet with some lighter fluid, wrap it in newspaper, then put it under the chimney surrounded by 3 pieces of balled up newspaper. Load the top with more charcoal, light the bottom, and let it go. Before the chimney I used to try to build this elaborate pyramid out of charcoal, with all the corners of the briquets aligned etc. Then I'd sit there and stare at my creation while it was starting and think I should have separated the charcoals a little more or this or that. It would take forever to get going. I'd usually end up dousing the whole thing with more lighter fluid, just about blowing myself up in the process, while simultaneously extinguishing any embers that might have been burning. I have two chimneys now, one has a cone of heavy wire in it, the other a flat perforated metal sheet. The wire cone is the best.

author
rimar2000 made it!(author)2012-05-10

I searched "charcoal chimney" in Google because I didn't know that it is, and found this. Its operating principle is the same as my hopper.  I think those thick iron rods would last a bit more time than the sheet of the charcoal chimney.

I try do not use liquid fuels to help to start the fire. Occasionally I use used edible oil, it is very good for that.

When I was a boy, a friend teach me that "you must use only a match to start the fire, it is a shame to waste two or three". I believed him, and from that day I try to follow his advice. He was my age, but died more than 10 years ago, possibly drunk...

author
pfred2 made it!(author)2012-05-10

I keep my charcoal chimney inside so it does not get weathered, and rust. The coals can make it glow a little sometimes, does not seem to hurt it any.

I use a Bernzo-Matic torch to start my fires. They would light without lighter fluid but I am impatient so I use a little. Just one one charcoal, then I discard that one.

author
rimar2000 made it!(author)2012-05-10

That theoria about the carbon monoxide is from an acquaintance, he tell me that an afternoon when I was with headache. He asked "have you eaten roasted meat at noon? Were you hurry?" I answered "yes" to both question, then he explained me that when the coal is still "raw" produces CO, it penetrates a bit into the meat and then attacks the liver. I think is a good possibility. Mi grandfather said "se non è vero, è ben trovato".

author
pfred2 made it!(author)2012-05-08

I just got notice. Tue May 8 12:11:45 EDT 2012
I can see your Instructable. Muy bonita!

author
rimar2000 made it!(author)2012-05-09

Thanks, Fred!

author
andyk75 made it!(author)2012-05-07

Very nice done. I would also use it as an outdoor heating device on a cold summer evening...

author
rimar2000 made it!(author)2012-05-07

Thanks for your kind comment.

How did you find this instructable? I can't see it in ALL RECENT option.

author
andyk75 made it!(author)2012-05-07

So you lost your own instructable? ;-)
No, just kidding, it was displayed on my page "New stuff from members you are following".
I guess I really have to learn to weld sometime.

author
rimar2000 made it!(author)2012-05-07

Surely you got the notice of my instructable before it appears in the page. Now I can see it, some hours after I reported the matter as a bug.

No doubt, buy a welder not very expensive, and especially an electronic mask, the kind that darken instantly when the arc jumps. Welding is very rewarding and you can do things that would otherwise be impossible.

author
Dr+Qui made it!(author)2012-05-07

My post don't show up in recent straight away either especially if you post at the weekend or enter a competition, i think they moderate the posts now.

author
rimar2000 made it!(author)2012-05-07

You are right, it is not a good idea to publish during the weekend. People need to rest, too.

author
Dr+Qui made it!(author)2012-05-07

Nice work, Your work is very neat and tidy even for something that will be on fire.

author
rimar2000 made it!(author)2012-05-07

There are some microns of difference... It is to avoid resonance.

Saturday night was the premier of the chulengo, and today monday I had to re-use it to please my daughter, my son in law and my granddaughter, who wanted to see for themselves. She kneaded two loaves of bread that came out very, very well and quickly. I am writing the instructable.

author
canucksgirl made it!(author)2012-05-07

Nice job rimar ;)

author
rimar2000 made it!(author)2012-05-07

Thanks, canucksgirl!

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