Introduction: How to Build a Woodgas Grill and Never Buy Charcoal Again

Picture of How to Build a Woodgas Grill and Never Buy Charcoal Again

A woodgas grill is very efficient is fired up instantly and gives your food the flavor of the wood you use plus the heat is controlled by the simple turn of a knob. It uses wood chunks and very few of them and replaces charcoal so go green and make it taste great to

Step 1: Step One. Build a Woodgas Stove

Picture of Step One. Build a Woodgas Stove

first you need a woodgas stove. they are simple to make however I will not show how to build it because there are several good instructables already here so build one then on to the next step

Step 2: Gather Needed Parts

Picture of Gather Needed Parts

after you have your woodgas stove built you need a flame spreader to make the concentrated fire spread out evenly you can make one from steel plate or an old 55 gallon drum lid. A grill from either an old grill or a replacement grill from a store. Blocks or rocks to hold the assembly above the woodgas stove (how many depends on how you build your stove and how tall you want it). if you want a better grill you will need a lid from an old grill or just buy a cheap grill to convert. A thermometer is a nice add on but not required.

Step 3: Make Flame Spreader

Picture of Make Flame Spreader

I used a metal 55 gallon drum lid (make sure all plastic and rubber are removed) use a cut off wheel and cut slits about 5" long spaced about 1.5" apart starting at the outer most edge. cut slits 5" long and spaced 2 to 3 " apart near the center but not all the way to the very center. then cut some slots at the bottom of those half way between the outer and inner ring

Step 4: Add Thermometer and Handle to Lid

Picture of Add Thermometer and Handle to Lid

if you want you can skip this step but if you want to add a handle on top (if there isn't one already) I just zap screw it on then drill a hole and install a thermometer

Step 5: Assemble the Components

Picture of Assemble the Components

place a block for your stove to set on then two stacks of blocks to hold the grill assembly. There should be a 4" to 5" gap between the flame spreader and the stove. place the stove in the center then place the flame spreader on the supporting blocks. place grill directly on the flame spreader (there should be just enough of a gap so the food never touches the flame spreader). Now place you're top on and your done

Step 6: Fire Up Your Grill

Picture of Fire Up Your Grill

Follow instructions on the particular woodgas stove you built but here is the basics. Take wood chips/chunks just below the top holes of the stove. Pick something like hickory apple wood cherry etc (make sure wood is dry) place cardboard kindling etc on top (never use fluid of any kind to start up the stove or the flavor of the starting agent will be present on the food!!!). once lit start the fan on the unit and once the fire is going good use a variable speed control to adjust the heat as needed.

Step 7: Stuff I Have Cooked on It

Picture of Stuff I Have Cooked on It

mushrooms potatoes cabbage carrots and chicken

Step 8:


lawrence.toms1 (author)2014-08-24

very nice - are you UK based? I have a design project just starting to make something 'like' this but taking some new ground - perhaps you'd like to be involved?

tylerwhitworth (author)2014-03-16

Awesome work. From what i can see in the pictures it looks like the way you built your woodgas reactor is similar in design to the MIDGE camp stove, is that right?

mbary (author)tylerwhitworth2014-03-16

it's actually my own design of the large woodgas stove but there is a baffle in the bottom and the fan is internal to protect it

mbary (author)mbary2014-03-18

i will definitely try to do that for you

AlG2 (author)mbary2014-07-26

I would love to know more about your design too. I tried searching for plans similar to yours, but nothing that I was crazy about. Thanks, Al

sleepinggiant (author)mbary2014-03-19

I'd love to know more about your design.

Bowtie41 (author)mbary2014-03-18

Since your is your own design,please go ahead and post it too,as I haven't built a stove yet,and might as well have the whole schebang match.

tylerwhitworth (author)mbary2014-03-16

Very cool. so is the fan directly beneath the pyrolysis/reaction chamber or vented in?

mbary (author)tylerwhitworth2014-03-16

the reaction chamber is a 4 1/2 quart and a 6 1/2 quart stainless catering pots. the inner pot has holes every centimeter on top and every inch on the bottom. the larger pot has a 3" square hole in the bottom. 4 large bolts hold both together without the need for welding. the base is 8" stove pipe with 8" angle flanges one on the bottom and two on top to hold the pot in place. there is a round piece of tin held just under the reactor assembly with a hole in it and it is held with angle brackets. the fan is mounted on the round piece. then a vent hole is cut into the base for airflow. i built it this way so it would stand up taller to a more usable height

tylerwhitworth (author)mbary2014-03-17

That sounds awesome. I plan to make a woodgas stove for my house this winter I like the idea of putting a fan in it. Thanks

mbary (author)tylerwhitworth2014-03-17

i originally built this for home heating. it had a top piece that connected to a flu pipe and a second pipe around that with a fan for a heat exchanger. it worked well but didn't have enough btu for my entire cabin

vladivastok (author)2014-03-23


ibwebb (author)2014-03-19

Awesome ideas...I hate to be picky about stuff, but I would really recommend not to put the handle over the vent though or you will end up with a REALLY hot handle that might still burn with a heat insulated glove. Just a suggestion to move it to the side or make higher up so that they heat disapates more.

mbary (author)ibwebb2014-03-20

thanks for pointing that out. i was in a hurry when i built it and didn't think about handle placement

Alienjones (author)2014-03-19

Thank you!

Australian Electricity prices have gone through the roof lately so I've been looking for info on how our grandparents made gas generators for their cars. This is exactly what I needed to see. Now I figure I'll be able to make my own gas generator and hook it into a portable sine wave generator to lower the cost of our Electricity. I'll post my adventures making it and how well it works. Pity we don't have a waterfall nearby.

jo_c_fus (author)2014-03-18

Couldn't find any woodgas stoves on Instructables.

tylerwhitworth (author)jo_c_fus2014-03-19

I have made a couple of these: Check out this awesome Instructable. MIDGE gasifier campstove they work well, and would be good for experimenting, but there are tons of plans on instructables for various woodgas reactors/stoves

mbary (author)jo_c_fus2014-03-19

look up (large portable wood gasifier stove)

sleepinggiant (author)2014-03-19

The world needs more grills like this! Last summer I built a "rocket stove" design based wood gas bbq grill very similar to what you have here and it worked FANTASTIC. So I'm thrilled to see others experimenting this direction. This stove fires up very quickly as advertised, so I highly encourage people to build it! The major downside I discovered with this design is that the fat drippings coming from the pork chops or whatever would fall down onto the heat spreading materials below and they would start to cook very quickly and smoke terribly or catch fire, ruining the food I was cooking. So, my new stove design, which I will try to post somewhere, uses a solid flat grill that catches all drippings into a stainless bowl a the side. It does, disappointingly, lose a bit of the wood grill flavor, but it looks so much nicer, and cleans and cooks so well. I really hope to make an Instructable for it.

akwhitacre (author)2014-03-17

Sorry, had to giggle. "How to build a woodgas grill..." "Step 1: Build a woodgas grill."

takeabyte (author)akwhitacre2014-03-18

Technically, this instructable is for how to build a woodgas GRILL. The first step is to have already have a woodgas STOVE. I guess it could be reworded into "how to turn a woodgas stove into a woodgas grill" but that's just too wordy :P

mbary (author)akwhitacre2014-03-17

i know but i would just be showing how to build one part that tons of people have already shown

mbary (author)2014-03-17

i will be posting pictures of it in use soon and realized i have a bunch of extra parts from another experiment to make a rotisserie attachment. the woodgas stove and the rotisserie will all work off of 12vdc and only use 2 watts

mbary (author)2014-03-16

i intended on posting pictures of it in use. a winter storm blew in right in the middle of completion so there is summer squash and potatoes waiting for it in the fridge

About This Instructable




Bio: Just a country guy who likes living green
More by mbary:How to build a woodgas grill and never buy charcoal again
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