Step 2: Starting the burn
When your fire is burning good, start adding your hardwood. I have found this works better by adding just like a layer at a time and let it start catching fire before adding your next layer. When burning in a 55 gallon drum, I will usually do like 3 layers of wood. It takes longer when adding the wood this way, but the burning process goes faster because you don't have to wait as long to get the fire all the way up to the top of the wood.
After all of the wood is added, let the fire burn until all of the wood in the barrel is on fire. This is an important step because you are removing all of the wood gas this way. Your wood should be burning and you will begin to see the char on the outside of the wood.