Lab 6: Briquettes on Briquettes on Briquettes
What We Did:
This week we focused primarily on mass producing as many briquettes as possible during the three hour lab period we had, so that we can attempt to cook using our briquettes at the final lab meeting during dead week. We used the remaining mixture from the week before (which had been left to rot), and made a fresh batch using sawdust, newspaper, and this time adding old minced garlic to the strained mixture to see what sort of binding/burning properties it will add to the briquettes (a method used in Uganda). The old mixture did not rot in the same way as our original rot, primarily it didn’t smell like death or have any mold present. We chalked this up to the lack of food waste in the mixture; it merely produced a brownish juice and smelled earthy. The garlic smell was noticeable after pressing, so we’re curious how that will affect the smoke/flavor when burning them.
Overall, we made 24 new briquettes to dry during the next week, in addition to the ones we had not yet used. We only produced the small briquette style.
What We Learned:
This week we didn’t really focus on any different techniques or measurements, although our use of garlic as a potential binder should be interesting to investigate results next week. Using old “rotted” materials for the majority of our batch proved to be a much different experience this time, with almost zero odor
Our final step is to see whether or not we can produce enough heat from a bed made purely of our briquettes in order to cook some food next week! Jake will be attempting to cook a steak (coming off his vegetarian intervention), and the rest of the gang will bring whatever food sounds good to them that day (since Jaclyn and Kelly don’t eat meat). Will will be unable to attend due to his interviews down in LA, but he has already contributed his Weber grill for us to use in his absence.