How to make a charbecue 

Sharon Stevens in conversation with Dennis Enright 


What could be better than a summer barbie with family, friends, and neighbours? 

To Dennis Enright, the answer is obvious: switch out the barbecue for a charbecue. “It’s a lot of fun.”  

You’ll still cook up your kai, and you’ll also make biochar (see sidebar). You’ll enjoy the usual social benefits, plus you’ll have a ready-made conversation starter. “By themselves charbecues are small potatoes, but they’re a great way to connect people to issues,” he says – issues like soil regeneration and carbon sequestration.

The whole charbecue whānau. Clockwise from left: Dennis’s DIY cone charbecue, supported by a separate stand, a standard-sized kettle charbecue, and a tabletop kettle charbecue in the front.
Photo: Dennis Enright


From barbecue to charbecue 

charbecue differs from a barbecue by inhibiting the flow of air through fuel. When barbecuing, you burn charcoal in the presence of oxygen and get ash; when charbecuing, you heat wood, burning off its volatile components. Biochar’s the result. 

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