tilac999 wrote:I now see that the depth of the coal bed is the secret.
OK, repeat after me,"the only thing wood is good for is starting a coal fire".
You have to forget everything you know about wood as it doesn't work that way with anthracite. You can build and kill 6 woodfires in a day. But it actually takes about two days to build a proper anthracite bed. It will only burn from the bottom up, and all the air must come in from the bottom. With wood, anything that gets air will burn in the firebox. With the coal you need to build 3 layers. Your first day or so is burning up a lot of coal to build a bed ash, which you need to control the burn. Above that you'll have a layer of glowing coals, banging out some serious heat. And finally, a layer of fresh coal warming up to take over next round. You don't start a coal fire, you build it. It will be there for you.