elleninpa wrote:roundbadge, dh was interested to hear about the pea coal in the kodiak, can you describe again what you do to light the fire using pea in yours?
all, I finally got a picture posted of my surdiac, recently lit in the picture after a poke down and coal bed laid in, before I filled the hopper. It has three cathedral windows (one piece of glass with three cast iron outlined windows.
I pour pea into the hopper until it stops dropping through the grate (that establishes a fire bed) but only about 2 inches deep, just enough to seal the bed to air leaks.
I put a few fire starter cubes on top of that, then simple charcoal briquets soaked in charcoal lighter fluid. I use about 1/2 gallon of these in a mound over the fire starters. I light this w/a bernz o matic torch to quickly light the pileso I can close the door quickly. Now-most important-DO NOT DISTURB it for about an hour. When it looks lke you could cook a steak on it, sprinkle some coal on top, DO NOT choke it off, and again do not disturb for almost an hour. After the coal burns off, and it looks like it's established THEN fill the hopper. No need to shake it for 12 hours, otherwise it will choke off and die out.
The fire starters burn a long time and seem to consume the soot produced by the charcoal. This is key for me, as the glass used to blacken w/soot in the first 15 minutes.