Gone Outdoors

How to Make Paper Briquettes

by Faith Chandler

Recycle paper into handy paper briquettes to toss into the oven or fireplace. Briquettes serve as an alternative to firewood in the winter, or you can use them in a survival situation to cook and stay warm. With a paper pulp recipe and a simple homemade press, you can create a paper briquette in minutes.

Prepare the Paper Mixture

1. Place four handfuls of shredded paper into a standard-sized blender. Pour in about 2 cups of water.

2. Pulse the blender to start breaking up the paper. Continue on blend for about five to 10 seconds until paper is pulpy.

3. Pour the mixture into a strainer over sink. Allow it to strain out most of the water. You can now hand form the pulp into briquettes -- applying a great deal of pressure to remove excess water and properly compress the pulp -- or proceed to use a handmade press. If you choose to form your briquette by hand, place it in a sunny, dry location. Allow it to dry thoroughly -- which may take as long as a week.

Create the Paper Briquettes

1. Remove the lid and bottom of the larger food can with the can opener. Once you have removed the food from the can, rinse with water to clean out. Drill a few holes along the base of the larger can. Remove only the lid and clean out the inside of the second, smaller food can.

2. Place the larger can in the sink or other surface where you don't mind water drainage. Fill the inside of the can with the prepared paper pulp. Place the second smaller can on top of the paper pulp, bottom side down.

3. Compress the paper pulp with the smaller can by pressing down on the top of the can. You will see water draining out of the holes you created in the larger can. Press down until you see most of the water drain out.

4. Remove the smaller can from the larger can. Gently lift up the larger can, placing your hand under the open bottom. Give it a slight shake to loosen the paper briquette into your palm.

5. Place the paper briquette in a sunny location, but protected from rain. Allow it to dry thoroughly before use. This can take from a few days up to a week.

Items you will need
  • Shredded paper
  • Blender
  • 2 empty food cans, one slightly smaller in diameter
  • Can opener
  • Power drill
  • Strainer

Tips

  • You can also purchase a paper briquette maker to compress the pulp into bricks using leverage. This creates a larger, denser briquette that lasts longer in the fire.
  • Experiment with your paper mixture by adding other fuel, such as dryer lint, grass clippings and leaves.

Warnings

  • Do not take the lid off the blender while blending.
  • Do not stick your hand into a working blender.

Photo Credits

  • Suljo/iStock/Getty Images