Pit or kiln.

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The use of the charcoal kiln had several advantages over the pit. Kilns were more expensive to manufacture, yet saved money in the long run, 1.5 cents per bushel to be exact [1]. Kilns were also able to produce more yield than pits, and the charcoal that was made was cleaner and fresher, as it was not in contact with the forest floor. Kilns were also conveniently able to be placed where they could be watched with more ease, as opposed to a pit, where colliers had to spend months in isolation. Kilns also reduced overall labor, as the covering was permanent, whereas the pit had to be covered manually each round. Transportation costs and damage to the charcoal also decreased with kiln use, which made it all the more popular[2].


  1. Straka 2014, 110
  2. Straka 2014, 110


  • Straka, T. J. 2014. Historic Charcoal Production in the US and Forest Depletion: Development of Production Parameters. Advances in Historical Studies, 3, 104-114. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/ahs.2014.32010