I use an old perc can so my batches are a little smaller but I can do a whole bag of pine pellets in one shot. Bedding, I find I have to dry it out first, it always seems to be wet when I get it from the store.
For pellets, I just load them slowly pouring them into my hand just on top of the pile they make, this leaves plenty of air in between them. I use a little charcoal starter to get them going and put the lid on and sit back. I play with the air until I can ignite the smoke and lit the flame shoot out the top so there is almost no smoke while burning off the VOCs.
For chips, I put four 1" cardboard tubes spread out evenly in the can and load the dry chips all around them. I do pack them a little and then remove the tubes, no all that carefully either. I use a little 'girl scout fluid' on them to get them started and cover it with the lid and light the smoke.
When I can no longer support the flame in the stack, I remove the top, put a tight lid on it and carry the drum to a spot of earth where I can seal out any air from getting into the bottom. I just leave it overnight and pull the coal out the next morning.
I do get a few brown pieces, but not many and I just toss those, all the charcoal crumbles by hand and I run it all through my garbage disposal and into a bag for storage.
Sounds like a lot of work but it is really easy and the flame coming out the stack is really cool!