If you haven't used a charcoal chimney starter, it's time to start right now. Say goodbye to trying to light your charcoal grill with lighter fluid or match light charcoal briquets. The taste of lighter fluid is not usually on the ingredient list for your BBQ recipe.
A Few Other Reasons Why You Should Use a Charcoal Chimney Starter:
- Fast - Your charcoal will be ready for the grill in about 20 minutes.
- No lighter fluid necessary - Just use some old newspaper and the flow of oxygen to start your charcoal.
- Cheap - The Weber Rapid Chimney Starter is less than $30 on Amazon (also available in a compact version)
- Fun - BBQing is supposed to be fun, right? This takes the headache out of starting up the grill.
How to Use a Charcoal Chimney Starter
- Charcoal Chimney Starter
- 4 pieces crumpled newspaper
- 80 to 100 charcoal briquets
- Place the chimney starter on the bottom grate in the grill. Crumple up about 4 pieces of newspaper and place it in the bottom of the chimney.
- Fill the chimney with charcoal. I use ⅔ standard charcoal briquets for the lasting heat and ⅓ lump mesquite charcoal for flavor, but this can vary depending on what I'm cooking. The amount of charcoal you use should also vary, depending on if you are using direct or indirect heat.
- Light the newspaper in a few places through the holes on the bottom of the chimney. I use a butane torch (maybe a little overkill), but you can also use long-stick matches.
- The coals are ready to use when there is a thin layer of ash on the top layer of coals, about 20 minutes.
- Check the chimney after five minutes to make sure they coals are starting to burn. In the rare instance that they didn't light, simply add more paper and light again.
- The coals and everything around them are VERY HOT. Carefully pour the hot coals in the desired placement in your grill. It's a good idea to use some BBQ heat-protecting gloves to pick up the chimney starter.
- Allow the chimney to cool before storing.
Just add your charcoal, crumpled newspaper and light. Seriously, that's it.
The smell of smoke from the BBQ is the smell of a summer evening with friends and great food.
The coals should light after a few minutes.
These are ready to use. The handle and everything around the BBQ can get really hot, so be careful! Use BBQ safe gloves for picking up the chimney starter.
You can even place your grill grate right on top of the chimney starter and cook with really intense heat.