How to Use a Charcoal Chimney Starter

How to Use a Charcoal Chimney Starter
Written by antwon smith

Last Update On: 22 January 2021 

Have you ever been to someone's house on the Fourth of July or another beautiful summer day and seen a great picnic? One of the most delicate parts about having a great picnic is having the correct foods cooking. To do that you need the right means to prepare with.

Grills are a should-have for any picnic, and getting one hot is evenly just as essential. A charcoal chimney starter is a long pipe containing numerous holes. These holes allow new air in the broad area. On the exterior part, the coal starter has a grip meant for moving since it will be boiling.

The carrying holder makes it very easy to carry to the BBQ. The principal idea of the chimney is to allow the charcoal coals to be very hot. After that, it is located in the grill to make a ready to go restaurant. In this article, I’ll thoroughly discuss how to use a charcoal chimney starter for perfect BBQ experience.

You need to know how to use a charcoal chimney starter to get your chimney fired. Unlike gas BBQ which wants just a turning of the knob, charcoal needs some starter to get going. Your pick of starter will vary hinging on what's on hand.

Most of the people are maximum comfortable with smoker chimney starter. Usually, the opener of selection has been lighter fluid. It's not anything special, just the familiar lighter fluid that you will put in your Zippos.

This procedure is building a flat-topped pyramid of the charcoal then drowning the top with lighter fluid for a few seconds. Next, light up the charcoal with a long fireside matchstick. The charcoal will directly set on fire.

On the other hand, Charcoal requires oxygen to stay ignited. At a similar time, a fledgling fire needs to be safe from the wind. Try to cover the charcoal until it is hot sufficient to catch fire by itself. It also requires you to make sure that you let enough room for oxygen to get inside.

If you are a novice to charcoal grills, you will find that it takes a few tries before you get the restaurant started. But don't jump to terminations and start disbelieving your technique or ability to get a charcoal grill began. Usually, the fault may lie with your choice of the starter itself. Lighter fluid is disreputable for being hard to work with.

Stuffing with Newspaper

You would need some newspaper for the beginning step. You need to understand how to use a charcoal chimney with newspaper to get done with this step. Screw up a big piece of newspaper to crop a ball that would fit contented in your cupped hands.

After stuffing the cylinder/chimney, you stuff two sheets of paddled paper into space. It is located at the bottom just beneath the grate. Don't squash it too fitted. It's got to be loose plenty for air to circulate it effortlessly. Put this ball of paper in the lowest of the chimney.

Certain people also sprinkle a few falls of vegetable oil on the paper to boost combustion. Put the stack on your grilling superficial to dodge having to move it while lighting.

As soon as positioned securely, you can burn the newspaper over the airflow holes close to the bottom of the chimney. Two sheets must be sufficient to ignite the entire cylinder of briquettes. However, add more if needed.

Blocking the Charcoal Section

Block the charcoal section of the chimney nearly to the top with your charcoal. Maximum starters will take about six to eight lbs. Of charcoal. But this will diverge depending upon the type and make of starter you're having. You put your charcoal bricks into the chimney starter.

There is a grate inside at the bottommost of the chimney with large holes to let airflow for the briquettes. You must fill the fireplace just to the top deprived of any overfilling. This is to safeguard the coals are secure in the heating stage. A full chimney provides enough charcoal for most of the best smokers.

Placing the Starter

Put the chimney starter on the grid of your grill or a non-combustible external. Next, you would need to light the paper through the aeration holes in the bottom. The article will burn directly, and the flames will upsurge in intensity up the full distance of the chimney.

Finally coming out of the top. Wait time is only about 10 minutes. And your charcoals will be evenly lit and prepared to pour into your grill! You can notice that your charcoal is ready once you see flames coming to the highest part of your coals. If more charcoal is wanted to you can add charcoal straight. Put them into the grill on top of the previously lit coals.


You'll get a lot of smoke primarily, but the smoke will sooner or later die down. When the coals begin to go white at their sides, they are hot enough to use on your grill. Use a BBQ glove to hold your chimney starter and tip the areas onto the charcoal grate of your grill.

The chimney starter takes the bother of stacking briquettes into a pyramid. It continually uses spraying lighter fluid onto the charcoal to save it from unlit. Not only does the chimney starter need no lighter fluid, but it also confirms that your coals are lit.

Now it is ready to begin grilling before your food goes on. This final step puts a lot of people off since they don't like the idea of treating burning charcoal. But if you follow the steps above you won't come to any damage. And you'll have a BBQ you can start using in fifteen minutes or less.

Charcoal Chimney Starter

Alternative Method

For this alternative method, all you need is three thick napkins and some cooking oil. It doesn’t make a difference with which brand you are using. Soak the towels carefully and place them in the volcano of charcoal. Follow up with adding extra pieces of charcoal to secure your napkins down.

So they won't slide out. Then light these napkins with the starter and voila! You have burning charcoal and no nasty smell to come with it!

Where Should You Light The Chimney?

Using a charcoal starter, you can light the following areas:-

• Above the charcoal grate area.

• Over the vent of a smoker.

• Above the fire-safe bricks positioned on your patio or deck.

• Over a terra cotta flower vessel saucer. Make sure to use one with no drain hole.

Additional Tips:-

1. On no occasion light a chimney starter straight on a concrete surface. Since it can damage the concrete and perhaps cause it to explode.

2. Never light a chimney starter straight on a wooden deck. It can harm the floor or start of the fire.

3. Be conscious that the chimney stays hot even after the fiery coals have been poured out.

4. Keep your chimney starter away from combustible materials or items that could be damaged. For example, dry grass, scrubs, and showpieces.

5. If you have a minor round or square grill, then you might build an even cooking area. Or possibly multi-level scorching and slow cooking divisions.

6. On more magnificent rectangular racks, you could shape a searing section on one end. Also, you can have a slow cooking section on the other end. You can try a long cooking section in the center of the grill.

7. After choosing and arranging charcoal in the favorite pattern, move it all to one side to clean an area to make the fire.

8. Headstart by scrunching up 2-3 sheets of an old newspaper of the kind that have a fold-over. Do not use the tabloid type paper here.

9. Spiced hardwood chips can be added to the coals to use the chimney starter more appropriately. Hickory chips are prevalent for grilling steaks as well as burgers. Mesquite chips would add a whole new grilling experience. You can have them to make the grilling more thorough.


For those who are a novice to BBQ and grilling, I suggest using a chimney starter. It can make work short if you know the correct way on how to use a charcoal chimney starter. As soon as you have finished using your device empty any dust that may be lasting inside it.

Next store it away in a garage or hut. Don't leave it in the open air to get wet. Since if you do this, it will destroy very quickly. The Weber chimney starter is ideal for newbies as well as skilled users. This can be the best charcoal chimney starter type you are looking for.

If you have trouble finding the most suitable chimney starter, a shop worker can lend a hand. Once you have learned about the chimney starter, invite buddies over and start your BBQ. Let the party begin and see how your BBQ skills can make foods taste better than ever!

Leave a Comment