A charcoal chimney starter takes a bit of the fun out of the backyard barbecue, but adds a lot of safety! If you grew up in the 70’s or 80’s, you might remember the gigantic fireball that signaled Dad was firing up the barbecue grill, and you can’t forget the faint, or not so faint, taste of charcoal lighter fluid, that permeated everything that came off of the grill. It doesn’t have to be like that, a charcoal chimney starter gets the party going without any danger, or lost eyebrows!
The charcoal chimney starter was invented by three dudes, Hugh King, Lavaughn Johnson, and Garner Byars in the 1960’s. We like to think of them as three righteous pit masters, who were fed up with the nasty taste of lighter fluid! However they came to decide to build it, our hats go off to them!
Using a Charcoal Chimney Starter
The use of one of these babies couldn’t be easier. Place three or four crumpled up newspapers in the bottom, and fill the inside with charcoal (we use hardwood lump). Light the newspaper with a match and wait for the newspaper to burn. After a few minutes, the charcoal will begin to glow nice and red. The true beauty of the charcoal chimney starter is the handles, they let you pick the starter up, and dump it right into the grill or smoker. No dangerous fireballs, and no charred arm hair! If you are grilling or smoking something that will require more hot coals, you can reserve a few inside the starter. The hot coals can be used to start another batch of charcoal for your grill.
The charcoal chimney starter is a must have for the serious backyard griller or smoker. It is especially useful if you are using a kamado grill. The closed environment of the kamado grill is especially susceptible to the funky taste that charcoal starting fluid imparts, so they should be considered mandatory of you have one.
We have the Weber here at flames and food. We got ours at Home Depot but they are also available at Amazon.
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