Chimney starter

Audrey C

New member
Hi everyone, I’m new here, I hope I’m posting this in the right place. I just got a chimney started and I’m confused. Is it true that I can put regular charcoal in it? Not the pre-soaked kind, just regular Kingsford charcoal? Before I got the chimney starter I would pile up the charcoal, drench with lighter fluid, light and wait. Can I use that same charcoal with the chimney starter, with out adding any lighter fluid? Thank you!!
 

J Grotz

TVWBB Pro
You can stuff the bottom of it with newspaper, but I never had consistent success that way and lots of big newspaper ash blew around. I buy the weber starter cubes; they work great. Light a cube, set a full chimney of charcoal on top and come back in 12-15 minutes. Some people make their own.

One tip: do not wait for the coals on top to ash over before you dump the chimney onto your grill. If you do, the coals at the bottom of the chimney will have been completely consumed. Just get the top coals lit then dump. Everything will ash over nicely after that while you are waiting for the cooking grate to warm up.
 
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Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
A lot of folks no longer take a daily newspaper, so the habit of using it to light charcoal in a chimney starter has become less popular. Like J. Grotz, I also use the Weber Firestarter cubes, two placed a few inches apart on the charcoal grate, light, place the filled chimney starter on top, and you'll be ready in maybe 10 minutes. Also what J. said about not waiting too long before dumping the lit charcoal.

I wrote an article on this subject, you'll find it here: https://www.virtualweberbullet.com/how-to-use-chimney-starter/

lighting-cube-1.jpg

I would dump charcoal when it starts looking like this, maybe another minute longer.

lighting-2.jpg
 

Audrey C

New member
You can stuff the bottom of it with newspaper, but I never had consistent success that way and lots of big newspaper ash blew around. I buy the weber starter cubes; they work great. Light a cube, set a full chimney of charcoal on top and come back in 12-15 minutes. Some people make their own.

One tip: do not wait for the coals on top to ash over before you dump the chimney onto your grill. If you do, the coals at the bottom of the chimney will have been completely consumed. Just get the top coals lit then dump. Everything will ash over nicely after that while you are waiting for the cooking grate to warm up.
Thank you!
 

Audrey C

New member
A lot of folks no longer take a daily newspaper, so the habit of using it to light charcoal in a chimney starter has become less popular. Like J. Grotz, I also use the Weber Firestarter cubes, two placed a few inches apart on the charcoal grate, light, place the filled chimney starter on top, and you'll be ready in maybe 10 minutes. Also what J. said about not waiting too long before dumping the lit charcoal.

I wrote an article on this subject, you'll find it here: https://www.virtualweberbullet.com/how-to-use-chimney-starter/

View attachment 5302

I would dump charcoal when it starts looking like this, maybe another minute longer.

View attachment 5303
Thank you. So just regular charcoals will do? I don’t need the kind that are presoaked? I guess I’m finding it hard to believe they will light without lighter fluid or being the pre-soaked kind of charcoals.
 

JKalchik

TVWBB All-Star
My bet would be folks with inconsistent results have a chimney starter with a perforated sheet metal bottom, those simply do not have enough airflow. The Weber chimney starter has a conical wire grate bottom, and that's the only kind I'll use (finally had to replace mine after 10+ years.)

A single sheet of newsprint (shows a total of 4 pages,) lightly wadded up under the grate, with a tablespoon or so of vegetable oil, and fill the chimney with charcoal (NOT the quick light variety, please.) Light the newsprint, and 10-15 minutes later, your coals will be ready.
 

Audrey C

New member
Thank you. I guess I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around putting regular charcoals in without lighter fluid. But I see they will light and not to worry about it.
 

Chris Allingham

Administrator
Staff member
So just regular charcoals will do? I don’t need the kind that are presoaked?
Yes, regular charcoal of any kind. Avoid Kingsford MatchLight or similar presoaked products.

I can promise you that if you put Kingsford Original charcoal into a Weber chimney starter and light it with two Weber FireStarter cubes and you're not in a windstorm or pouring rain, that charcoal will light! Guaranteed! :D
 

Barry Karnes

New member
Welcome Audrey C. Those chimneys are awesome! No more lighter fluid! I have a pool & quickly learned about the starter cubes! No more newspaper ashes in the water.
 

JKalchik

TVWBB All-Star
Thank you. I guess I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around putting regular charcoals in without lighter fluid. But I see they will light and not to worry about it.
To quote Fozzie Bear.... "Trust me." Okay, trust US. Chimney starters just plain work, and without volatile accelerants.
 

Audrey C

New member
Yes, regular charcoal of any kind. Avoid Kingsford MatchLight or similar presoaked products.

I can promise you that if you put Kingsford Original charcoal into a Weber chimney starter and light it with two Weber FireStarter cubes and you're not in a windstorm or pouring rain, that charcoal will light! Guaranteed! :D
Thank you!! I needed to hear that directly!!
 

BFletcher

TVWBB Wizard
This reminds me of the electric charcoal starter that I brought home with my first Kettle in 2015 :rolleyes:. Then I found this site :)
 
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Dan C. FL

TVWBB Pro
This reminds me of the electric charcoal starter that I brought home with my first Kettle in 2015 :rolleyes:. Than I found this site :)
I’d never seen them before. Moved into a new neighborhood about a month ago and three of the four neighbors I’ve seen with kettles have been using them. I was like why? Is it because it’s windy here?
 

Sam Bee

TVWBB All-Star
Yes, regular charcoal in the chimney. And as others have said, use the weber firestarter cubes to light the charcoal. Here's a how to video...

 

Timothy F. Lewis

TVWBB Hall of Fame
I often use a brown grocery bag, less ash than the Kalamazoo Gazette. Even though it’s about the only thing that the newspaper is good for.
Welcome to the forum!
 

Larry D.

TVWBB Gold Member
In a pinch I use the charcoal bag itself instead of newsprint. Once the bag gets down to about half full, you can tear off enough to light the chimney and still have enough to fold down to close the bag. Another tip is to use a paper towel with vegetable oil to oil the grates, then use it to light the chimney.
 

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