How doth the chimney glow

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I use a chimney to start my coals (don't we all)? Newspaper in the bottom and fill to the top. If I wait to get the ash color on all the charcoal the thing becomes a flame thrower. Shooting out the butt when dumped (ALWAYS pour side to side, NEVER pour so that the butt is facing you).
Is this right? Or am I letting the coals go too long? I dump the chimney, cover with leftover coals from the previous cook and add enough fresh to what I think the cook might take. Wood goes in after all are lit.
What is the correct way to use the starter for best results?
Ok Jim, what do you have to say? Do you always use your patented method. I agree that for loonnngg cooks it is probably the way to go. But I like to keep my cooks in the 6-8 hour range. Will dinner be done using your method? If I need to twiddle with the bottom vents to get it up to temp and hold it there, what makes the Minion method superior to just loading the thing up, set it and forget it?
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by bob j:
[qb]What is the correct way to use the starter for best results? [/qb] <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>When flames are just licking out of the top and the topmost coals have gray edges started, you can consider it ready for use.
Thanks Doug.
But when the edges are turning grey, this baby has flames 8" above the rim.
Too much paper? Or should I judge by the fire and not the color? I must admit my cooks, other than the first one (without a thermometer) have been quite good.
Is there a right way and a wrong way?
thx again
I use two double-width sheets of newspaper and, holding them together by the corner, slightly offset, roll them up in a not-too-tight tube, and kind of crinkle as you go. Then pull the ends around together to make a donut about the diameter of the chimney. Here's a demo .
Doug, thanks for the visual. I use whatever paper I have and do the doughnut thing. What I HAVE been doing is make sure there is a doughnut hole in the middle. Thinking the hole will hasten the lighting process by providing an updraft. Could this be my broblem? Too quick a start?
The updraft is what makes the chimney work. I think you're perceiving a problem, but it sounds like it's working normally. Gloves and eye protection are a good idea when dumping a ready-to-go chimney.
When I'm lighting a full chimney, I consider it "lit" when I start to see flames licking out. This usually means that the top layer of charcoal might not even have started yet, or they might just have a few spots started. However, I never really know for sure because when I dump, the top ends up on the bottom and the bottom ends up on the top. It's nothing to get stressed over.

I agree with exercising caution during the dump. I did this barefoot earlier this summer. You know how hard it is to see a grey coal on a concrete driveway? Well I sure do!
Doug, just curious? I'm not fluid in Latin. What is C...... ......?
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Doug D:
[qb] I cook, therefore I am. /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif [/qb] <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Doug,

At first I thought you were misquoting "Cogito, ergo sum (I think, therefore, I am)." Then I found a latin translator on the web to check it out. Very nice!

I really like that picture of the chimney. Can you reveal any details? It almost looks like you're picking up on infra-red with that weird glow.
Tony, the picture is undoctored. I shot it with a Canon G2 on a tripod in full manual mode. 4 second exposure at f2.5. What you see is exactly what I saw when I took the picture. If you notice, the chimney is sitting on top of an overturned Brinkman water pan. You can just see the leg of my WSM in the glow to the right. BTW, this shot makes a great PC Wallpaper. Chris asked me if he could post it to the website in the wallpaper and photos section. Feel free to save it to your computer and use it.
Don Miller responded: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Good grief Bob! Its just paper. Stick it in there and light it!
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Amen! That was one of the best responses to a post that I've seen in long time.
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