I do 2 or 3 weeknight dinners per week on my Performer (or one of the other kettles, but same diff). For that super-quick burger / chicken night cook I tend to use about 3/4 of a Weber chimney and light it with the Touch n Go gas assist. I light that up and turn off the gas after about 4 or 5 minutes or whenever the chimney is smoking and you can see the lower coals are lit through the vent holes. It probably takes 15 min for the coals to be lit well, then I dump them out and put on the cooking grate and lid to let eveything warm up a few minutes. so we're talking 20 minutes or so until ready for food? Which usually turns out to be a good amount of time to get food ready, get sides together, set the table, etc.
What helps with fuel usage is that for those quick cooks I tend to use the charcoal baskets to hold the coals (whenever practical). At the end of the cook I close the vents, top and bottom, to snuff them out. On a quick cook like burgers or etc. the kingsford is usually large enough to reuse. So before the next cook I take the baskets over to my steel ash can and shake to sift off loose ash, add a bit of fresh briquettes to the chimney (which prevent small pieces from falling through and also leave some airspace to help ignition), then put the used coals on top and re-light. I often get two cooks out of the coals before they're really too small to care about using again.
~ Scott ~
Blue Weber Performer + Craycort CI • Brick Red Weber One-Touch Platinum • Weber 26.75 Kettle • Akorn Kamado • ET 732 • Record-crushing ORANGE Thermapen • UDS In Progress