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View Full Version : So what do you all use for Charcoal Chimney's?


allboy
03-11-2018, 06:56 PM
Been using a Weber, or those cheap $10.00 hardware store ones all my life. A neighbor back in the 70's was using a modified large coffee can for a chimney. Not even sure if a charcoal chimney was a over the counter unit back then. Anyone have a good one this is worth the extra $$$$? Also, what do you use to ignite your coals? I used newspaper one time. It made a big mess, and ended up on my NY steak. Now I use Weber cubes, or a paper towel rolled up and dipped in vegi oil if I'm out of cubes.

CptKaos
03-11-2018, 07:07 PM
I just use a propane torch on my Weber chimney, 15-20 seconds and it's started.

Larry

Joe Black
03-11-2018, 07:09 PM
I use a cheap charcoal chimney. As long as it holds some coal, it will work. I got really tired of newspaper wads going out, so now I use Weber cubes all the time.

Good luck and good smoking.

GrassRun
03-11-2018, 07:18 PM
I just ran out of Weber cubes. Going to try the newspaper/veg oil. Hoping it works out. Time will tell. Gotta try something new I suppose.

KevinJ
03-11-2018, 07:24 PM
I use 2, the Weber Compact and Weber Chimney, the Compact gets used probably 80% of the time.

Compact in action.

https://i.imgur.com/5jBEgTu.jpg?1

Sometimes I don't use one at all.

https://i.imgur.com/LlHqLR6.jpg?2

kingjman
03-11-2018, 07:25 PM
I just use a propane torch on my Weber chimney, 15-20 seconds and it's started.

Larry

Same. It's the cleanest, cheapest, easiest way.

allboy
03-11-2018, 07:33 PM
I just ran out of Weber cubes. Going to try the newspaper/veg oil. Hoping it works out. Time will tell. Gotta try something new I suppose.

Use a rolled up paper towel and vegi oil. Less ash.

Blythewood BBQ'er
03-11-2018, 07:37 PM
What ever the cheapest chimney I can find is and light it with the weber cubes. I keep saying that I'm going to make one out of a heavy guage pipe if I can ever find the right pipe.

aerotech11
03-11-2018, 07:58 PM
I use the Weber charcoal starter. I have both small and large and I start it with an old turkey fryer base. Works great. A few seconds and its lit.

-Chris-
03-11-2018, 08:10 PM
Weber chimney and a wad of paper towels soaked in olive oil.

pjtexas1
03-11-2018, 08:17 PM
Weber chimney and those tumble weed starter things.

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R2Egg2Q
03-11-2018, 08:18 PM
Weber chimney. Light at home with the side burner on my gasser. When away from home I usually use the starter cubes.

thirdeye
03-11-2018, 08:19 PM
I've only used a chimney once or twice. I like the Map Pro torch on my small cookers, and a weed burner for the bigger cookers.

kingjman
03-11-2018, 08:52 PM
I recently priced some steel pipe for that same purpose, just rechecked. The thinnest steel pipe 1/4 inch thick 6.5 diameter x 1ft(Weber is 7.5 x 12) is $40 and 15lbs. Thinner 304 stainless 7x12 10lbs starts at $100. Stove pipe seems like a more realistic option, 8x24 is $6...or a free folders can..I also wonder how small is too small. ...I usually only fill my full size Weber starter about 1/2 way since using charcoal basket(s)

anyone who uses the minion method and only needs 6 or so tried making a tiny one out of a large soup can?

Just earlier today I though of starting a poll..."how do you start your coals". A few new ways here I hadn't thought of. Gas grill, fryer, and weed burner.

Rockinar
03-11-2018, 11:44 PM
https://images.homedepot-static.com/productImages/793f5c06-6eda-4e9f-ad4c-1df3bc32e403/svn/kingsford-charcoal-starter-lighters-4460071178-64_1000.jpg

Smoke on Badger Mountain
03-11-2018, 11:55 PM
Weber chimney, over the camp chef stove

Nuco59
03-12-2018, 06:08 AM
I have an OLD Weber chimney. It's way too big to use to light 10 or 12 coals for a minion cook. I put one of the mini Weber chimneys in an Amazon Basket (why don't they sell these at HD or Lowes?).

Before I rang out, I remembered I had a big, empty #10 can (beans, tomatoes- I forget) that looked like a good size. I made a chimney out of it. Looked good, worked good. Held just the right amount of charcoal to get my drum cranked. My dad laughed and told me it would not last. I told him "10.00 is 10.00"

dalelovelace
03-12-2018, 06:28 AM
I use a Weber Chimney, and KBB briquettes. I use the Kingsford bag to light the chimney, that paper is perfect. I separate the three thick pieces that make up the bag and stuff the chimney, keep a piece of the outer "white" piece that is not quite so thick and roll it up, light that with a match, lean the chimney over a little and hold that lit piece under the chimney until the rest of the paper catches a little, then set the chimney down. I just keep the bags as I empty them to be ready for the next fire.

dadsr4
03-12-2018, 08:38 AM
I have the smaller Weber chimney for Minion method cooks and the larger one for grilling. I use the free newspaper the USPS delivers for starting.

BillATL
03-12-2018, 10:26 AM
I've got one of the small weber chimneys - perfect size and well built.

For starters I use a trick I learned on this forum - I keep a pickle jar stuffed with cotton balls that are soaking in 91% alcohol. Burns really clean with no ash left behind. One cotton ball easily starts a chimney.

Lowki
03-12-2018, 11:02 AM
I use the cheapest chimney i can find. I used the Weber large a while back and it lasted as long as the cheapies, so now i do not waste my $$. I like the cubes and if i can find them on sale i will use those, if not propane torch.

Beentown
03-12-2018, 11:34 AM
Weber...only because it was in sale a decade ago. Still in service today. I am not particular about tfhe charcoal I use as I see it as a fuel source only, wood is the flavor.

KBB
KBB Bag
Light

Ready in ten minutes.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

jermoQ
03-12-2018, 12:08 PM
I use a cheap one. For grilling, I use a cube to start my chimney. For cooking in the drum, a cube in the basket, 20 minutes, then throw the basket in.

10miler
03-12-2018, 12:27 PM
For starters I use a trick I learned on this forum - I keep a pickle jar stuffed with cotton balls that are soaking in 91% alcohol. Burns really clean with no ash left behind. One cotton ball easily starts a chimney.

This sounds like a great tip! I've been using the Weber cubes, which are supposedly odorless LOL.

I use the regular Weber chimney, and I would start it right in my Weber kettle if it weren't on the screen porch. Instead I start the chimney in an old springform pan outside on the patio. Works great!

dgaddis1
03-12-2018, 01:00 PM
I don't know what kind of chimney I have...I think it's a weber.

I use cardboard pieces to start the fire. Always have plenty laying around. Light the chimney over a fire pit, not in/on the grill/smoker, so no worries with ash.

gcs
03-12-2018, 01:17 PM
I have some no name charcoal starter I got when I bought my used WSM, I use the grill side burner to light the coals, very fast and easy.
I used to use an empty #10 can years ago with the bottom out, that works too.
I'd probably get another charcoal starter again when this one kicks it, but it has to be on sale....:-D

ironmanerik
03-12-2018, 01:22 PM
I use a Weber Chimney, and KBB briquettes. I use the Kingsford bag to light the chimney, that paper is perfect. I separate the three thick pieces that make up the bag and stuff the chimney, keep a piece of the outer "white" piece that is not quite so thick and roll it up, light that with a match, lean the chimney over a little and hold that lit piece under the chimney until the rest of the paper catches a little, then set the chimney down. I just keep the bags as I empty them to be ready for the next fire.

This, except when I open a bag and fill up the chimney there is enough bag above the coal line to start. It always amazes me that there is a perfect amount of paper to light all the coal, paper and bag finished at the same time.

kls44
03-12-2018, 01:24 PM
My performer has gas ignition so thats a no brainer. For minion method in the smokers, I made a chimney from a piece of 6" vent pipe 8" long sitting in an old frypan, can get a 6"x24" piece at HD for $5 and will make 3 chimneys.

Swede
03-12-2018, 02:51 PM
Tuna can with 1/2" of 90+% alcohol, no residue and very clean startup.

OEF5
03-12-2018, 03:32 PM
I think I've got a cheap one from Lowes and use Royal Oak Lump with newspaper, but I light it on an old baking sheet from the house until the paper is gone, ash just blows out, dump the hot coals into my UDS basket and I'm done.

If I have my char griller open, I use the side firebox to light with, great airflow for the paper to get going. Or if you are in Tuscaloosa, at the Shirley Plantation, you light it on the custom firepit grate they have :-P

angryelfFan
03-12-2018, 03:59 PM
Weber Starter I found at Ace Hardware for $12. Been using it for years. It is great. 2 rolled up sheets of newspaper like donuts in the bottom. Never fails.

70monte
03-12-2018, 04:00 PM
I have several different brands of charcoal chimneys and use the Weber cubes to light them with. They all seem to work fine.

guero_gordo
03-12-2018, 04:18 PM
For years I used the old traditional #10 can with churchkey holes at the bottom and a pair of pliers. Now the wife buys the Weber things instead.

charcoal4brains
03-12-2018, 06:15 PM
Weber Starter I found at Ace Hardware for $12. Been using it for years. It is great. 2 rolled up sheets of newspaper like donuts in the bottom. Never fails.

Yup. Rolled up newspaper shaped like donuts, for airflow. Started over the firepit so no newspaper ashes in the grill.

But here in Texas we only need one sheet of newspaper 'cause ... :becky:

Hankdad1
03-12-2018, 10:31 PM
Have both a Weber and a wally world chimney at our cabin, Weber is better. Use my Performer's propane feature to light it. At home I use a cotton ball soaked with 91 percent rubbing alcohol, no chimney to start the lump on my Akorn. Planning to get the smaller Weber chimney for my new friend the Weber Go Anywhere. I did the coffee can church key thing back in the '70s also, life's too short.

KORND4WG X
03-12-2018, 10:58 PM
BBQ Dragon

https://youtu.be/zKxRmewhD8w

EdF
03-13-2018, 12:49 PM
Yep, the Dragon and the Chimney of insanity are an insane combo. I've found lots of uses for the Dragon independent of the chimney too - like for a reverse sear on a BGE.

Steve S
03-13-2018, 05:40 PM
I use a Weber chimney and newspaper. On days where I am in a hurry, or there is a lot of moisture in the air, I use an old heat gun that I found in the shop to speed things along.

allboy
03-13-2018, 06:54 PM
I'm surprised to see so many people use the Weber cubes. I like the cotton balls in alcohol method someone posted. I have the big and small Weber chimney. I sure wish they made one in between in size. Like a medium. Additionally I'm shocked to see that people still use newspaper. That's like using lighter fluid. :-o

unzippy
03-13-2018, 07:37 PM
I have an OLD Weber chimney. It's way too big to use to light 10 or 12 coals for a minion cook.


Top tip - turn it upside down:wink:

dadsr4
03-13-2018, 08:54 PM
I'm surprised to see so many people use the Weber cubes. I like the cotton balls in alcohol method someone posted. I have the big and small Weber chimney. I sure wish they made one in between in size. Like a medium. Additionally I'm shocked to see that people still use newspaper. That's like using lighter fluid. :-o
I just heap up the charcoal in the small one.

Steve S
03-14-2018, 09:47 AM
I'm surprised to see so many people use the Weber cubes. I like the cotton balls in alcohol method someone posted. I have the big and small Weber chimney. I sure wish they made one in between in size. Like a medium. Additionally I'm shocked to see that people still use newspaper. That's like using lighter fluid. :-o

How so?

10miler
03-14-2018, 03:12 PM
How so?

I'm curious about this too. How is using newspaper to start charcoal like using lighter fluid?:shock:

unzippy
03-14-2018, 08:58 PM
Perhaps because the ash goes everywhere?

tom b
03-14-2018, 09:54 PM
just a regular Weber chimney one large and one small Weber cubes too

IamMadMan
03-15-2018, 06:30 AM
I also use a cheap charcoal chimney to light 10 or 12 briquettes for the smoker. I also use a paper towel drizzled with oil to ignite the cubes.

If I'm using the grill, then I'll light a whole chimney of charcoal for a fast start on the kettle.

I've had the cheap chimney for about 8 years now, still in great shape.

Blizzard
03-15-2018, 07:33 AM
Id also like to know how newspaper is like lighter fluid?

I use a Weber chimney with ripped up brown grocery bags.

Another question? Do the Weber cubes leave any aftertaste like lighter fluid? I would have thought so, but with so many people using them, it makes me wonder.

DanB
03-15-2018, 07:44 AM
I use a Weber chimney and their cubes. With newspaper I had ashes flying all around.
DanB

THoey1963
03-15-2018, 08:49 AM
Usually pretty dry here, and I hated seeing all the sparks from from those chimney's. I bought one of these for my smoker and have it lit in minutes:

https://www.northerntool.com/images/product/700x700/292/29201_700x700.jpg

Worked so well, I bought one of these for my kettle:

https://images.homedepot-static.com/productImages/26d62943-e2ad-4113-a311-81f5fd94ab28/svn/bernzomatic-torches-tanks-328626-1d_1000.jpg

BillATL
03-15-2018, 11:03 AM
Another question? Do the Weber cubes leave any aftertaste like lighter fluid? I would have thought so, but with so many people using them, it makes me wonder.

I've never noticed a smell or taste from the cubes. That said, they're relatively expensive and sometimes hard to find compared to cotton balls and 91% alcohol so I switched.

pjtexas1
03-15-2018, 11:11 AM
Id also like to know how newspaper is like lighter fluid?

I use a Weber chimney with ripped up brown grocery bags.

Another question? Do the Weber cubes leave any aftertaste like lighter fluid? I would have thought so, but with so many people using them, it makes me wonder.I can taste lighter fluid but I cannot taste the cubes. It does smell like lighter fluid when lit. I switched to these.https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180315/74790423213ec852a598efd0f27b7c67.jpg

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10miler
03-15-2018, 12:39 PM
Another question? Do the Weber cubes leave any aftertaste like lighter fluid? I would have thought so, but with so many people using them, it makes me wonder.

I don't notice a lighter fluid taste, but they sure do stink when you light the cube. Laughable that they advertise them as odorless.