How to Use a Charcoal Chimney - Backyard Boss
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How to Use a Charcoal Chimney

As summer arrives, many people prepare their grills for months of grilling their favorite foods. Hamburgers, pork, steak, chicken, kebabs, corn on the cob and so much more are just waiting to hit the grill and your table.

It’s time to light up the grill and get started, but there’s an easier way to start a fire in your charcoal grill than using lighter fluid or lighter cubes. Using a charcoal chimney starter is a simple, quick method of lighting your charcoal grill.

What Is a Charcoal Chimney

a burning charcoal chimney
Image Credits: atubbs on CreativeCommons

    HOMENOTE Rapid Charcoal Chimney Starter Set

HOMENOTE Rapid Charcoal Chimney Starter Set
    This kit comes with the charcoal chimney, firelighter cubes, a small BBQ fan, and heat-resistant mitts.

Charcoal chimney starters are metal cylinders designed to light charcoal. They are incredibly simple devices that can even be made at home for little cost. All you need to use a charcoal chimney is the chimney, some charcoal, a few pages of the newspaper, a lighter or match, and, of course, the grill.

A Step-By-Step Guide On How to Use a Charcoal Chimney

Step 1: Set up the Charcoal Chimney

Charcoal Chimney grilling gloves grill brush and food thermometer
Image Credits: cold_penguin1952 on Creativecommons

To get started, stand the charcoal chimney up on the inside of the grill. You can also place it on a flat surface of concrete, asphalt, or any other flat surface that is safe to withstand high temperatures. Make sure that it is out of reach of children and pets as the chimney and coals can cause burns.

Step 2: Add Newspaper to the Charcoal Chimney

a pile of newspapers
Image Credits: Mike van Schoonderwalt z Pexels

Next, take sheets of newspaper and pack them evenly under the grill grate in the chimney. Don’t use too many pieces of newspaper or pack it too tightly. If it is packed too tightly or there is too much newspaper, the flame may not get enough oxygen to stay lit.

Step 3: Fill the Chimney With Charcoal

Charcoal Chimney with some charcoal
Image Credits: Another Pint Please…

Now you can fill the chimney with charcoal briquettes. Don’t fill it up too high, however. Just below the rim of the chimney is a good amount of light.

Overfilling it can cause lit charcoal to overflow while they are charring, which can create a waste of charcoal or even burn somebody. In addition, it can create a dangerous mess while pouring the charcoal into your grill.

Step 4: Light the Newspaper

a man with the lighter
Image Credits: Marek Szturc on Unsplash

The next step is to light the newspaper. Take a long lighter or long match and light the newspaper through the little holes in the bottom of the chimney. Light the newspaper in several spots to get a good, even flame going.

Long lighters can be found in most places that sell grills and grilling materials. Long matches can be found at some hardware stores and fireplace shops. Some people even light an uncooked piece of spaghetti-like a match to light charcoal chimneys and candles.

The holes in the charcoal grate will allow the fire to rise up within the chimney. This causes the charcoal to become lit and creates a steady burn. The chimney’s design also creates a hotter, faster burn that allows you to get your coals to the grill faster.

Step 5: Wait for the Coals to Get Charred

coals Charred in the charcaol chimney
Image Credits: brownpau on CreativeCommons

After the charcoal is lit, wait for the coals to get charred. When using the recommended amount of charcoal, it usually takes around ten to twenty minutes for the charcoal to be charred enough for cooking.

If the weather is particularly windy or there is high humidity, your newspaper or coals may not light properly or stay lit. Keep an eye on the flames while the coal is charring. If necessary, replace the newspaper under the chimney or place another small piece of newspaper in the bottom to help the flames along. Even if it looks like it never lit, ensure that the chimney is cool before touching it or attempting to replace the newspaper.

Step 6: Transfer the Hot Coals to the Grill

A person transfering charcoal from charcoal chimney to the grill
Image Credits: Another Pint Please… on CreativeCommons

Once the coals are charred enough, grab the handle of your chimney and pour the hot charcoal into the grill. If you have a handmade chimney without a handle, use metal tongs to grab the chimney and carefully pour the coals into the grill.

All that is left to do after that is grab your food and start grilling.

After use, leave your chimney in a cool spot outside for a while. It should be cool to the touch before storing it away until the next time you want some mouthwatering treats from the grill.

To Wrap Up

Sometimes waiting until your charcoal gets hot enough to grill can take a lot of time and destroy the whole fun of grilling. If you don’t want this to happen to you simply get yourself a charcoal chimney. To be sure you are using this incredibly helpful tool right, just follow your simple guidelines, and enjoy your barbecue!