WTF??? My chimney starter exploded!!!

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by fired up, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. fired up

    fired up Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Filled my weber chimney starter with royal oak lump charcoal, like I always do.
    Put 2 sheets of crumpled newspaper in the bottom and lit it with a stick lighter, like I always do. Set it on the concrete driveway and waited for the coals to grey over, like I always do.

    But this time for some reason after about 15 minutes it made a loud bang, knocked the chimney over, and blew a 8" diameter 1/2" deep hole in the concrete.

    Seriously, WTF?
  2. torchrider

    torchrider Fire Starter

    I am no expert, but could it have been the heat sitting on the cold concrete, caused the concrete expand and give? I have heard of other instances of hot items causing concrete to crack.
  3. placebo

    placebo Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Bingo +1. There was a post here some time ago describing this exact same occurance. Do not use your chimney starters on concrete as it can explode.
  4. fired up

    fired up Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Alright then, lesson learned lol.
  5. placebo

    placebo Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  6. mgwerks

    mgwerks Smoking Fanatic

    It definitely was the concrete. Never combine fire and concrete, especially concentrated like that.
  7. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dang and I was gonna run home and give it a try... lol... just kidding.

    Glad to here nobody got hurt! That is why I bought a $20 Weber Kettle on craigslist - gives me somewhere to light chimneys... and occasionaly grill. [​IMG]
  8. chisoxjim

    chisoxjim Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    that is the one of the craziest things I have heard. [​IMG]

    Thanks for the warning. I typically use the cooking grate of my Weber kettle to put the chimney on while it is lit.
  9. rdknb

    rdknb Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well you live and learn, glad no one was hurt. Makes for a good story when no harm no foul
  10. My brother darn near lost an eye using a cutting torch on a piece of metal sitting on the concrete sidewalk. The concrete just started snapping and popping. There was shrapnel everywhere.
    Lucky no one was hurt.
  11. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Definitely the concrete. Too much heat.
    what I do is use my hibachi to rest the chimney starter on.
  12. ozark rt

    ozark rt Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    An air pocket expanding due to the heat. This happened on a larger scale back in the mid 70's when Interstate 30 from Little Rock to Fort Worth had been completed. A couple of years later during one of those long stretches of days where the temp was over 100* the concrete lanes started exploding. Talk about some major potholes.
  13. roscoe dog

    roscoe dog Fire Starter

    I use a 14 inch square path stone with a couple of bricks and set the starter on the bricks to get air under the starter.
  14. athabaskar

    athabaskar Smoking Fanatic

    Wow, I never even thought about such a thing happening. I have always set my chimneys on a couple of firebricks spaced apart, but only to get better airflow. Recently I switched to using the propane fryer to start them. Another example of a fool dodging a bullet without even knowing it. [​IMG]
  15. polishmeat

    polishmeat Meat Mopper

  16. dangermouse

    dangermouse Fire Starter

    holy crap! I always start my chimey on my concrete patio, I had no idea it could explode! Well there you have it, SMF not only saves bbq, it saves LIVES!!! :p

    would starting the chimney on a stack of bricks on top of the concrete work? or do the bricks transfer heat?
  17. rickw

    rickw Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Been there done that. Extreme heat and concrete is very dangerous.
  18. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Bricks should be fine, something to keep it from getting in direct contact is the main thing.
  19. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    DUCK !!![​IMG]
    I think you have to put it on something else, or quit your Chef job & go into demolition---More money in Demo.
    I set mine on a short cut-off of an I-Beam.

  20. coffee_junkie

    coffee_junkie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I use my weber smokey joe, used to use flat rocks but those break also...

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