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Charcoal Chimney : Alternate lighting technique ?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Love using my charcoal chimney..looking for an alternate method of lighting it instead of newspaper..I hate the little swirling bits of ash that it leaves. Perhaps a propane torch held under the chimney pointed up at the charcoal ?? anyone use a different technique other than newspaper ?? Thanks !
post #2 of 18

propane torch works great or a side burner on a grill

The side burner works great and so does a torch
post #3 of 18
It's always breezy here, so the hot bits swirling around make me uncomfortable too. Then when I dump, it looks like the 4th of July from the newspapers.

I haven't tried it yet, but I was going to try some of those lump fire starters. I think some of them are parafin, so there wouldn't be a chemical taste.

Looking forward to some answers from folks who've "been there, done that."
post #4 of 18
Some time ago I picked up a Bernzomatic torch from Lowes to light my drum. I now use it for the horizontal as well. Just fill your basket and hold the torch over the coals until several are well lit. The bottles are 1 pound of LP and you can buy them around here for $5 for 2 bottles. I use mine for just about everything including the smokers, the trash cans, and acres of weed burning. My bottles last for at least a month.

post #5 of 18


My local farmers co op sells pine cones dipped in parrafin. Wonder how they might work?
post #6 of 18
I have a "turkey fryer" type propane fired burner that I use to light my chimney.

Hope this helps!

Take care, have fun, and do good!


post #7 of 18
Try a crumpled up paper towel drizzled with a little bit of cooking oil. Works nicely and doesn't create the swirling bits of ash that newspaper does.

post #8 of 18
have to try that Dave, its hard to beat the chimney/paper start. its basically free!
post #9 of 18
You got that right, erain.PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif But it seems like the wind is ALWAYS blowing when I am lighting one and the black stuff swirls EVERYWHERE.

It's like Mother Nature gets this message that Dave wants to light a smoker so she cranks up the wind.biggrin.gif That's why I like the UDS so much. It pretty much doesn't care if the wind is blowing or not.

post #10 of 18
Exactly icon_exclaim.gif
post #11 of 18
thats what i use as well
post #12 of 18
I use a weed burner for getting fires going in my offsets and the leading favorite here, a turkey burner for the chimney when grilling etc. I've also used the Weber starter cubes in the past and they worked very well.

post #13 of 18
I use those fire starter cubes (similar to the Weber ones).

Lots of folks use the side burner on their propane grill too.

If/when I use newspaper, I typically use a separate area (metal bucket).
post #14 of 18
Chimneys are easy to light. Get a plastic cup, like a party cup, and fill it with lighter fluid. Dump that in the top, throw a match down on it, and let the chimney do its thing. They are simply made to hold the briquettes in place so the fluid can cover everything evenly. JUST KIDDING!

Seriously though, I have had good luck with the cooking oil and a paper towel method. Fold it over a couple times into a square and get it "wet" with some veggie oil. I was always paranoid my yard would catch on fire during the icon_twisted.gif burn bans icon_twisted.gif using a plain newspaper.

One day when I was out of liberal college newspapers to burn, I figured out my chimney fits perfectly over the burner in my GOSM. Just sits right on that shelf lookin' thing holding the burner in place. It you have a GOSM, this will probably be your best bet.

I also have used one of those little torches as well, but when I used Royal Oak (always now!) it seems to pop back in my face with little embers.

Turkey fryer would work too like someone suggested.
post #15 of 18
What he said works for me.
post #16 of 18
I make my own firestarters out of old candles, dryer lint, and paper egg cartons. Pack the egg cups full of dryer lint (sawdust works too) and pour melted wax over so the lint it nicely soaked. Have a thick layer of newspapers underneath to protect your countertop. One or two of those work great under the chimney, in the Cobb grill, for campfires, lighting the fireplace, etc.

I get the wax free or cheap from garage sales and various places and just save up the materials for these till I have enough to bother with.

Some people use their camper's outside stoves to light their chimneys with if they're camping.
post #17 of 18
I have a Weber kettle. When I'm smoking on the CGSP, I start the chimney on the kettle - and then move it over to the CGSP firebox as soon as the newspaper has burned out. Maximizes the heat being transferred into the smoke chamber. Of course I cover the kettle immediately so the newspaper ash doesn't blow all over the place.
post #18 of 18
Put the chimney on the burner of a turkey frier if ya got one.
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