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WTF??? My chimney starter exploded!!!

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
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?
post #2 of 37
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.
post #3 of 37
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.
post #4 of 37
Thread Starter 
Alright then, lesson learned lol.
post #5 of 37
Thank God nobody got hurt! Here is the post I was referring to:

post #6 of 37
It definitely was the concrete. Never combine fire and concrete, especially concentrated like that.
post #7 of 37
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. biggrin.gif
post #8 of 37
that is the one of the craziest things I have heard. icon_surprised.gif

Thanks for the warning. I typically use the cooking grate of my Weber kettle to put the chimney on while it is lit.
post #9 of 37
Well you live and learn, glad no one was hurt. Makes for a good story when no harm no foul
post #10 of 37
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.
post #11 of 37
Definitely the concrete. Too much heat.
what I do is use my hibachi to rest the chimney starter on.
post #12 of 37
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.
post #13 of 37
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.
post #14 of 37
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. PDT_Armataz_01_23.gif
post #15 of 37
Just found this on the virtualweberbullet.com site regarding this. Scroll down to the peach colored box:


This should definitely be on the "have to know" list.
post #16 of 37
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?
post #17 of 37
Been there done that. Extreme heat and concrete is very dangerous.
post #18 of 37
Bricks should be fine, something to keep it from getting in direct contact is the main thing.
post #19 of 37
DUCK !!!eek.gif
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.

post #20 of 37
I use my weber smokey joe, used to use flat rocks but those break also...
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