A chimney starter is a economical way to start charcoal and lump charcoal without the use of petroleum based starting fluids. The concept is easy, fill top of the container with your favorite fuel and use newspaper or sheets from the telephone book waded up and placed in the bottom chamber. Light and you will have hot and ready fuel in 10 +/- minutes. One word of caution, place the chimney on your top grate of your grill or smoker and not on the ground or concrete, and always use gloves to handle the hot chimney.
An alternative to using paper if you have a side burner on your grill or a gas smoker available..
Fill the charcoal chimney and then sit it on a the side burner of your grill or even over the burner of your gas smoker if you have one. Wait until the coals are glowing and then pour them into your charcoal chamber of your smoker. Quick and easy.
Two words....dryer lint....about a fist sized bunch of dryer lint burns for about 5 minutes and lights the chimney like a charm. If you want it to burn longer spray it with a little vegetable oil. Never fails
I tried a weed burner propane torch for the first time on my last offset cook, will never use anything else. Took less than a minute to get the chimney going. And come on, who doesn't love using a flame thrower!!!!