how to use a BBQ chimney

Summertime is the perfect time to cook up some delicious barbecue! If you like outdoor cooking, you probably use a charcoal grill.

One of the essential things to remember when cooking on charcoal grills is how to use a BBQ chimney. For the best grilling results, follow these simple instructions on ways to use a chimney starter. Let’s start cooking!

What Is a BBQ Chimney and How Does It Work?

charcoal grill starter

A BBQ chimney is a device used for lighting charcoal for cooking on grills. Chimney starters look like large metal cylinders with air vents and an open top.

The bottom of a charcoal starter sits over an igniter while the coals are placed inside the chimney at its opening. Before igniting them, put a sheet of newspaper or something similar beneath the charcoal grate. Then coal will light up as the newspaper burns.

How to Use a BBQ Chimney: Step-by-Step Instructions

Below are step-by-step instructions on how to use a BBQ chimney.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

You’ll need a BBQ chimney starter, an igniter, half a bag of charcoal briquettes, and a sheet of newspaper.

Cut the newspaper into pieces about as wide as the chimney starter’s opening at its base. If possible, use two sheets instead so they overlap when placed inside of it, with their edges touching one another.

Step 2: Set Up the Charcoal Chimney Starter

Place the charcoal chimney starter on top of your BBQ. Make sure that it’s centred directly over one of the vents in the bottom.

Step 3: Fill the Charcoal Chimney Starter With Briquettes

Put the charcoal into the BBQ chimney starter’s opening and fill it up to about an inch from the topmost portion.

Step 4: Insert the Newspaper

Place one piece of old newspaper or two pieces that overlap each other below the charcoal chimney starter. Then light them with matches or a flame source like an igniter.

Step 5: Let the Charcoal Briquettes Burn

Once the coals have been lit, wait about five minutes for them to start turning whiteish in colour. That’s when it is ready to be poured onto your grilling area.

If you want to cook meat under direct heat, wait for the coal to turn white and with a red centre. For slow grilling, wait until the briquettes are white-ash.

Step 6: Pour the Briquettes Onto Your Grill

Pour the charcoal onto your grill and arrange them according to what you’re cooking. For example, spread them evenly if you’re barbecuing steaks.

If you’re grilling a large batch of meat, it is better to push the coals to one side. The other side can be used to keep cooked meats warm.

We hope that this guide will help you achieve the perfect barbecue with your chimney starter!

Vital Safety Tips to Keep In Mind When Using BBQ Chimneys

pouring hot coals from starter to grill

Here are the most important things to remember when using a chimney starter to light a BBQ.

  • Choose a stable, level location on your backyard or patio. Set up your BBQ away from objects that quickly catch fire, like trees and wooden furniture.
  • Keep children, pets, and other people around you at a safe distance when using your barbecue chimney starter.
  • Even though this device will make lighting your BBQ safer for you, those who are close by, and the environment, always remember never to leave burning grills unattended.
  • Use protective tools and equipment. Use heatproof gloves and closed-toe shoes to handle a hot charcoal chimney starter. You don’t want burning coal to drop onto your skin or feet.
  • Regardless of how careful you are when using a chimney starter, accidents can happen to anyone at any time. Staying alert will make it easier for you to react if anything goes wrong quickly.
  • Be sure to put out the flames completely when you’re finished cooking by pouring water over the coals and ashes and stirring them around. Allow the BBQ or smoker to cool before cleaning it. 

We cannot stress enough how necessary these safety precautions are. Keep them in mind every time you use a chimney starter to light BBQ grills or smokers.

Things to Consider When Getting a BBQ Chimney Starter

Now that you know all about BBQ chimney starters, it’s time to decide if this is the right grilling accessory for you.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when making your decision:

How Often Do You Grill?

grilling ribs using bbq chimney

If you’re an avid griller who cooks outdoors several times a week, then investing in a BBQ chimney starter is a wise decision. It will save you time and energy when prepping for your meals.

Do You Have Limited Space on Your Patio or in Your Backyard?

If so, consider getting a compact chimney starter that won’t take up too much room.

How Important Is the Aesthetics of Your Grill Tools to You?

If you want something that looks good and will last for years, then a stainless steel BBQ chimney starter is the way to go.

Do You Have Trouble Getting Your Charcoal Lit Evenly?

A BBQ chimney starter can help with this issue by providing even heat distribution when starting your coals.

Now that you’re aware of the different factors to consider when purchasing a BBQ chimney starter, we hope that you’re able to make an informed decision that will best suit your grilling needs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Using a BBQ Chimney

How Do You Use a Grill Chimney?

You use a grill chimney by filling it with charcoal, lighting it on fire, and then pouring the hot coals onto your grill. You then arrange the coals, depending on if you need direct or indirect heat.

How Do You Start a BBQ Chimney Starter?

You start a charcoal chimney starter by lighting the sheets of newspaper you placed at its bottom. 

Can I Pour Lighter Fluid Onto Grills?

It is not advisable to pour lighter fluid onto grills or an open flame. It’s better to use a charcoal chimney starter because it won’t leave your food with an unpleasant aftertaste. It is safer to use, too.

How Do You Start a Charcoal Grill With a Chimney?

To light a grill with a charcoal chimney starter, fill the metal cylinder with charcoal and light them using sheets of paper or firelighters. Let the coals burn well before pouring them into the grilling area.

How Long Do You Leave the Charcoal in the Chimney Starter?

It usually takes 10 minutes to burn the coal in a chimney starter thoroughly. The hot coal should have a red centre surrounded by a whitish glow to grill your food using direct heat. This is perfect for achieving the ideal cooking temperature for grilling thin steak strips.

Enjoying Fabulous Cookouts With a BBQ Chimney

A chimney starter is a great device that can make your cookouts easier and more enjoyable. And now that you know how to use a BBQ chimney, you can start your coals quickly and evenly.

We highly recommend using a BBQ chimney starter to complete your grill setup. If you have questions about chimney starters or need more outdoor cooking tips, please don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments. We’re always happy to help!

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