Charcoal Chimneys – A fast, clean(er) and safer way to get your coals lit

I guess I’m REALLY old fashioned about my barbecuing, because I’ve never even owned a gas grill. I just love the whole experience of charcoal grilling, and I’ve been surprised by how many people still use lighter fluid on their coals.


I was shopping today at one of my favorite discount markets, The Grocery Outlet, and they had end-of-season deals on a bunch of barbecue accessories, including what looked like really nice chimneys for only $6. I almost bought one “just because”, and had an extended argument with myself about how the one I have is in great condition before finally putting it down. Then I thought I should give my readers a quick review on why these are so great.


For you environmentalists who ONLY want to spew coal smoke into the air, you don’t need to burn any accelerant with a chimney. Just a sheet or two of newspaper almost always does the job. You just wad up the paper and stuff it in the bottom of the chimney, then fill the top with the desired amount of charcoal, and light the newspaper. Because of the confined space and concentrated heat, the coals are usually ready to go in about 15 minutes (varies depending on your brand of coals), and you can then easily pour them wherever you want in your grill. It’s safer because you never even need to OWN lighter fluid for people to “play” with, and it’s more efficient because you can easily create whatever configuration you need for cooking with coals that are hot and ready.

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