camping, camping tips, family camping

Which Charcoal Starter Is Best?

The charcoal starter is a great device to use to give your charcoal grill a fast and easy start, whether you are grilling at home or at the campsite.

There are several commercial models of charcoal chimney starters available to choose from, something to fit any budget.

Some features to look for:

Material: Ideally your charcoal chimney should be made of steel or stainless steel.

Capacity: You want it to hold enough charcoal to meet your grilling needs.

Why The Weber Charcoal Chimney Is So Popular

charcoal grill start

There are many different models of charcoal chimney starters available. But the Weber charcoal chimney is the most popular brand and has a real fan following.

It is very reasonably priced, under $15. And even though it is a good price it is very durable and one of the longest lasting, well-made charcoal starts on the market.

It is made of "aluminized steel." I didn't know exactly what this meant, so I looked it up. Aluminized steel is a process which sandwiches a piece of steel on both sides with a coating of aluminum, applied by a hot-dip process. The end result combines the strengths of both steel and aluminum. The combination of metals provides great resistance to corrosion, rust, and stands up to high temperatures as well, to make for a long-lasting piece of camping equipment. To give you an idea of how it stands up to heat, this material is commonly used in many items that are normally heated to high temperatures, such as barbecue grills, ovens, baking pans, mufflers, water heaters, etc.

You Will Love Its LARGE Capacity

cooking dutch oven table
This is actually the feature that gets the most holds a lot of briquettes, about 100 briquettes, or 6 pounds, enough for a large 22-1/2 inch kettle grill. With a larger capacity you will not have to start up a second batch unless you are cooking large quantities, and if you do have to, it is only 15-20 minutes before your coals are hot and ready.

How Does It Do That So Fast?!?

It's fast...before I knew about using a charcoal starter, it seemed to take forever for the charcoal to be ready. Lighting charcoal was a long and tedious process. Now it is ready in no time...well 15-20 minutes, which is no time compared to how long it used to take in my old days of charcoal fluid use.

The Weber charcoal chimney has a wire, conical grate at the bottom, rather than the metal plate with holes that many other charcoal starters have between the charcoal and the lit newspaper. This grate provides a lot more airflow and a lot more area for the lit newspaper to come in contact with the charcoal and get it lit.

(Our homemade-charcoal-chimney has nothing between the charcoal and the newspaper. This is similar to the Weber's open wire grate which provides almost as much surface area to light your charcoal fast.)

Some Final Features To Mention

chimney charcoal starter

The handle is made of heat resistant Thermo-plastic, made to stay cool so you won't burn yourself. There is also another type of handle attached to help pour out the charcoal. This one is made of metal so you may want to use a pair of pliers, tongs, or a potholder when you pick it up.

So what are you waiting for? Probably your charcoal to be ready if you are not using a charcoal chimney starter yet!

For a lot less than the price of all the lighter fluid you won't be buying ever again, you can have stay away from the petroleum smell and taste, AND have your charcoal ready in less time than you ever thought possible.

Want a smaller capacity chimney charcoal starter?
Try the Camp Chef charcoal starter

Here are easy instructions on to use your chimney charcoal starter

Rather make your own? Here are simple instructions on how to
make a charcoal chimney from a coffee can

Return To Home Page From Charcoal Starter

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