How to use Chimney Starter: Lighting Charcoal Smokers

How to Use Chimney Starter

How to use Chimney Starter? Chimney starter is used for the purposes of lighting charcoal smokers. It is generally preferred over other means of starting charcoal BBQ. An alternative to this is the use of a lighter fluid which is often accompanied by an unpleasant smell. 

Apart from the discomfort that the lighter fluid causes, it happens that it is another immediate cause of environmental pollution.


We have keenly identified the positives and downsides of different means of lighting charcoal smoker. Based on our findings, what we believe to be relatively pure and safe is the use of charcoal chimney starter. In fact, it is very convenient when you use the chimney starter weber than any other means.

Now, we are looking forward to help you choose well and pride yourself in whichever choices you make. We believe our step-by step procedure on how to use a chimney starter is satisfactory. Read through it and from today henceforth, you will never find challenges starting your grill in a manner you desire.

Before we look at the step-by-step procedure of using chimney starter, it immensely meaningful to revisit the starter itself. Understanding its design and working makes it easier to use the starter.

What is a Chimney Starter?

Chimney starter is a device that is designed specifically for lighting charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal. It is made of steel as the main material and measures approximately 8’’ in diameter while the length (tallness) varies from 12 to 18 inches.

Around its circumference (below the grate), the chimney starter has holes that necessitates air flow and faster combustion. Most chimneys come with insulated handles for a protective role.

This basic information about chimney starter is enough to tell partly how it works. Next is the procedure of lighting the chimney starter.

Step by Step Procedure of Using a Charcoal Chimney Starter

  • Step 1: Preparation

Begin by loading your chimney starter with charcoal until it is filled. Stuff 3 to 4 newspaper sheets in the lower cavity. Ensure that the newspaper. Ensure that the newspapers are dry enough and easy to light when lit.

  • Step 2: Lighting

In the safest way possible, place the chimney on your cooking grates. Put on protective safety gloves. You can now light the newspaper with a matchbox. Ensure that the lit newspapers have spread the heat to light the charcoal. 

Allow the lit charcoal inside the chimney starter to burn till it starts turning white-grey. This might take approximately 15 -20 minutes.

  • Step 3: Transferring

Carefully transfer the burning charcoal from the chimney to the grill (ensure you are in gloves and other protective attire). Levelize to achieve evenness before placing your food on the grates.

Point to note: This procedure is for grilling. Additionally, the exact temperature for grilling different foods varies significantly. For this matter, having a user manual would be of great significance to you. Whichever food you are grilling, be sure to cook as fast as possible. This is in regard to the fact that charcoal does not last for long before it starts dropping.


It is also recommended that you get a higher capacity chimney smoker as oppose to a lower capacity chimney smoker. This is in respect to the fact that the former is convenient and fit for most smokers, hence convenient. If the above steps are critically adhered to, what else would interrupt your BBQ? Certainly, nothing. Ensure you do it correctly to save on your money and time. All are clear about how to use chimney starter!

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Theresa Lori

Hi, I'm Theresa. My passion for grilling delicacy gradually built during the time I was living with my parents. My family members especially my mother was a great fan of grilled dishes to and from the love of food. I started preparing smoked food with my mom. This bonding helped me to know more and more about to smoke, grill what always I share on So, in two words you can call me a BBQ lover.

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