Chimney Style Charcoal liter

I bought a chimney style charcoal lighter.
You stuff only two full pages of news paper in the bottom, add charcoal to the top, light with a match and in about 20 mins the directions say your good to go, NOT SO!
Doesn't work worth a dam, anyone got one of these and what am I doing wrong?
I've only had it work 1 out of 3 times.
Thanks
Tom
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| I bought a chimney style charcoal lighter. | | You stuff only two full pages of news paper in the bottom, add charcoal to | the top, light with a match and in about 20 mins the directions say your | good to go, NOT SO! | | Doesn't work worth a dam, anyone got one of these and what am I doing wrong? | | I've only had it work 1 out of 3 times. | | Thanks | | Tom | The only time one of these starters hasn't worked for me is when I've used wet/old charcoal.
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Use lighter fluid
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wrong?
Mine always worked fine.
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tflfb wrote:

It requires a little "finesse" with the newspapers. You need to pack the bottom -loosely-, and two sheets at a time is really too much. Prepare about 8 sheets before you light it, by loosely crumbling them and getting them into the proper size/shape. Put one in, light it. When it burns down almost all of the way, lift the chimney, your flaming paper should fall down onto the grill grid, and pop another one up inside the pipe. Sit it back down on top of the still burning piece laying on the grid, the new one should catch. Repeat 6 or 7 times. It sounds like alot, but it's a matter of paying atttention to it for 5 minutes and once they catch they -really- catch.
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There are cheap ones and there are good ones. The best is made by Weber and has a better design than the cheap ones. We were amazed at how it worked. 2 crumpled sheets of newspaper and the coals were nearly all white after only about 12 minutes...I put it on the grill light the papers from several holes in the side and walk away. Looks like a blast furnace after 10 minutes time.
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I v'e only seen about 2 models, they both look the same to me.
Tom

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ROBMURR wrote:

Oh bullsh*t. This is caveman technology.
You put air and flame under the charcoal and it lights.
Before the "fancy ones" in the 70's, my dad would take a coffee can, fill it with charcoal. Put newspaper underneath it, set it on the lower part of teh grill and light it.
Now that they "Sell them" they have a handle (dad and I used a pair of work gloves to remove it) and some holes in the bottom side.
This isn't a high tech device.
Make sure the newspaper gets enough air. make sure it's dry paper.
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two half sheets work best. and you have to light it in several places to get the updraft going. Usually though I use these fireplace starters. Use a knife to chop them into 1 inch cubes. For pennys, they will light a fire each time.

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wrong?
Don't stuff two sheets of newspaper into the bottom - this blocks the air flow up through the charcoal. The best tip I've heard for using newspaper (and the way I do it, and it works every time) is to take the sheet of newspaper, and start at one corner, twisting it into a "rope". Do this with both sheets. Then take each paper rope, and form it into a doughnut that will fit into the bottom of the chimney. Put both doughnuts underneath the chimney, fill the chimney with charcoal, and light the paper. I find it easier to light a small piece of paper and set the whole works onto it, so that it lights the doughnuts near the center. This approach leaves an opening in the center of the paper, creating a draft up through the chimney so that the flames and heat naturally go up through the charcoal, not out through the vents in the sides of the chimney. And in about 15-20 minutes, the charcoal is blazing away.
A simpler way is to just use a fireplace starter, as was suggested below - the type that looks like coarse sawdust glued together with wax. A chunk of this stuff is easy to light, burns hot and for a long enough time to start the charcoal, and creates no petroleum smell or taste.
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I haven't tried it but I have heard that using a little vegetable oil on the newspaper improves performance also

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JMagerl wrote:

THAT'S CHEATING!
Hell, let's just dribble a cup of bacon grease down through the briquettes before we light 'em up! lol
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