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.
| 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
| I've only had it work 1 out of 3 times.
The only time one of these starters hasn't worked for me is when I've used
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
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.
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.
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.
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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