How to Start Charcoal Grill with a Chimney Starter

We are going to learn how you can start a coals with a chimney starter for heating up your charcoal grill, no doubt this is a time taking process and not viable for everyone but if you want the pure taste of smoking than the best practice is to use chimney starter because it not only save your food from a nasty flavor but also protect you from being in front of flames causes when you burn the lighter fluid.

What is a Charcoal Chimney Starter

Chimney starter is a hollow metal tube with holes at sides from the end with a small wire grate inside to hold coals up from the empty space where you can use newspaper or lighter cubes to fire up the coals.

It also has a set of handles to hold the starter and to pour the briquettes into the smoker.

large charcoal starter chimney

Tools Required

steps to light up charcoal grill using chimney starter

Step by Step Guide to start Charcoal Grill with a Chimney Starter

Uisng starter for heating up charcoal smoker grill is very easy let’s follow these simple steps:

Clean your Smoker

Clean up your smoker grill if you have an old one for cooking healthy food, If you have a new one then you can skip this step. But always try to clean grill after finishing up cooking because it needs some heat for removing meat pours from grill grates.

how to start a charcoal grill with a chimney

Fill up the Chimney Stater

Step number two is fill coals inside the chimney starter as per your requirements. About one and a half kg of coal is enough for 1 hour if they are of high quality. So, fill your chimney starter with according to your cooking requirements as it takes almost 16 to 17 hours to make a complete brisket in smoking process.

Fill up the Chimney Stater

Light Up

Place two to three newspaper pieces at the bottom of chimney starter and light them up and try to soak them with any vegetable oil to increase its burning time. Lighter cubes are also a good choice if you can avail this option due to its working weather if they are wet, Burn up the coals until there corners are not covered up by the white ash.

Light Up
Light Up using newspaper or Lighter cubes

Wear Heat Resistant Gloves and closed-toe Shoes

Safety should be your first priority so always use heat resistant gloves and closed shoes because there you are playing with coals and embers of these coals can damage your skin so this is a good practice to have essential smoker accessories while doing some heat related work.

Arrange the Coals

After 10 to 15 minutes pour burning coals into the charcoal grate and arrange them according to your cooking requirements. For indirect heat make a small layer of coal inside the grate or for direct heat try to use a more coals.

Arrange the Coals

Placing Meat

Now turn the lid on and bowl your charcoal grill dampers for about 10-15 minutes so it can heated up to 500-550°F. After that place your meat on the upper grill grate and start cooking. You have successfully lighten up the charcoal grill using starter.

What to do if we have a Small and Compact Charcoal Smoker?

For that you can use a small chimney starter, chimney starters are available in all sizes or you can make one by yourself if you have equipments.


This mainly depends upon the chimney size, weather conditions and lightning material you have used at the bottom. At average it took 10,15 minutes to make coals reliable for pouring into smoker.

You can use paper or any stuff which can be burn out but the best approach is to use firelighter blocks.

Similar Posts