Best way to start a charcoal barbecue


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Chimney starters are definitely the way to go. Since I don’t often have newspaper handy I use charcoal starter cubes. They’re just little cubes of paraffin that you start and put the chimney on top of.


If it doesn’t involve liquid oxygen, it ain’t worth it.


20-30 minutes to get going? You should try some better charcoal, basically a good hardwood one.


This is pretty typical if you live in high humidity or the bag has been stored on a concrete floor. I used to buy about 80lbs on sale at the beginning of the season, and by the time I got to the last bag it would take a while to get going.

Starter cubes work great, but I’m cheap, so I’ll tear pieces of paper off the charcoal bag and put a little oil on it to stretch it even further if I don’t have any newspaper available. I oil newspaper too.


I guess I’m lucky then. If I let mine go 30 minutes I’d have to don a fire suit to dump it out into the grill.


I spend too much time on BoingBoing that I immediately remembered this from a couple of years ago.



You don’t need a handle. Pliers work.


If you’re in a hurry, you can put the chimney on top of the burner for a turkey fryer and get the whole thing lit in 5 minutes.


Note: I do NOT work for this company nor get a nickel from them in any way.

If you use a regular Weber grill. this will change your life. I am not kidding.


Do people actually barbecue charcoal though?


Or for those of us bougies that don’t get the paper, a wadded up Trader Joe’s bag is perfectly cromulent.


It looks like a nice tool, but I already manage to cook ribs for 5+ hours on a single pour of charcoal, just by piling them at the side. They mostly stay there without any help. Hot coals on the top, over cold coals. They burn down slowly. For water, I use disposable aluminum pans, because that water gets nasty in there. How do you find this thing cleans up? Do you get hideous growths in the water tray?


It’s majorly thick steel. Every 3-4 cooks I pour a cup of bleach in the bottom of the water bath and just hose it out.

Yes, you can get just a good low and slow cook with no added hardware, but with this guy I can set the bottom vent at 1/4", spend about ten minutes getting the top vent right, and just let it run by itself.

Then six straight hours while the temp slowly oscillates between 215 and 240, and never have to touch either vent once. If you can do that with a pile of coals and a pan of water, my hat’s off to you - I never could.


Best way:


You’re cooking in 20-30 seconds with that.


fun and done!


Precisely what I thought. I mean seriously, this is a tin can with a handle screwed onto it. Tin cans are not hard to locate. You don’t even need to punch holes in the sides, if you have a grill, or a couple of rocks to stack them on.

Next thing you know BoingBoing will be hawking pieces of flint and steel in plastic carrying cases, touting their amazing magic-like fire starting properties.


Just try not to mix up that ash-filled Folgers can up with the one containing your recently deceased buddy.