Weber Rapid Fire Chimney Starter on sale for $15

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Normally I don’t comment on the products’ articles, but I happen to own one of these and it’s true, they are dead useful and yards better than the old “pyramid o’ charcoal” method that I was taught as a kid.

Edit: The only downside I’ve found is that if you overshoot, the charcoal will burn up in the chimney super fast and super hot.


That’s right! You no longer have to use that old tin can!

Also, I’ll sell you some hand-curated, dry-aged, artisanally-crumpled newspaper pieces to go in the bottom!

And for the highly impatient, I’ll throw in a splash of imported Arabian accelerant, lovingly distilled and aged in the towers of American Texas refineries!


Or if you have an Aldi nearby you might find their version for $10. Exact same thing with a different name on the handle. Also I recommend starter cubes, Much easier and faster than paper. Cost !$0.17 per.

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Know what’s even cheaper?

“Tin can with a handle riveted on” and “gasoline”

Seconded, these work well. Just be careful where your arm is when pouring them out, fire will come out the bottom and may “trim” your fur.


I cant tell if you are joking or not?

For the cost of these chimneys, they are fantastic.

A chimney requires more fabrication than a couple of rivets
You need steel- your tin can, and the effort, is going to rust and rot within a single season.
Need a rivet gun.
Need extra material for handle and sheild.
Need a means to cut the steel.
Need to create an extra shelf inside chimney so charcoal isnt sitting on the flame source and snuffing it out.
The shelf and the chimney both need holes cut for air flow, preferably larger than common 1/2" bits.
Now get out the files and a dremel to smooth off all of the sharp edges.
If one already owns all of this stuff, it sounds like a decent afternoon project and you will be grilling by 5pm.
Instead, if one is at the hardware store getting all of these supplies and happens to walk by the grilling section, one might come to the realization that it would be cheaper to just buy the product, and instead spend the time saved doing something that doesnt have a commercial solution.

Gasoline? You have to be joking, or you have never cooked food before.


And stand up wind of the grill when pouring out the coals… lots of sparks and fire!

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I have definitely used a regular coffee can with the bottom cut out for several years (which consisted of leaving it laying around the yard while snow covered it for most of the winter, you knew it was grilling season again when you could see the can in the yard). No extra holes necessary, the bottom is a pretty big hole. No handle/rivets necessary, just use a channel lock pliers to grab it when the coals are ready.

I mean, you can spend your money on whatever you want to, but there’s no need to denigrate the coffee can. Just say you like what you like. Should be good enough.

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How do you start the coals?

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Match and accelerant and/or tinder, same as the fancy can. Or match-light charcoal, if you’re fancy.

Part of the idea of a chimney starter is you are forgoing the chemical accelerant. Of course I’m coming from a cow town (BBQ lovers), and charcoal lighter fluid is considered improper.

I wouldn’t think a pile of charcoal sitting on top of kindling/paper would actually light; the shelf in the chimney provides air, keeps the coal from smothering the flames, and keeps the coal in the hottest part of the flame coming off of the paper.


Fun fact: There’s also a great german word for this type of item: Anzündkamin (which basically means of course the same as rapid fire starter, but is just shorter).


I’ve cued the video to the part where they use the charcoal chimney to sear the pre-cooked (sous vide) steaks.

Near the end of the video Adam Savage said that he preferred the results of this method to the other three techniques.

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I’ve tried using one of these, but the paper would just burn through without doing much to the charcoal. I’m presuming there’s a knack I’m missing. (The picture showing it sat on top of the bbq, not on the ground gives me some ideas.)

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