Using a Chimney Starter Checklist

Who needs lighter fluid? With a chimney starter, you can light a chemical-free flame. Just follow these easy steps.

  1. Check

    Remove the grill lid and grill grate; open all air vents.

  2. Check

    Place a few pieces of crumpled newspaper in the bottom of the chimney, place the chimney on the bottom grill grate, and fill the upper chamber with charcoal or briquettes.

  3. Check

    Light the newspaper through the chimney’s holes. The coals are ready when they are lightly coated with pale gray ash (20 to 30 minutes for briquettes; 15 to 20 minutes for lump charcoal).

  4. Check

    Dump the coals onto the bottom grate (wear barbecue mitts).

  5. Check

    Replace the grill lid and preheat the grill for 10 to 15 minutes.

  6. Check

    Using a wire grill brush, scrape off any bits of food stuck to the grill grate.

  7. Check

    Adjust the coals for desired cooking method (see Direct and Indirect Heat) and temperature.