The Best Charcoal Starter, The Weber Charcoal Chimney

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Weber Stephen Company 7429 Rapid Fire Chimney Starter

If you're in the market for a great charcoal starter, there is no reason to look any further than the Weber charcoal chimney.

The Weber brand of chimney is my favorite by far and it lasts longer than the cheaper models. A Weber chimney holds about five quarts, or about 80 briquets. For a Weber kettle, I put about half a chimney of unlit coals in the grill and put about half a chimney of fully lit coals on top to get to 225°F. To get to 325°F, 3/4 to a full chimney should do it, though iIt all depends on the air temp, humidity, brand of charcoal, and other variables. You must do dry runs to calibrate your grill.

There is something else cool about the chimney. You can cook on it! It makes a better wok fire than anything in your kitchen. Just sit your wok on top and stir fry away. It gets incredibly hot. Or you can put a grate on it and cook thin foods right on top of the chimney, a technique I call the Afterburner Method. Use a chimney. Get repeatable heat every time and save your eyebrows.
 
Equally appealing is a chimney's ability to help break our addiction to oil! Reduce air pollution! Or just get your charcoal started faster, cheaper, and without that petrochemical smell. Click here to read why we think this is the best way to start a charcoal fire hands down, and see other methods you might consider (but reject).

 

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Meathead Goldwyn

Meathead is the founder and publisher of AmazingRibs.com, and is also known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", a New York Times Best Seller and named one of the "100 Best Cookbooks of All Time" by Southern Living.

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