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Idea for a Charcoal Chimney

FSM-MeatballFSM-Meatball Posts: 215
edited 1:10AM in EggHead Forum
While I have been learning how to start fires, it occurred to me that there must be an easier way to pour flaming hot charcoal into the egg.

This is just the rough draft of an idea, comments are welcome. Does this make sense?

Basically its a square chimney with a shelf that is hinged so when you lift it up the charcoal falls out the bottom. An extra long handle above the chimney allows it to be started while inside the egg. If this is set on the bottom grate, other charcoal could be placed around it in the firebox so that the hot stuff mixes in when you lift it up. You will also be using the natural airflow of the egg to start the charcoal.

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Comments

  • icemncmthicemncmth Posts: 1,157
    Good Idea...but a MAPP torch works pretty quickly.
  • RRPRRP Posts: 20,626
    LOL - you must be an engineer! You know...trying to complicate some process that is really pretty simple. You know like in:

    "dump in lump"
    "light lump"
    "drink beer"
    cook
    L, M, S, Mini
    Ron
    Dunlap, IL
  • RRP wrote:
    LOL - you must be an engineer! You know...trying to complicate some process that is really pretty simple. You know like in:

    "dump in lump"
    "light lump"
    "drink beer"
    cook

    Yes... I am an Engineer. Ever since I was a tiny baby with a lego in my hand.
  • Clay QClay Q Posts: 4,435
    Good idea and you should build it. Suggestion; Attach handle to the side of chimney or modify an existing weber chimney, easer to lift out with the dome just above. Add an almost full load of lump charcoal to the egg first then add lump to chimney and place the loaded chimney in the egg to start. This way the lump will burn from the top down which makes a better fire for cooking.

    I've thought about a 'trap door' grate in my chimney starter but never got around to doing more than thinking about it. :blink: I would like to build a trigger that drops the hinged grate when a good fire has started. Right now I fire up a Weber chimney and then dump the hot lump into a coal shuttle and then from the shuttle to the egg.

    Good luck!
  • dhuffjrdhuffjr Posts: 3,182
    Your a simple man like me..... I just skip the beer. I do find however a weedburner adds a little something to the drama :evil:
  • I've thought about using a chimney too......
    I used to use one (just a coffee can with the bottom cut out and punched full of holes through the side) in my Weber, more often than not. But that was a different ball game as I never used lump.
    Do you think, with a chimney, it starts faster than just starting lump in a pile??
    I light in three places, either with birch bark, a torch...and I have even done alcohol.
    Mostly, it seems to start pretty well.....So I have to question the need for a chimney starter.
  • srq2625srq2625 Posts: 262
    I like the idea, but I think it might be a little over-engineered - which means when you go to start selling it, you'll make a mint :)

    But, like Mr. & Mrs Potatohead notes, a can with not bottom might work as well .... like this:
    [ul]
    [li]Push the left over lump in your egg to sides
    [li]Put the bottomless coffee can on top of the grate (or as near to the grate as you can).
    [li]Load some fire starter in the bottom of the can
    [li]Now add some lump
    [li]Long match or long-handled lighter to light the fire starter material through the grate or through the "fire starter hole" in the side of the can
    [li]Wait ten minutes or so with beer in hand until the lump is lit
    [li]Remove can
    [li]Push lump on top of the lit lump, adding new lump on top as desired to get the lump in the firebox to the desired level
    [li]Start cook
    [/ul]
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 11,320
    The egg IS a chimney starter. No?

    I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead. Not sick, not wounded... dead.

                                                      Woody Allen

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • PopsiclePopsicle Posts: 519
    Bought a round one using your dump design from the Boy Scout supply store In Houston about 10 years ago. Still use it occasionally and it works great. It does just what you propose, start fire in the Egg and dumps the burning coals when you pick it up. You have to watch that no small piece of burning coal gets trapped on the hinged grate when you pick it up.
    I use the oil on a napkin trick to lite the Egg now. Works great and helps dispose of old cooking oil.
    Popsicle
    Willis Tx.
  • GrumpsGrumps Posts: 182
    The idea of a trap door in the chimney starter seems like a GREAT idea. That seems far superior to dumping hot coals.

    There seems to be two issues with this thread:
    Would your idea be a superior chimney starter...yes!
    Do you need to use a chimney starter with a BGE...no, but you can.

    Thanks for the post, great idea.
  • That will have to be one very long handle if you are going to place your hand directly above the burning coals in order to release the trap door. A burning chimney can get to 1500 degrees or more at the top of the burning charcoal.

    You also need a way to pick it up without releasing the charcoal. I can see someone thinking that they can pick it up by the handle and releasing the charcoal when and where they don't want to.
    The Naked Whiz
  • 2Fategghead2Fategghead Posts: 9,623
    For a low temp cook I don't need a bunch of burning lump but, for a hotter cook it may help. I have used many methods in lighting the lump and am currently doing so with mapp gas. Keep coming back. ;)
  • BordelloBordello Posts: 5,926
    LOL
    Yesterday I did two racks of ATB's, used 2 starter cubes I had cut in half, lit and that was it.

    Happy New Year Ron,
    Bordello
  • I think you should build it, test it, market it, put it on an infomercial and see what happens. I'm with RRP in that I dump the lump, light the lump, start the drink.
    DMo
  • Egg JujuEgg Juju Posts: 658
    #10 can can with the bottom cut out and a pair of tongs did something like that for me on the other bullets I have had. I never needed to do much to get the egg going.
    Large and Small BGE * www.quelfood.com
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,041
    i like to skip to step three, then step 1, step 2, repeat step 3 :whistle:
  • Great idea, I like it.

    Not to burst your bubble though, but...it's been done. I have an old chimney starter (10-15yrs old) that had a trigger on the side handle that released the grate. All the lit charcoal/lump dropped straight down into the grill. Worked great - just make sure all embers are out of the chimney before you pull it out of the grill (might fall on deck, etc.).

    Can't remember the name brand - this was in my Weber cooking days.

    Now, I just use starter cubes or oil on a paper towel. I agree with the comment above that a chimney starter may not be best for a low n slow cook, but would work for a direct hi temp cook.

    Good luck.
  • I have only had my egg a few weeks, and I was having some trouble with excessive smoking and not being able to get the fire hot enough. I was using wax/wood chip firestarters. I tried the chimney and I would say it was much easier to light and get a consistent, hot fire.

    So far the chimney seems like a good way to go.
  • srq2625 wrote:
    I like the idea, but I think it might be a little over-engineered - which means when you go to start selling it, you'll make a mint :)

    But, like Mr. & Mrs Potatohead notes, a can with not bottom might work as well .... like this:

    As any good engineer does, that was another design I had in mind. I was trying to fully explore the trap door idea.

    This is the simpler design. Just add a long handle to a round can and that should work pretty good.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,041
    my 20 dollar seemingly indestructible 20 dollar harbor freight weedburner is my favorite way to light an egg, simply because i can throw 500,000 btu's at it :laugh: ask for the oil and napkin directions if you havent seen it posted, its cheap and works better than most methods simply because its easy, fast, cheap, and you already have the components necessary
  • dhuffjr wrote:
    Your a simple man like me..... I just skip the beer. I do find however a weedburner adds a little something to the drama :evil:

    Careful using your weedburner outside, the neighbors may rat you out... B)
  • is there something illegal about a weed burner?
    XL   Walled Lake, MI

  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 11,320
    Where ELSE would you use a weedburner?

    I will not eat oysters. I want my food dead. Not sick, not wounded... dead.

                                                      Woody Allen

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • On an egg, if you like to use a starter, could you not take a plain ole starter and cut the bottom out and just place it on the charcoal grate inthe egg and then just lift up?

    Also, we used to put in on top of the grill and then when it was ready, pick up the starter, lift the grill and dump it in, then put grill back on. this is easy besides lifting the grill off the egg. B)
  • Wise OneWise One Posts: 2,645
    Like Popsicle and Ozarkshooter, I have one with that design that is at least 20 years old. The handle on mine was a tong-like device that had two prongs that would clip into the top of the chimney so it could be lifted from the side (without your hand being over the top). In addition, it had 4 slots cut into it so it could fit snugly on the top of the chimney so you could place a pan or pot of coffee on top - a pretty neat campfire machine.

    I can only assume that some idiot who picked up the chimney with a full load of hot coal dumped the entire load of hot coals on his foot and successfully sued the company for every dime they had ever made, made sure that you cannot buy them today.
  • If you are having trouble with excessive smoke and not getting the fire hot enough, you may have issue with poor ventilation or bad lump.

    Last year, I tried a different brand of lump - because it was cheap and sold in a large bag at Sam's. Big mistake. Took me a few cooks to realize the lump was bad. Have stuck with Ozark Oak since then - no issues what so ever. But, your results may vary on which brand you like.

    I am not an engineer, but I have some of the traits in me (love to dabble with things and build things even if I can buy them cheaper, etc.). So, I understand your desire to build a cool chimney. But, don't overlook other reasons for your fire issues.

    Good luck.
  • For burning weeds.... :P
    I my case along the fence line.
  • dhuffjrdhuffjr Posts: 3,182
    or in the driveway taking care of some ice.....until the wife notices what your doing and yells about the singed grass by the sidewalk..... :whistle:
  • My wonderful friend: LOOK WHO'S TALKING!

    Judy in San Diego, keepin' it simple
    Judy in San Diego
  • PhilsGrillPhilsGrill Posts: 2,256
    How do I load the charcoal from my charcoal bin about 10 feet away? When I do I pick it up and it all falls out. Won't happen with the ones now.
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