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Anyone use a chimney starter for lump?

Currently I am using the BGE fire starter squares, and they work fine.  It just seems to take awhile to get up to temp.  When I have to break out the ol kettle, I use a chimney starter to get the briquettes fired up, and that is pretty fast.   So, maybe a chimney starter full of lump is the way to go, or, do I risk it getting too hot too fast and of course, it's harder to cool the egg down than it is to crank up the temp?  
Is it done yet? Is it done yet?


  • WolfpackWolfpack Posts: 2,381
    I've tried it and wasn't impressed- mapp torch is all I use now
    Greensboro, NC
  • FoghornFoghorn Posts: 5,321
    I've used firestarter squares and the chimney.  They both work fine.  When I am in a hurry I use 4 firestarter squares.

    XL BGE, Klose BYC, ProQ Excel, Weber Kettle, Firepit, Grand Turbo gasser, and a portable Outdoor Gourmet gasser for tailgating

    San Antonio, TX

  • RzeancakRzeancak Posts: 187
    For me:
    one fire starter square, 
    one match,
    10 minutes i have a 450 deg fire
    A child can ask questions a wise man can't answer!!!
    Large @ Small BGE 

  • Ladeback69Ladeback69 Posts: 4,324
    I use an electric element and it is flaming up in about 7-8 minutes. I used to use the fire starter sticks, but with all the wind lately it was hard to light them. You can get one for about $20, but you will need an extension cord though.
    XL, WSM, Little Kahuna, Coleman RoadTrip Gas Grill

    Kansas City, Mo.
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 11,840
    I used the chimney the very first time I used my egg. Got way over my target temp, way too fast and I have never tried it again. Maybe I'll try it again some day. But the mapp works fine. Don't hear of a lot of folks using a chimney though.

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!


    Central Connecticut 

  • NPHuskerFLNPHuskerFL Posts: 16,095
    +1 on MAPP. I'm able to lite one, two, three etc spots quickly and with little effort. I still have some starter squares but, I just prefer to do it this way now.
    LBGE 2013 & MM 2014
    Flying Low & Slow in "Da Burg" FL
  • CoastalcookerCoastalcooker Posts: 185
    I'm different it seems, I like the chimney. About 15 minutes after lighting, I pour it on top of the lump in the egg and a few minutes later close the top. I use a bigger amount of lump in the chimney for a hotter fire quicker.
    By the time the lump is burning the VOCs are burned off and the smoke is clear unless fresh lump was put in the egg.
    I usually plan on about an hour from fetching the bag of lump until the meat goes on. just to get stable temperature and clean smoke. When using wood chunks the back yard smells of hickory or apple when the meat goes on.
    Cookin' on the coast
    Shellman Bluff, GA
    Medium BGE

  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    I've used a rocket hot chimney load of lump to start a low and slow.  Works fine.  Yeah, the temp shoots up to 350 or so, but that's the temperature of the air, not the temperature of the ceramic.  When I put the plate setter, drip pan, grid and butts in, the temperature plummeted to 170 and then I just worked it up to 230.  Worked just fine.  Needless to say you don't let the lump continue burning at 350 for long or else the ceramics will heat up and that's when you have trouble getting the temperature down. 

    And of course, you can always use just a small load of charcoal in the chimney.  
    The Naked Whiz
  • bettysnephewbettysnephew Posts: 1,169
    I have the larger chimney and do a combo. I clear an area on the charcoal grate, place a lit starter block over a hole and set the chimney on top. About 15 minutes and I have a chimney full of glowing coals that I spread across whatever was pushed to the outside edges of the grate. Never failed to light nicely.
    A poor widows son.
    See der Rabbits, Iowa
  • grege345grege345 Posts: 3,515
    It's all I use. Hot coals are spread even across the top. Never overshot a temp yet.
    LBGE& SBGE———————————————•———————– Pennsylvania / poconos

  • CookinbobCookinbob Posts: 1,688
    If I am doing low and slow, I use a MAPP torch.  If I want direct heat, the chimney is a much faster way to go.  I fill it 1/3 to 1/2 and pour the lit coals on top of the bed.  I use newspaper to start the chimney, though I have used a propane burner which is really fast - just don't normally have it on the patio.
    XLBGE, Small BGE, Homebrew and Guitars
    Rochester, NY
  • SookieSookie Posts: 329

    I make my own fire starters out of egg cartons, dryer lint, and melted candle wax.  In fact I plan to make some tomorrow :)

  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 8,162
    i'm an electric starter guy, son uses my chimney, he lights on his gasser side burner, dumps it in the kettle (lump) or WSM (briquettes).
    Delta B.C. - Move over coffee, this is job for alcohol!
  • FockerFocker Posts: 6,462
    edited May 2014

    I use the chimney with lump and my wood chunks on top of that, giving them a head start to limit some of the white smoke.    Prefer a milder smoke flavor.  Place it on the rest of the unlit lump.  Light, and in 15 minutes dump and spread.  Like NW said, the increased temp is temporary.  For most cooks, I give the ceramic and smoke wood about an hour to heat up in range.  Got tired of placing three or four wood chunks in for a smoke and finding out only one was lit during the cook.  And I was getting hot and cold spots by lighting in only one location during raised direct and griddle cooks.  For pizza, searing or anything high temp, it is simply the chimney and dump.  Seems to light faster than one cube.    

    For the Webers, just long enough for the smoke to clear mostly.  Then place the meat.   

    Used to put a Rutland square in the middle.  I like a wider, more even fire on initial startup, definitely for low and slows.  

    Quad Cities
    "If yer gonna denigrate, familiarity with the subject is helpful."

  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 11,840
    Mine was a rookie egger mistake I'm sure. I just never tried it again. Maybe one of these days. 

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!


    Central Connecticut 

  • stemc33stemc33 Posts: 3,567
    I just started using mine for the last couple of cooks. Seems to work pretty good. To pieces of paper is a lot cheaper than starter squares. Still haven't made up my mind yet, maybe I'll go with what some of the others are using like a torch, looft lighter, or weed burner. I think I'll use the chimney for a bit though.
    Mini Max with Woo stone combo, LBGE, iGrill 2, Plate Setter, 
    two cotton pot holders to handle PS
    Banner, Wyoming
  • It's all I use too...only I don't go quite as long...about 7-8 min....use a couple sheets of issues over shooting temps and very few issues with voc's
    Making the neighbors jealous in Pleasant Hill, Ia one cook at a time...
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 9,430
    I used a chimney for some time, and it works pretty well, but a weed burner just works better. Sign up for harbor freight's email list and they'll send you a 20% off coupon at some point.

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • gerhardkgerhardk Posts: 938
    I ran out of the starter squares so I have been using a paper towel and vegetable oil.  Once it catches I use and old hair dryer to blow some air on the lump and you have good amount of lump burning in 2 or 3 minutes.

  • sumoconnellsumoconnell Posts: 1,337
    Use one every time, so easy. It's the only use my gasser gets! I add this to the lump already in the egg. Sure, mapp is faster, etc. I have a beer and wait, to each his own.

    Austin, Texas.  I'm the guy holding a beer.
  • SmokinpigSmokinpig Posts: 734
    I use one for everything. Hollow out a spot in the middle and set it there. After 5 minutes I dump the coals and 5 minutes rake them around and shut the lid. Works well.

    LBGE Atlanta, GA

  • SGHSGH Posts: 23,429

    @lemonade said:Anyone use a chimney starter for lump?

    I do but only for high heat direct cooks. I find that by using a charcoal starter I can get a very uniform and even heat as all the coals are glowing when scattered in the fire box. No hot and cool zones to deal with or wait on. There are many ways to achieve the same result but I like this one as it is fast and consistent. I also like the fact that you can chose to start with a empty fire box and start with as much or as little of burning lump as you want. This is great when doing real short cooks like hamburgers, hot dogs, shrimp, and thin fish fillets. Again there is no right or wrong way to do it but I find that using the chimney for short, fast, direct cooks to be great. If you like it stick with it my friend.

    Location- Just "this side" of Biloxi, Ms.

    Status- Standing by.

    Arsenal-Just a small wore out and broken down Weber kettle. No other means to cook at all.
    Virtus Junxit Mors Non Separabit
    The greatest barrier against all wisdom, the stronghold against knowledge itself, is the single thought in ones mind, that they already have it all figured out. 
  • chashanschashans Posts: 418
    Weed burner/propane
    LARGE, MINI BGE    SAN DIEGO, CA            An alcoholic with a barbecuing problem.

  • KiterToddKiterTodd Posts: 1,912
    I have been using it without issues.  I'm a relatively new egger, but I like that I always have a piece of paper around to throw under it and I don't have to buy anything else as I already have the chimney. 

    I have determined that unlike the charcoal briquette's I used to use, I don't have to wait until flames are licking out the top of the chimney to dump it.  You can just peek down into it and when you see the lump on the bottom glowing red feel free to dump.  If you get an entire chimney of lump flaming it seems to burn more lump than you need for a low and slow burn, but again, as long as you limit the airflow as soon as you close things up it isn't really an issue.
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