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Question on Chimney Lighter

Mass. Wine GuyMass. Wine Guy Posts: 19
edited 1:50AM in EggHead Forum
Very basic question here. After lighting the charwood in a chimney lighter and waiting until the coals were red and ready, I just dumped them onto the big pile of remaining (and some new) charwood that was already in my Egg. Is this enough to get the entire pile burning, or do you dump the burning coals in and then cover them with new charwood?

My grill did not appear to get very hot when I cooked yesterday.


  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,980
    probably more a problem with restricted air flow or not giving it enough time. i can get flames shooting out the top with something as simple as a napkin with oil or as hot as 500,000 btu's out of a weedburner. too much ash in the lump, vents not open enough, wet lump, not enough time to come up to temp
  • RipnemRipnem Posts: 5,511
    Wine Guy,

    That method should work just fine. You just need to give it time to get to temp. Leave the bottom vent and the daisy fairly open (usually wide open) as you watch the temp rise, then shut down the air as you approach your desired cooking temp. The more hot coals you add, obviously the faster you'll get to temp, but it takes a healthy airflow into that lower vent to raise temps.
  • The temperature I needed was around 350, so in this case I didn't want the fire to get ridiculously hot. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it.

    Thank you.
  • I'm curious about the whole chimney starter thing. Why would you use a chimney starter? The egg's airflow is more than ample to get a good fire going in less than 15 minutes. So why bother with loading a chimney starter?
    I'm not being snarky, I just can't think of any advantages to lighting coals outside the egg. Please tell me what I'm missing.
  • James MBJames MB Posts: 356
    I've used the chimney & dump method because, it's what I used for my WSM and I had a weber kettle with gas ignition right next to my egg so it was easy. I found airflow could be an issue as the old coals tended to collect in small pieces in the bottom and the dumped charcoal could be tightly packed. I got better results lighting less charcoal in the chimney.
    Now I haven't got the same setup I always light in the egg.
  • DanBDanB Posts: 44
    The Egg itself is a great chimney starter. My usual start procedure (large BGE) is this:

    1) stir the used lump making sure the holes in the firebox are unblocked.
    2) make a small depression in the middle, and put in a loosely wadded paper towel.
    3) pour about 1/2 tsp of grapeseed oil on the towel.
    4) Pour in more lump if needed.
    5) rake away lump from the towel to expose it.
    6) light the towel with a match.
    7) after a couple minutes close the dome with both vents wide open.
    8) watch the temp go up, and adjust the vents once it gets close to what you need.

    If I forget about it for 10 minutes, the temp gets up to 700 or more. Gotta watch it after the first few minutes.

    - dan
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    Yes, that is plenty and the lump will burn just fine. I found that at times the load of lump dumped in got me to a too high temperature and I ended up having to wait for the egg to cool down some.

    Using a chimney starter seems like having to go through lump lighting process two times plus it is another accessory one needs to keep around.

  • jaydub58jaydub58 Posts: 2,130
    I relied completely on a chimney in my weber days; now, with the egg, I believe very strongly in the alcohol method. Quick, clean, easy.

    John in the Willamette Valley of Oregon
  • What's the alcohol method?
  • RipnemRipnem Posts: 5,511
    I've heard of some taking a 3-4 cotton balls and put in a baggy, then add enough rubbing alcohol to get them moist. toss those in amongst the lump and light each one.
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 12,991
    I used a chimney starter once, right after I got my egg. Temp went to about 8000° in no time. Haven't used it since. There is no point. As others have said, the egg IS a chimney starter and so much more controllable.

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


    Central Connecticut 

  • mxdadmxdad Posts: 47
    I used a chimney all the time in my Pre Egg days, when the Egg came the chimney retired. Have not used it since
  • jaydub58jaydub58 Posts: 2,130
    Pick up a pint of 93% alcohol at Wally World in the pharmacy; while there, also get a plastic catheter syringe (less than a dollar).
    When the lump is in the egg, draw a full syringe of alcohol out of a small bowl and use it to shove the alcohol down into the lump. I do this in 3 different spots, then move the syringe, bowl, and all else away from the egg (remember, this is highly flammable). After about 20 seconds of soaking in, light a match and toss into the lump. It will flre up immediately, then, as the alcohol burns out, the lump will get going. I start watching temp after about 15 minutes, and adjust vents accordingly.
    There is also a video on Youtube aobut this. I don't remember the name, but some searching will turn it up.
    John in the Willamette Valley of Oregon
  • DanBDanB Posts: 44
    Why bother with alcohol? It's just another consumable to keep in the collection of grill stuff. The oil is already there anyway to cook with (depending on the cook) or season CI.

    - dan
  • FSM-MeatballFSM-Meatball Posts: 215
    I have been using a chimney starter. I put the lump in, set it in the egg, put an oiled paper towel under the chimney and start it up. Whe it's ready I just dump it on top of the lump and let it go.

    While it seems to work fine, I have been trying other methods lately to see if there is an easier way. I don't really have stood reason for using the chimney.

    I would say try with and without the chimney and find one that works for you.

    I have found a good way to accelerate the heat up time. Using an inexpensive heat gun in the lower vent can really speed things up, but wait until the fire is established and you just want a quick temp rise. The heat gun puts out much hotter air than a hair dryer.
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