Most beginners think that lighting up your charcoal grill is as simple as pouring some lighter fluid, gasoline, or some other kind of harmful chemicals over your charcoal is the way to do it.
They fail to realize that using these harmful chemicals is not only hazardous, but they also tend to stick onto your cooked food giving it a chemical taste and even worse to have you consume those chemicals. So let me tell you right here and now, stop doing it the wrong way and invest in a chimney starter!
A chimney starter, or also known as a charcoal chimney, is a device used to ignite your charcoal briquettes without the use of harmful chemicals. Preparatory work may not sound fun, but it is absolutely necessary.
Charcoal Chimney Starters Reviews
So without further ado, here are top 10 recommended charcoal starters in the market:
1. Weber 7429 Rapid Fire Chimney Starter
Making it to the top again is an ever trust worthy chimney starter from Weber, the Weber 7429 Rapid Fire Chimney Starter. With a dimension of 12.7 x 8.1 x 12.5 inches and a weight of 3.3 pounds, this charcoal chimney starter can hold large amounts of charcoal for meat smoking or just enough for a 22 inch kettle grill.
The Weber 7416 Rapid Fire comes in a high quality build made from aluminium steel. It is a metal cylinder with holes on its ends, and that comes with a stay-cool thermoplastic handle for a safe and secure use.
To use, all you have to do is place the briquettes in your chimney starter. You can use a pile of charcoal or use less if you are not cooking that much. Then you can set either newspaper or light cubes and get the coals evenly fired. Once done, you can the burning coals into your charcoal grill, and you are all set to go!
This easy to handle rapid fire chimney starter is that quick to use, and if this size is too big for your portable charcoal grills, don’t worry because Weber has a compact design for you.
2. BBQ Dragon Chimney of Insanity Starter and Grill Lighter
Another chimney style chimney starter is the BBQ Dragon Chimney of Insanity. This durable chimney starter with a cylindrical size of 11 x 6 x 11.5 inches is made from thick gauge galvanized steel and weighs 2.4 pounds.
The BBQ dragon chimney starter is expensive in its range, but some things are definitely worth the extra dollars for a reason.
It features a thick heat shield and a heat resistant nylon handle to for protection from the heat. A 90 degrees hole can be found on the side of the cylinder, and the gap is known for its functions in two ways:
- As fire needs oxygen to burn, the hole allows air supply to give a more intense ignition of your coals.
- The hole also gives easy access to pouring the hot coals onto the charcoal grill by going through the hole alone. This means you won’t need to lift up the chimney while the charcoals are lit.
Just like any other chimney starters, you just have to place it on the charcoal grill, lump charcoal into it, and get the fire starter going with some newspaper to quickly light up your charcoal. But with this starter, you won’t have to lift the chimney to empty the hot coals onto the grill, but just directly pour them out of the side hole.
3. HomeRight Electro-Torch C900085 BBQ Fire Starter with Built-In Blower
One easy chimney starter to use is the HomeRight Electro- Torch C900085. All you have to do is connect the 120V plug and pull the trigger to allow blazing fire out of your charcoal starter.
It comes in a steel tube shaped like a cylinder with a dimension of 18.25 x 2.75 x 3.5 inches. With a very light weight of 2lbs, this starter is compact and portable, making it suitable for outdoor trips like, to the beach, picnics, etc.
One feature to keep note about this starter is its built in blower. A fan pulls in cool air into your Electro-Torch Charcoal Starter, and the built in blower fans the flames to keep it going.
The blower itself also comes with a dual ignition switch that is known to allow you to ignite your charcoal and briquettes as fast as two to three minutes.
Another essential feature to give your charcoal blower a long life is the built in thermal safety switch. This switch automatically cuts off power to avoid the unit from over heating.
4. Char-Broil SureFire Electric Charcoal Starter
One of the best electric charcoal starters available in the market is the Char-Boil SureFire. It is made of stainless steel and a heat resistant plastic handle at the non bulky size of 1.63 x 5.5 x 18 inches and a very light weight of 13.6 ounces.
Without any fire coming out from the device, this electric starter is powered by a 120 watt electric heat element that produces a high heat to start a charcoal fire. At the same time, it is still known to be very easy and safe to use, especially for outdoor trips.
It is so easy to use that you just need to turn it on and place on your charcoal, and the device heats up the charcoal with its magic producing the fire you need to start grilling. It is also known as one of the best charcoal starter to use even during windy days.
Because it is powered by electricity, the Char-Boil SureFire needs to be used near an outlet. Sadly, contributing to its cons, the cord this device comes along with isn’t too long, so you may need an extension cord to use this also.
5. Oklahoma Joe’s 9848125R04
A chimney starter known for its twice as fast ignition speed when compared to other starters is the Oklahoma Joe’s 9848125R04 Half-Time Charcoal Starter.
It is built in a heavy duty stainless steel construction with a dimension of 12.1 x 15.4 x 7.8 inches and a weight of 3.1 pounds. This half-time chimney starter has an extra capacity that is enough to hold plenty of wood chips or charcoal.
This model features a heat resistant handle to remains cool even when in use. Like other starters, this feature protects your hands from getting burnt so BBQ mitts are optional. This is a feature a lot of people look for when buying a charcoal starter.
6. AHADU AHCS-101 Electric Charcoal Burner with Smart Heat Control
A very versatile electric charcoal burner in the market is the AHADU AHCS-101 Electric Charcoal Burner with Smart Heat Control.
In its compact size of 7.5 x 7 x 6.4 inches and weight of 2.7 pounds, you can easily pack it along your outdoor trips and asides from serving you as a charcoal burner; you can also use it to boil water, or make coffee or tea.
The AHADU Electric Charcoal Burner is constructed in a durable high quality stainless steel body and a heat resistant porcelain coated material for heat protection. Its heating element can heat and light charcoal within three to five minutes.
It features a Smart Heat Control meant for power saving and safety purposes. For this, there is an on and off switch indicator and a thermostat controlled power knob. The unit also comes with a durable tong made from high grade rubber.
7. HOMENOTE Rapid Starter Set
The best deal a beginner griller can get when investing in a charcoal chimney starter is one that comes in a set, and the HOMENOTE Rapid Charcoal Chimney Starter Set doesn’t fail to do so.
Upon arrival at your kitchen table, the set includes the chimney charcoal starter itself along with lighter cubes that come in a size of 20 x 20 50 mm that can burn for about eight to ten minutes. Another inclusion is the portable air blower and heat resistant mitts.
The thick gauge galvanized steel measures 11.5 x 7 x7 inches and weighs 3.8 p pounds. It is also covered in a rust resistant zinc coat and shaped like a cone. It also comes with a wooden handle with heat shield for protection.
8. JJGeorge Grill Torch Starter
The JJGeorde Grill Torch is a fast and easy way to start your grilling. First off, it lights up your pit despite the fact that it is cordless. Being cordless also means you save time instead of finding an outlet or an extension cord to assist you.
It is so easy to use because you just simply need to connect the JJGerge Grill Torch to a propane or gas canister, and you are all set to grill and adjust your flames too.
This charcoal starter weighs 15.2 ounces and measures 21 x 2 x2 inches. It is definitely very convenient to bring all during your outdoor trips.
9. Weber 7447 Compact Rapidfire Starter
Not surprisingly, the smaller version of the Weber 7429 makes it to the list, the Weber 7447 Compact Rapidfire Chimney Starter. It comes in the same high quality build made from aluminized steel.
This time around, it comes in a more compact measurement of 8 x 5.8 x 10.4 inches and weighs only 1.6 pounds. It comes in the same design of a metal cylinder with holes on its ends and a stay-cool thermoplastic handle for a safe and easy use.
Its compact design is built for smaller grills and even for outdoor trips as this is more portable than the superior Weber 7439. The process of using this chimney is the same. Just place some briquettes inside and some lighter cubes or newspaper below, start the fire and then empty the hot coals from the bottom of the chimney starter canister onto the grill.
10. Kamado Joe KJ-ES Electric Starter for Charcoal
Another and the last electric charcoal starter on the list today is the Kamado Joe KH-ES Electric Starter for Charcoal. What this electric starter differ from the previous electric starters is its angled stainless steel element and a three hop design that is meant for better lighting and angle.
In its measurement of 5 x 2.8 x 16 inches and light weight of 1.39 pounds, the Kamado Joe KH-ES Electric Starter for Charcoal is powered by 600 watts to quickly and efficiently light up your grill.
The size is also known to fit their own Kamado Joe grills best, but a little size check between your grill and this starter will do the trick.
Finding the best chimney starter may be tricky because there are several, aside from the ten mentioned here, available in the market today. Just consider its measurements, your budget, the method you prefer, and maybe even the inclusions of each model, and you are good to go. Just remember to stop using harmful chemicals to get the fire going.
I spent most of my life fascinated by food, and the outdoors. I can’t think of a more fitting combo that leads to mastering the art of BBQ one day. I ended up decent enough to grill the perfect burger and choose the best equipment after years of improvement. I create this website for outdoor cooking enthusiasts, who are fueled by interest but lacking in help, feel educated when they leave because I see my past clueless self in them.