Barbecue (alt.food.barbecue) Discuss barbecue and grilling--southern style "low and slow" smoking of ribs, shoulders and briskets, as well as direct heat grilling of everything from burgers to salmon to vegetables.

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Old 13-09-2007, 10:35 AM posted to alt.food.barbecue
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Default Charcoal Chimney Starter not working for me

I recently purchased a charcoal chimney starter, followed the
directions, and it basically did nothing. I stuck 2-3 pieces of wadded
newspaper in the bottom, filled the top part with charcoal (not to the
the very top), then lit the newspaper on fire in multiple places.
20-30 minutes later the whole thing was barely warm. The bottom
charcoals were barely warm.

What happened? Any ideas? I'm thinking that it may be the charcoal.
The kind I'm using is 60% bigger than Kingsford's charcoal which is
probably the standard size. Although, I really don't see how the size
of the charcoal would make that much difference. But, this year I've
had problems with the charcoal not getting hot enough with lighter
fluid. I didn't have this problem last year. When using lighter fluid,
I use two different brands and sizes of charcoal. But I still never
had this problem last year.


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Old 13-09-2007, 12:25 PM posted to alt.food.barbecue
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Default Charcoal Chimney Starter not working for me

It sounds like it's not getting enough air. I crumble 1-2 newspaper
sheets just enough to fit into the bottom of the chimney and don't jam
it in.


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Old 13-09-2007, 12:26 PM posted to alt.food.barbecue
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Default Charcoal Chimney Starter not working for me

On Sep 13, 2:35?am, "Mike S." wrote:
I recently purchased a charcoal chimney starter, followed the
directions, and it basically did nothing. I stuck 2-3 pieces of wadded
newspaper in the bottom, filled the top part with charcoal (not to the
the very top), then lit the newspaper on fire in multiple places.
20-30 minutes later the whole thing was barely warm. The bottom
charcoals were barely warm.

What happened? Any ideas? I'm thinking that it may be the charcoal.
The kind I'm using is 60% bigger than Kingsford's charcoal which is
probably the standard size. Although, I really don't see how the size
of the charcoal would make that much difference. But, this year I've
had problems with the charcoal not getting hot enough with lighter
fluid. I didn't have this problem last year. When using lighter fluid,
I use two different brands and sizes of charcoal. But I still never
had this problem last year.


Use more paper. but don't pack the paper so tight air can't flow
thru. If there is no air movement thru the paper and the charcoal the
draft can't work to light the charcoal. I use lump in mine and only
when I pack to much paper in it does it not work great. Hope that
helps.

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Old 13-09-2007, 12:40 PM posted to alt.food.barbecue
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Default Charcoal Chimney Starter not working for me

Mike S. wrote:
I recently purchased a charcoal chimney starter, followed the
directions, and it basically did nothing. I stuck 2-3 pieces of wadded
newspaper in the bottom, filled the top part with charcoal (not to the
the very top), then lit the newspaper on fire in multiple places.
20-30 minutes later the whole thing was barely warm. The bottom
charcoals were barely warm.

What happened? Any ideas? I'm thinking that it may be the charcoal.
The kind I'm using is 60% bigger than Kingsford's charcoal which is
probably the standard size. Although, I really don't see how the size
of the charcoal would make that much difference. But, this year I've
had problems with the charcoal not getting hot enough with lighter
fluid. I didn't have this problem last year. When using lighter fluid,
I use two different brands and sizes of charcoal. But I still never
had this problem last year.

Sounds like you're using that Walmart stuff. Don't matter to me, but
try this:

Light it off just like you described, and when it burns out, be ready
with another 2 sheets.

I store my charcoal outside, where it picks up moisture. It usually
takes 2 burns to get it going. 15 minutes after the second burn, I have
a small volcano going.
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Old 13-09-2007, 01:42 PM posted to alt.food.barbecue
KW KW is offline
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Default Charcoal Chimney Starter not working for me


"Marc" wrote in message
ps.com...
It sounds like it's not getting enough air. I crumble 1-2 newspaper
sheets just enough to fit into the bottom of the chimney and don't jam
it in.



Sounds right...if the paper is packed too tight, it will smolder but not
really burn. Is your charcoal dry?

Also there are a lot of different designs on the market for chimneys. I used
one for years that was fairly narrow and had just 2 holes at the bottom for
air intake and it would take 25-30 minutes to get the coals just perfect.
Recently, I bought a mongo-sized Weber chimney at Home Depot and with it,
you will wind up with nothing but ash and a few small chunks after 30
minutes :-) Takes about 12-15 minutes for perfect coals.

KW






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Old 13-09-2007, 02:40 PM posted to alt.food.barbecue
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Default Charcoal Chimney Starter not working for me

Take your sheet of newspaper and give it a light spritz of PAM cooking spray
before crumpling it up.

In the long term, take section 1 of your sunday newspaper (big and thick)
and pour 1/4 cup of used vegetable oil on it. GIve a week to soak in. Than
use a sheet of it to start your fire.

Go to your home center and buy a stick of fireplace starter (wax and saw
dust). Cut the stick into icecube sized chunks. Use one of those chunks to
start the charcoal

I never had much luck with just newspaper either

"Mike S." wrote in message
oups.com...
I recently purchased a charcoal chimney starter, followed the
directions, and it basically did nothing. I stuck 2-3 pieces of wadded
newspaper in the bottom, filled the top part with charcoal (not to the
the very top), then lit the newspaper on fire in multiple places.
20-30 minutes later the whole thing was barely warm. The bottom
charcoals were barely warm.

What happened? Any ideas? I'm thinking that it may be the charcoal.
The kind I'm using is 60% bigger than Kingsford's charcoal which is
probably the standard size. Although, I really don't see how the size
of the charcoal would make that much difference. But, this year I've
had problems with the charcoal not getting hot enough with lighter
fluid. I didn't have this problem last year. When using lighter fluid,
I use two different brands and sizes of charcoal. But I still never
had this problem last year.



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Old 13-09-2007, 03:45 PM posted to alt.food.barbecue
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Default Charcoal Chimney Starter not working for me


On 13-Sep-2007, "Mike S." wrote:

I recently purchased a charcoal chimney starter, followed the
directions, and it basically did nothing. I stuck 2-3 pieces of wadded
newspaper in the bottom, filled the top part with charcoal (not to the
the very top), then lit the newspaper on fire in multiple places.
20-30 minutes later the whole thing was barely warm. The bottom
charcoals were barely warm.

What happened? Any ideas? I'm thinking that it may be the charcoal.
The kind I'm using is 60% bigger than Kingsford's charcoal which is
probably the standard size. Although, I really don't see how the size
of the charcoal would make that much difference. But, this year I've
had problems with the charcoal not getting hot enough with lighter
fluid. I didn't have this problem last year. When using lighter fluid,
I use two different brands and sizes of charcoal. But I still never
had this problem last year.


You got a lot of good advice in this thread. The bottom line is that
you have a bag of "shit" charcoal. I caught a bag of "shit" like that
a couple of months ago. It was called "Grill Time" or some such
no account name. It was not only hard to light, it didn't make heat
for shit either.

I use a chimney starter exclusively to start my smoker pit. I light
it with "Strike-A-Fire" sticks from the Diamond Match company.
They are a parafin impregnated pulp wood product with a match
striker on one end. They're easy, but not necessaryily better then
a few wads of paper. Of all, I liked the suggestion to simply fire
your starter up a second time with fresh paper to get it started.
And, don't buy that crap charcoal anymore or find a way to keep
it dry.
--
Brick(Save a tree, eat a Beaver)
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Old 13-09-2007, 07:05 PM posted to alt.food.barbecue
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Default Charcoal Chimney Starter not working for me


On Thu, 13 Sep 2007 02:35:26 -0700, "Mike S."
wrote:

I recently purchased a charcoal chimney starter, followed the
directions, and it basically did nothing. I stuck 2-3 pieces of wadded
newspaper in the bottom, filled the top part with charcoal (not to the
the very top), then lit the newspaper on fire in multiple places.
20-30 minutes later the whole thing was barely warm. The bottom
charcoals were barely warm.

What happened? Any ideas? I'm thinking that it may be the charcoal.
The kind I'm using is 60% bigger than Kingsford's charcoal which is
probably the standard size. Although, I really don't see how the size
of the charcoal would make that much difference. But, this year I've
had problems with the charcoal not getting hot enough with lighter
fluid. I didn't have this problem last year. When using lighter fluid,
I use two different brands and sizes of charcoal. But I still never
had this problem last year.


Not enough information given. Specifically - was there scorched but unbrunt
newspaper at the end of that 20-30 minutes? Did you stay and watch what
happened to the newspaper on fire? Or did you leave the scene to return
20-30 minutes later? And if you did stay to watch, what exactly did you
observe? Did the fire just smother without coming to a blaze? Or did the
fire in fact "catch", created a blaze, and then died out after consuming
*all* the newspaper?

When you say "wadded" what precisely do you mean? Was the paper loosely or
tightly "wadded"? Try "wadding" another sheet of newspaper the same way,
hold it in the air in one hand (or prop it on something) at one end, and
light the other end. How does it burn? Does it kind of struggle to stay
lit? Or does it burn with gusto?


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Old 16-09-2007, 11:34 AM posted to alt.food.barbecue
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Default Charcoal Chimney Starter not working for me

I never use newspaper, instead I use brown paper bags (or other heavy
packaging paper), torn and balled up. Leave lot of space for air.
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Old 17-09-2007, 12:00 AM posted to alt.food.barbecue
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Default Charcoal Chimney Starter not working for me

On Sep 13, 5:35 am, "Mike S." wrote:
I recently purchased a charcoal chimney starter, followed the
directions, and it basically did nothing. I stuck 2-3 pieces of wadded
newspaper in the bottom, filled the top part with charcoal (not to the
the very top), then lit the newspaper on fire in multiple places.
20-30 minutes later the whole thing was barely warm. The bottom
charcoals were barely warm.

What happened? Any ideas? I'm thinking that it may be the charcoal.
The kind I'm using is 60% bigger than Kingsford's charcoal which is
probably the standard size. Although, I really don't see how the size
of the charcoal would make that much difference. But, this year I've
had problems with the charcoal not getting hot enough with lighter
fluid. I didn't have this problem last year. When using lighter fluid,
I use two different brands and sizes of charcoal. But I still never
had this problem last year.


I could never get briquets to light well in a chimney starter. I've
been using lump charcoal - the cheap Cowboy brand they sell at Lowe's
- and it lights up without any fuss at all in a chimney starter.

So, I use lighter fluid for briquets and chimney starter for lump.

- Bobby



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