Board index Barbecue Board General Discussion Starting large amounts of Lump Charcoal

Starting large amounts of Lump Charcoal

This is the place to ask your BBQ questions, share information, and more.
Post Thu May 20, 2004 10:58 am
BigDaddy medium
medium

Posts: 106
Location: California, Northern
Hey all…

What do you guys think the best way to start large amounts of Lump Charcoal? I use my Chimney starter when using my regular grill… but I was wondering what the best way to get enough charcoal going for a 3’ x 5’ grill…? I was thinking about using lighter fluid (I know, I know… don’t hit me) and just light the whole bag??? But thought I would ask advice first.

Thanks in advance.

JC
Image

Post Thu May 20, 2004 11:22 am
Chicago SP rare
rare

Posts: 45
Location: Chicago
If you don't care to invest in additional chimney starters, you might make a few at pretty much no cost. Before they started selling the fancy ones, my pals and I used to make them from old, large coffee cans. (Guess you could use any large can.) We would cut out the top and bottom, and use a pointed can opener to cut air holes all around the bottom edge. You might add holes in the middle, too, but it wasn't necessary. Then just light it like a regular chimney starter.

...just my 2 cents.

sp

Post Thu May 20, 2004 12:19 pm
RichD medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 280
Location: New Jersey
I would use several chimneys. Something else you cold do is to spread your charcoal out across the grate, light a chimney or two, when the coals are hot and ashed over dump them on the unlit coals in the grill and spread them out. The unlit coals shouldn't take too long to catch as long as they are spread out somewhat evenly across the grill.
I do something similar to this in the firebox of my smoker to get a long consistent burn.

RichD

Post Thu May 20, 2004 12:53 pm
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Theoretically...a chimney startey is little more than a metal cylinder that allows airflow from the bottom. And a Handle.
Could you drill holes in a metal trash can? Just figure out how to lift the darn thing.

Or just use multiple starters like everyone else said.

Good Luck
Image

Post Thu May 20, 2004 1:21 pm
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5376
Location: Damascus, Maryland
When cooking at the church we have two 55 gal covered grills made by New Braunfels.
We light 2 or 3 chimneys with lump, then spread the lit coals on the grate and then top with a layer of unlit chunk. It usually lights up quickly.

And by all means pick up an extra chimney.

Southern States Co-op carries the Weber chimney for $10.99!

YB

Post Thu May 20, 2004 3:06 pm
BigDaddy medium
medium

Posts: 106
Location: California, Northern
I’m like the idea of spreading out a layer of lump and then dumping a few chimneys of lit on it. So in summary would your recommend 3 or 4 chimneys (I’ve found ones at OSH for only about $8. each… not bad)… and would you lay the unlit lump under or over the lit?

As always you guys have been great.

You know that’s one thing I love about this board… sometimes you run in to people who cook or BBQ and they only want to do things one way… They always cook with the same rubs and marinades… always cook the same way… totally in a rut. Here (on this board) people are willing to try new recipes and ideas… I think that helps us all get better at what we do.

Thanks,
JC
Image

Post Thu May 20, 2004 3:25 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
BigDaddy the less expensive chimneys (like the ones I have) are smaller than the Weber chimneys and hold less fuel. So you may want to get one or two more than if you purchased the Webers.

For grilling you'll want to dump the lit coals in first, and then add the unlit lump charcoal on top. This will allow the heat from the lit coals to ignite the unlit ones. If you put the unlit charcoal if first, you will have something similar to the 'Minion Method' which is used for low-n-slow, as it yields a longer, slower, cooler burning fire.

Hope this helps.
Image

Post Thu May 20, 2004 3:36 pm
RichD medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 280
Location: New Jersey
Bob-BQN is absolutly correct. I wasn't thinking when I posted my response. As I described it the lump will light slower. I typically do this when I am BBQing low and slow. I will often get burns of 6-8 hours.
For grilling you will want to put the lit coals in first then top them off with unlit lump. They will light rather quickly.

RichD

Post Tue Jun 08, 2004 11:56 am
JDasmokin rare
rare

Posts: 24
Location: Sothern Indiana
I'm not sure how big of a fire you are needing. I have 2 smokers, One is a direct heat with 25 sq. feet of cooking surface and the other is a rotisserie with 40 sq. feet of cooking surface.
I mostly cook with wood but i do use charcoal to help keep the fire lit.
When I start the fire, I lay in the fire box with some charcoal and put a few pieces of wood on top.
I bought a propane weed burner at Harbor Freight, in 10 minutes you have a great fire.
The cost of the weed burner was under $20.
I usually keep a fire in a seperate 2'x2' fire box as need to add more fire.

I hope this will help

Post Tue Jun 08, 2004 1:17 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
JDasmokin welcome to the board. It would be great to see some pics of your rigs in action! :D
Image

Post Tue Jun 08, 2004 3:22 pm
Guest

Bob-BQN I sent a few pictures of my smokers to your e-mail
Hope you Like them
I didn't know how to post them on the site

Post Tue Jun 08, 2004 3:32 pm
JDasmokin rare
rare

Posts: 24
Location: Sothern Indiana
Forgot to login
Sorry

Post Tue Jun 08, 2004 3:53 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
JDasmokin, got the email...awesome rig! It's a beaut! If you would like to post pictures in your messages, here are a few topics that may help:
pic help
free image hosting
Image

Post Tue Jun 08, 2004 4:06 pm
JDasmokin rare
rare

Posts: 24
Location: Sothern Indiana
BOB-BQN
Thanks again

Post Wed Jun 09, 2004 1:13 pm
JDasmokin rare
rare

Posts: 24
Location: Sothern Indiana
Just trying to get a pic on the board
uploaded a pic to the Image shak can't seem to get just th picture here.
just the url comes up


Image

Next

Return to General Discussion

cron