What are chimney starters? They are inexpensive devices that can be used with hibachi grills to start lump charcoal or charcoal briquettes without the need for inducing chemicals such as lighter fluid. Also known as a charcoal chimney, chimney starters are basically metal cylinders that have some kind of grate or plate with holes built in near the bottom and a handle on the side.
How to use chimney starters? The simplest and most common method is to simply:
The paper will light the charcoal at the bottom of the cylinder first and the remaining coals on top will then be ignited by the chimney effect.
When the coals are ready (20 – 25 minutes) use a barbecue glove or oven mitt to carefully pour the hot embers into the hibachi grill and spread them out into an even layer with a long pair of tongs.
Most seasoned grill masters prefer the use of chimney starters for hibachi grills over lighter fluid for a couple of reasons.
I recently read about a trick that can be used to make the newspaper burn longer in chimney starters. By applying a little non-stick cooking spray or vegetable oil to the crumpled paper, the paper will not burn up until the oil burns away which in turn prolongs the burning time. This could be a helpful method to ensure that a single load of newspaper is enough to get the coals going and your hibachi grill ready for cooking.
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