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How do you light just a small number of coals ?

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    How do you light just a small number of coals ?

    Whenver I'm adding to a long cook, or even just starting one, I struggle to get a small number of coals to light.

    I've got the weber chimney, but turning it upside down has not had good results for me. Newspaper stuffed in the bottom burns through really quickly - at least, enough does for the rest to fall to the bottom of the grill and not actually light the coals.

    I've tried banking coals just on one side with a firelighter underneath, but that doesn't seem to work as well as when there is a full layer or two of coals across the base.

    #2
    Im not sure if this answers your question but, if I am going to light a small number of coals to add to the fire or start a long cook. I usually just fill the chimney half and 1/3 full and light the bottom. Put the chimney on a flat surface. Like a concrete paver, you can buy these at Home Depot for $2. Just don't out it on your deck or in the lawn. This will help with the paper falling out the bottom. And stuff a lot of paper under the chimney and use a torch to light it. If there is any wind at all it will take off like crazy. Or you can always use Paraffin cubes sold by Weber they work well too.
    I've never heard of people turning them upside down, I'm not sure what you are referring to there.
    I'm not sure if this is what your looking for but I hope this helps

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      #3
      Like Spinaker said, The Weber firestarter cubes work great and they are inexpensive. Put a cube on your grate and light it. It will light quickly and burn a tall flame. Put a handful of coals in the chimney and place the chimney over the lit firestarter. Does that sound like it would solve your problem?

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        #4
        I use a can of sterno when I need a use my chimney. I only do 10-15 briquets when I use my WSM and doing the Soo donut technique. Works like a charm. Five minutes over the sterno works every time

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          #5
          Originally posted by Anonymouslemming View Post
          I've got the weber chimney, but turning it upside down has not had good results for me. Newspaper stuffed in the bottom burns through really quickly - at least, enough does for the rest to fall to the bottom of the grill and not actually light the coals.
          Are you twisting your newspaper into a log and then curling it around before stuffing into chimney? If you compact the paper a bit, but not so much it won't light, it should give you enough fire to light a few coals in the bottom of your chimney.

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            #6
            Thanks all ...

            I'll see if I can find a video of people turning them upside down for reference.

            I normally use a knockoff of the weber parafin cubes here and they work really well. Newspaper also works if I have the chimney the right way up because even if it slides down when lit, the flame still reaches the bottom of the coals.

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              #7
              It sure is tough lighting a dozen or 20 coals or so, I know what you mean. I use a little propane torch for lighting my paper, and that works if you have time to stand there and light the coals. My best method I've come across is banking my coals in the chimney in as tight a pile as I can, and using a Weber lighter cube centered under the right spot. The cubes burn the same regardless of the charcoal above them. As we know, paper burns up too quickly with little to no charcoal above it when lighting only a small amount.

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                #8
                When adding to a cook I just add them unlit. If I have to start a small amount from scratch I'm using a small amount of JP4 aka lighter fluid. [gasp]

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Jon Solberg View Post
                  When adding to a cook I just add them unlit. If I have to start a small amount from scratch I'm using a small amount of JP4 aka lighter fluid. [gasp]
                  Oh no you dittin!! Yeah, lighter fluid works great too. I never have any. Last time I had some my kids took it to the bonfire pit and drained it. They get that from me.

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                    #10
                    I have a propane torch that I light with now, doesn't matter if you have 100 coals or just 1.

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                    • Anonymouslemming
                      Anonymouslemming commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I'm tempted to go that route. I could always use it for plumbing work too, but I've already moved most of the pipes to PVC.

                      I'll try the chimney again this weekend, but otherwise, I think I'll ask for a fire breathing dragon for my birthday

                    • _John_
                      _John_ commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I justified it by using it to sear a few steaks as well.

                    #11
                    Originally posted by Huskee View Post

                    Oh no you dittin!! Yeah, lighter fluid works great too. I never have any. Last time I had some my kids took it to the bonfire pit and drained it. They get that from me.
                    In my youth, I learned which accelerants are and aren't safe for bonfires. Sadly, I learned this by staring at my eyebrowless face in the mirror for about too months

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                      #12
                      Originally posted by Anonymouslemming View Post

                      In my youth, I learned which accelerants are and aren't safe for bonfires. Sadly, I learned this by staring at my eyebrowless face in the mirror for about too months
                      Love the BBQ Dragon! I use it for my offset, in which case I find it almost a mandatory tool. My advice, if you can, get the $30 recharge kit for it. At the very least get a set or two of rechargeable batteries for it. Then again, for a kettle that might not be as crucial. I'm pretty hard on mine as you can tell.
                      Last edited by Huskee; January 23, 2015, 07:53 AM.

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                        #13
                        Huskee did you see my version of the dragon over in "Feed the Flame" ?

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                          #14
                          Originally posted by Jon Solberg View Post
                          Huskee did you see my version of the dragon over in "Feed the Flame" ?
                          No, I will search now...

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                            #15
                            wrap the coals in a cooking oil drenched paper towel, place in an inverted chimney and light.

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