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Best Way to Light A Barbecue

Weber 'Compact Kettle' Grill - Buy it on AmazonThere are a lot of wrong ways to light a barbecue, many of which are responsible for the thousands of barbeque related injuries each year.

The obvious things to avoid are using lighter fuel (or even worse gasoline), putting your hands into or near a half lit fire, and using wood.

The usual result of the above techniques is you end up with burnt, black hands, half lit coals, and a long delay until you can start cooking.

It is amazing how many BBQs are ruined by the long wait before all of the coals are glowing hot. More often than not, as soon as the food is on and finally cooking, the coals are too cold.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to quickly light more coals and safely add them to the existing ones when they are all glowing red? This would eliminate the horrible smoky tasting food you can give your food if you add fresh coals onto an existing BBQ.

By far the simplest way to light a barbecue is to use a chimney starter.

These clever devices will make lighting the coals under your grill a piece of cake. Not only will you save time messing about with fire lighters but they are also one of the safest ways to get your charcoal or briquettes alight.

What is a Chimney Starter?

A chimney starter is a great addition to any household that like to cook on a barbeque. These relatively simple devices make the often difficult job of lighting a barbecue much safer and quicker. When used correctly they should eliminate the need to blow the flames, use lighter fluid, fire-lighters, or petrol. Once you have a chimney starter all you will need to light your grill is a couple of sheets of newspaper and a match.

In addition chimney starters are great for those situations when your BBQ is running low on coals. All you do is simply light some more in the chimney, then add them to your barbecue once ready – no more smoky-charcoal tasting food!

How To Use A Chimney Starter

The basic design is very simple and usually consists of a tall metal cylinder about 30cm in height. A grill or holed plate is usually fixed inside about one quarter of the way up the cylinder.

To light your chimney simply fill the cylinder above the grill/plate with charcoal or briquettes. In the section under the grill simply place a few pieces of scrunched up newspaper and light. The flames from the paper will rise, lighting the charcoal and within a few minutes most of the charcoal should be lit.

The grill and holes in the cylinder allow the air to intensify the fire, speeding up the process of lighting all of the charcoal. Once all of the charcoal is alight you simply pick up the starter using the handle and carefully pour the coals into the barbeque coal pan.

by James Wannop author and owner of several websites, and a keen BBQ enthusiast.

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