Throw out the Lighter Fluid!

     Days of soaking charcoal in lighter fluid and throwing on a match, creating a mushroomed fireball, is over.  Get rid of the lighter fluid and get a charcoal chimney starter.  A charcoal chimney is a metal cylinder with a handle.  Inside there is a grate a few inches from the bottom.

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(CharBroil on left, Weber on right) 

You load plain charcoal into the top compartment,  then place crumpled up newspaper in the bottom below the grate.  Place on a safe surface, such as the charcoal grate of your grill and light the newspaper.  Some outdoor cooks even light theirs with a turkey fryer, which is faster and cleaner than using newspaper.  I prefer using the latter of the two methods.  Lighting the coals in a chimney will be able to savor your food without that nasty lighter fluid taste and smell.  There are a few brands out there to choose from.  The most recommended by far is the Weber chimney(www.weber.com).  With its craftsmanship and load size, it’s worth ordering on-line if you can’t find one local.  I started with a CharBroil chimney, and soon realized its short comings.  When the handle came apart with a lit load on the way to the firebox, I decided to upgrade.  I watched for the chimney to go on sale on www.amazon.com.  When it did I talked 3 coworkers into ordering one also(this made the purchase qualify for free shipping).  This made a total price under $10 for each one.  Using the Weber chimney for a year now, I would pay double for a replacement if I had to.

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