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How to Light a Charcoal BBQ

When it comes to lighting charcoal we have heard all the old tales of lit newspaper, lighter fluid and yes even petrol (which is very highly NOT recommended by the way!). When it comes to lighting charcoal there is now a simple answer. Whether you’re lighting a charcoal BBQ for those al fresco meals or starting a fire in your firepit or chimenea to keep warm on a summers evening; lighting those charcoals has never been easier than with a chimney starter! A chimney starter is a gadget no BBQ, firepit or chimenea owner should be without; the Weber range includes a portable chimnery starter for smaller models, a chimnery starter for medium to larger models and a chimney starter kit which includes charcoal and firelighters.

Lighting a Charcoal BBQ using a chimney starter

Types of Charcoal

There are several types of charcoal on the market, each with a different feature or benefit to the user. These types can range from longer burning times to hotter temperatures and easy start briquettes. 

Charcoal Briquettes

Designed to burn hotter and longer than other forms of charcoal, these briquettes are made from a combination of waste charcoal mixed with a binder, then compressed down into equal-sized chunks. These briquettes are perfect for smoking or roasting foods on a barbecue as the longer burn time’s means you don’t need to keep lifting the lid letting heat escape. One of the most efficient Weber fuels these briquettes have a special shape meaning you need to use less of them to get the desired result and save on cost too! Available in 2kg, 4kg or 8kg bags.

Weber Charcoal Briquettes

Lumpwood Charcoal

This is a natural charcoal with no additives.  Easy to light, this charcoal burns hot and clean producing less ash than any other type of charcoal. Ideal for use with meat, fish and vegetable dishes this charcoal consists of beech, hornbeam, birch and oak. Available in 5kg or 10kg bags.

Weber lumpwood charcoal

Easy Start Briquettes

One of the most efficient Weber fuel to date, these briquettes get glowing in no time; especially when used with a chimney starter. Designed with a special shape which means you need to use less for the desired effect and cost saving too. These premium briquettes come pre-packaged with the correct amount of charcoal for a 47cm kettle barbecue, taking the fuss and mess out of measuring charcoal for you.

Weber easy start briquettes

How to Use a Chimney Starter

Simply follow these easy steps and get BBQing or warm in no time.

  1. Fill your chimney starter with the desired amount of charcoal.
  2. Remove the cooking grill from the BBQ and place a few lighter cubes on the charcoal grate or place onto the charcoal grate.
  3. Light the lighter cubes and place the chimney starter over them.
  4. Leave the chimney starter to work its magic.
  5. When the smoke has cleared and the charcoal is coated with a layer of grey/white ash, carefully pour the charcoal from the chimney starter onto the charcoal grill and space according to your cooking method or into the charcoal dividers.

Top Tips When Using a Chimney Starter

  1. Use oven or barbecue gloves when pouring the charcoal from the chimney starter because of the heat.
  2. Ensure the BBQ is lit in an open space.
  3. When finished, allow the BBQ to cool fully before covering with a barbecue cover or placing into storage. NEVER put the barbecue into a confined space when hot to create heat as this can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.