What did you think of this review?
A chimney starter, also called a charcoal chimney, is a device that is used to start either lump charcoal or charcoal briquettes. It is usually a steel cylinder about 8" (20 cm) in diameter and about 12 to 18 inches (30 to 45 cm) tall. Chimney starters have a plate or grate with several holes that is welded horizontally inside the cylinder about 3" (8 cm) from the bottom. The chimney has large holes drilled around its circumference below the grate. This is to allow air to flow up underneath the charcoal, which rests on top of the grate. They also have handles that are frequently insulated. The chimney starter works by placing newspaper underneath the grate and lighting it on fire. This fire, which is easy to start, goes through the holes in the grate and lights the charcoal on fire. It is commonly used in situations where the use of charcoal lighter fluid, a toxic petroleum derivative, is inappropriate or banned. It is also used when extra charcoals are required while the grill is being used, such as when slowly cooking something for a few hours.
Although the chimney starter is now sometimes considered a "traditional" method of starting charcoal, a basic device used for barbecue grills was invented in the 1960's by Hugh King, Lavaughn Johnson, and Garner Byars of Corinth, Mississippi and marketed under the "Auto Fire" label.