Weber 87886 Chimney Starter
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- Chimney starter system lights charcoal faster and easier
- Durable aluminized steel construction
- Stay cool thermoplastic handle adds safety
- Holds enough briquettes for a 22-1/2-inch kettle grill
- Greatly reduces the amount of time it takes for coals to get ready
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Weber's chimney starter makes starting your charcoal a snap. It also cuts down the amount of time it takes for the coals to get ready. Just load up our extra large cannister full of coals, light up a fire starter or crinkled up newspaper, and set the cannister over the flame. In a matter of minutes the coals will be red hot. Who ever thought it could be so easy?
Chefs, start your grills. You can have red-hot coals in a matter of minutes by following three steps: load your coals into this aluminized steel chimney starter, light a fire, and place the starter over the fire. The Weber chimney starter is extra large, holding enough briquettes for indirect or direct fire on a 22-1/2-inch kettle grill. A stay-cool thermoplastic handle and a wire foldout handle let you move the starter safely. --Rhonda Langdon
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I've owned a few different chimney starters over the years and just never could get them to work reliably. I always ended up going back to lighter fluid. Yes, it stinks and it's expensive and it can ruin the taste of your meal if you don't let the charcoal burn down for a long time but it worked every time. Those Brand X chimney starters didn't always get the charcoal going.
The Weber is larger and the design is well thought-out. Instead of a few holes in the bottom of the charcoal section, it has a grate. And the grate is kind of reverse-cone shaped so more charcoal comes in contact with the burning newspaper. The result--it lights pretty much perfectly every time. All it takes is two broadsheet pages of newpaper stuffed in the bottom. That's two broadsheets--the equivalent of eight pages of your morning newspaer. You can also use paper towels--they create less ash. If you want, you can lightly spray the newpaper or towels with a little Pam or the like. That's gets the paper to burning quickly.
Don't bother with those small, poorly designed, no-name (or even big-name) chimney starters you see around. The Weber is the one to get.
I was accustomed to putting the electric lighter under the coals, and preparing other parts of the dinner while the coals were getting started. And after they had gotten started, it took a while for the fire to really get rolling.
I use a Weber barbeque, and every time after I have finished grilling, I close down the vents and save the briquets for another use. I only have to add a couple of handfuls of new briquets each time I cook.
I stuffed the bottom of the Weber chimney starter with newspaper as directed, put in the cold leftover briquets from the last grilling session, and added the usual amount of new briquets. I lit the newspaper as directed. At first all it seemed to be doing was producing a copious amount of smoke. I walked away, and came back just a few minutes later to find the charcoal flaming away most impressively. The coals were ready in about a quarter of the time that it took using the electric starter.
Who needs a gas barbeque for a fast-starting fire? I had my whole dinner cooked in a half hour from the time that I lit the newspaper. This charcoal starter is a gem!
Update (June 29, 2008): After using this starter for almost a year (yes, I barbeque in the winter) I have a couple of notes to add. First, use only the amount of newspaper recommended. More newspaper cuts down the amount of air able to circulate through the fire, and you just end up with a smoldering mess. Secondly, don't fill the container full of charcoal. Doing so extends the time it takes for all the charcoal to ignite, with the end result of making the handle too hot to comfortably hold. Even if you need a lot of charcoal, only fill the container half-full. Once the briquets are burning, dump them into the barbeque and put more briquets right on top of them if you need more.
To top it all off, this one is well designed and well built. The handle, the breathing holes, the cone shaped screen on bottom are perfectly designed from years of trial and error to get the job done fast and easily. THIS ONE JUST WORKS BETTER.
The Weber 87886 is the large one. The Weber 7416 is the smaller one -- It is o.k. to save the $ and get the smaller one if you have a hibachi or small charcoal grill. But if you have the Weber 22 1/2 then get the large 87886 model.
This chimney start is gold.
I followed the simple directions of loading up the charcoal, then sticking a couple of sheets of newspaper underneath then lighting it. Within minutes the charcoal was in flames. When they were ready to be poured onto the grill, we were able to do so easily due to the smart design of one handle for holding while the other handle is used to steady the chimney starter while pouring.
My boyfriend and I are newbies to grilling and this device is an absolutely amazing accessory. You don't need lighter fluid. I don't want more carcinogens in my food than need be. This is the best designed chimney starter and the charcoals starting on fire as simply as they do are proof.
As for the guy eggman who reviewed it poorly saying he caught himself on fire, etc...the instructions say clearly to not use lighter fluid with the chimney. Sorry if you can't read. Also, take a look at eggman's reviews. He has a total of 3, all of which are giving 1 star to Weber products. The two reviews that are for 2 completely different Weber grills are almost IDENTICAL. Read them for yourself. This guy is either nuts or has a vendetta against Weber for some reason. Go figure.
Anyway, at $11.99 this chimney starter is a steal.