Building your own charcoal chimney


For many years I refused to buy a charcoal chimney, and relied on my own version made out of a large tin can. Here’s how to do it:

1. You need a pretty big can. At a minimum, at least as big as the largest size coffee cans – but the big cans that hold restaurant quantities of peaches or beans work best.

2. Probably one end is already removed. Using a triangular can piercer – the kind that make holes for pouring liquids out – put a few holes around the circumference of the top.

3. Now, using a good can opener, start removing other end, but stop when it’s still attached by about two and a half inches of metal.

4. Fold this end of the can back so it sticks out away from the can, and then fold up the edges of the disc to be like a handle.

5. To light this chimney, I first put wadded up newspapers under my grill’s charcoal grate, and then I put my can on top of the grate, over the newspapers, with the “handle” on the top.

6. Fill the can with charcoal.

7. Light the newspapers.

8. When the charcoal is burning, use GLOVES to grab the “handle,” and simply lift the can straight up so that the lit coals fall out through the bottom.

9. Wha-la!

10. After you finally burn yourself, you’ll probably just buy a chimney.


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