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Does The Chimney Make a Difference?
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Burbs
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15 08 10:33 pm    Post subject: Does The Chimney Make a Difference? Reply with quote

I bought one of those cheap chimneys from Lowes some time ago, and I think it was Char Broil or something. Anyways, looking at the Weber one, it seems better built and better quality. On my current one, the paint is already coming off because of the heat, and it seems to have a hard time keeping the newspaper burning, though I don't know if that has anything to do with the chimney itself.

Can anyone give some insight on this?

Thanks,

Chris
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dutchmancreek
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 15 08 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the Weber chimney is the better product...holds more coals, is better made, and lasts a lot longer than the "no-name" or cheaper brands. It's wll worth the couple of extra bucks.

If you spray the newspaper starter with Pam or squirt some vegetable oil it will burn a lot better. Also, don't stuff too much up under there and compact it. Paper towels with oil work well.

I don't use paper at all. I just set my filled chimney over the side burner on my gas grill and it lights quickly (it's the best use I've found for that side burner). I've seen it done with turkey/fish fryer burners and propane torches.

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Nate_bone
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16 08 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought a Weber chimney about 2 years ago, and it's still doing great. The bottom grate is getting a bit rusty, but shows no sign of giving up. I've noticed that whole midsection of the chimney tends to get glowing orange hot while the coals are burning down, and I thought for a while that it would end in catastrophic failure soon, but that thing is built solid enough that I haven't had any problems with it.
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ou812warford
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16 08 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Weber chimney is great. Buy one when you other one wears out and try the oil on your paper. It helps alot.
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necron 99
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16 08 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a 'cheap' BBQ Pro charcoal chimney I paid $3.50 at KMart, and a Weber charcoal chimney I spent about $12 on at Home Depot.

The Weber chimney is aluminized steel, not painted. The finish started getting damagedby heat stress the first time I used it, but it didn't show signs of corrosion right away. However, it will discolor and be susceptible to corrosion if it gets wet (fog, morning dew, etc.). For me, the Weber chimney works great with briquets, especially lots of briquets. The large amount of open area where the charcoal rests at the bottom gives great air flow.

Things I don't like about the Weber chimney for include lighting lump charcoal - the large amount of open area at the bottom where the charcoal rests lets too many pieces fall through, especially troublesome with small pieces that are already burning. When I've used it to light lump, I progressed to putting a layer of briquets in first at the bottom, then adding lump on top to help mitigate this. I also don't like the Weber chimney for starting 15 to 20 briquets to use for a Minion method fire in my bullet smoker. The large volume of the Weber chimney gives a disadvantage here.

My BBQ Pro chimney has a floor plate with several holes, kind of like the cylinder of a revolver, with one hole in the middle. This works better for lighting lump to keep smaller pieces from falling through the bottom during lighting and transit to the dump point. The smaller volume works much better than my Weber chimney for lighting 15 to 20 briquets for Minion method fires. It has enough open area that I don't see any big difference between start and finish times between lighting the charcoal and dumping the charcoal vs. my Weber chimney. My BBQ Pro chimney is painted black, and this started getting damaged by heat stress the first time I used it. It also started showing signs of corrosion after being exposed to moisture (fog, early morning dew).

I don't expect the flash rust on either chimney to compromise its structural integrity any time soon. I expect it'll be some other part that fails, like a handle attachment point, that would cause me to toss one out and buy a replacement.

For me, they're simply 2 different tools, like having 2 different size crescent wrenches. Either one will do the job, but for a particular job, one may be more suitable than the other.

edit - I knew I'd seen a Weber chimney advertised as modified for lump charcaol somewhere, found it.

http://www.cook-n-out.com/buyonline.html

These folks also advertise OCC Rancher as available in 8.8 lb. bags.
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Big Daddy Woo Woo
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16 08 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn a chimney. I hate those things. I use the electric charcoal starter that is sold at Lowe's for 10 bucks. If I am somewhere where there is no electricity, then I have to use the chimney, but I doubt I will be smoking where there ain't no juice!
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16 08 2:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chimney no more got a propane torch works great .
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tnbarbq
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16 08 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a wmt cheap-o chimney and a Weber. The Weber is far better.
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USDA Monkey
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16 08 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used the cheap ones for years. They do get rusty fast but still do a good job. This year I bought 2 weber chimneys and I do prefer them much more. I keep one old one around to hold my wire brush and charcoal tongs but I doubt it will be seeing any real action any time soon.
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Burbs
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17 08 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I'll be looking to pick up a Weber chimney, although I don't think they sell them locally here in Massachusetts. Any of the big retail chains sell them?
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OkieJay
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17 08 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A little off topic, but a few years ago I found out the secret to lighting a chimney.

I take two full open pages of newspaper, lay them out flat (one on top of the other).
Then roll them into a loose three foot long tube.
Next curl the tube into a chimney sized donut (with hole in the middle).
Put it into the bottom of the chimney and light in two or three places.

Give it a try, never fails.
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necron 99
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17 08 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Burbs wrote:
I think I'll be looking to pick up a Weber chimney, although I don't think they sell them locally here in Massachusetts. Any of the big retail chains sell them?


I bought my Weber chimney at Home Depot, but I have no idea if they leave them on the shelves at this time of year. HD had the lowest price I could find when I shopped around for mine.

Home Depot Link

You should also be able to find them at Do It Best hardware stores, or order one with 'Free Ship to Store' to a store near you.

Do It Best Link

Ace Harware is another spot, or you can order with Free Ship to Store

Ace Hardware Link
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wnkt
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17 08 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only use one sheet of newspaper with a paper towel wadded up inside it with some veg oil on the paper towel. The oil helps it keep burning longer and doesn't leave so much paper ashes that blow all over the place.

I have also used the paraffin cubes that Weber sells for lighting charcoal....but you have to buy those...I always have newspaper, paper towels and old bacon grease or veg oil on hand.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17 08 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big Daddy Woo Woo wrote:
Damn a chimney. I hate those things. I use the electric charcoal starter that is sold at Lowe's for 10 bucks. If I am somewhere where there is no electricity, then I have to use the chimney, but I doubt I will be smoking where there ain't no juice!


I was looking at one of those electric starters at Lowes yesterday. How exactly do you use them? Do you lay it on a pile of coals or build the coals on top of the starter? I typically use lump in my weber OTG and since it grills so quickly I usually have lots left over that I can restart for the next cook. Right now I'm adding more fresh lump started in a chimney but I'd rather just use whats in there without transferring it into the chimney because that's a bit of a mess.

Thanks in advance.
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JimH
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18 08 12:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The cheap chimney's need holes drilled in the sides like the Weber chimney. Drilling the holes increases air flow and speeds the lighting process.
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Big Daddy Woo Woo
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18 08 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You just lay it in your cooker, put your charcoal on top of it and then plug it up! In the BWS, the charcoal pan is square, so we always start in the back left corner and let the minion method do its thing.
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USDA Monkey
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18 08 1:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks. I'll pick one up tomorrow.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18 08 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ace Harware also carries Weber products, but you willpay premium prices there.

Ray
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Burbs
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18 08 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you all for the responses. Looks like I'll be going online to order one.
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USDA Monkey
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 19 08 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got mine from Amazon. be careful because they sell them for different prices. Search until you find one for around $12.
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