Lighting my Lump with a Chimney

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Lighting my Lump with a Chimney

Postby dannysmith43 » 11 Jun 2015, 13:18

Hellloo.

So I got my new Weber, very happy I went with it, outstanding quality.
I did some chicken thighs on skewers (direct) and smoked some wings for 1.5 hrs with Hickory at the weekend, absolutely gorgeous they were!

One little problem I had was lighting the coal. I've done this before of course, I have 3x Chimney starters from Tesco, bought them a couple of years ago when they were £3 each. They are noticeably smaller than the super duper Weber one and less vent holes too.

So I'm using BIG K Restaurant Grade Lump which is great but some of the lumps are mahoosive! I only use paper to get them lit, I don't like using anything parafin based at all. It took off but I used half a newspaper to get it going. I'm wondering if the amount of vents / holes make a difference? When I watch a Youtube video, those things seems to flame right up, mine appears to take forever.

Any tips would be very welcome? Do you guys break up the coal? or use a magical natural alternative to a newspaper?

Side question....found some Aussie Heat Beads (£6.99) & Big K Briquettes "Red Bag" (£4) in my local garden centre, what's your thoughts on these? The Heat Beads seem to get a good rap.

Thanks y'all
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Re: Lighting my Lump with a Chimney

Postby Tiny » 11 Jun 2015, 16:18

Hello Chap,
I have mused on this topic before, purchasing a cheap chimney starter is as wise as attempting to share a sleeping bag with a honey badger, you might think you will be able to get away with it but will ultimately die.

So would purchase the Weber chimney, apply some cooking oil to your newspaper for extra whoosh, or displa the grande cahunas by standing it on the gas hob indoors whilst she isn't looking.

#Cheers
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Re: Lighting my Lump with a Chimney

Postby dannysmith43 » 11 Jun 2015, 21:34

Tiny wrote:Hello Chap,
I have mused on this topic before, purchasing a cheap chimney starter is as wise as attempting to share a sleeping bag with a honey badger, you might think you will be able to get away with it but will ultimately die.

So would purchase the Weber chimney, apply some cooking oil to your newspaper for extra whoosh, or displa the grande cahunas by standing it on the gas hob indoors whilst she isn't looking.

#Cheers
Tiny


hehe, I'll take your word for it on that one ;) sounds dangerous :o
We only have an induction hob, so the cahunas will be firmly kept out of display for now. I like the idea about the cooking oil, will give that a punt on the weekend, thanks!

I'm planning ribs weekend after next, looks like a 4 hour cook (will be my longest) does anyone think the heat beads would suit me better than lump in terms of burning duration? Using less coal would be advantageous as the Weber "guide" suggests topping up a couple of times?!!
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Re: Lighting my Lump with a Chimney

Postby Kiska95 » 12 Jun 2015, 12:24

Hi

I bought a Campingaz stove for £12.50 and put my chimney on top of that and in a crack its "Houston we have ignition" :D
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Re: Lighting my Lump with a Chimney

Postby Burnt2acrisp » 13 Jun 2015, 10:02

Hi there.

I'm no expert in these matters but have managed a few long cooks now on the OTP with a moderate amount of success using weber briquettes and the snake method. By using small movements of the bottom vent you can control the temp really well and a semi circle of snake can easily get 6-7 hours burn time with no refill required. There are lots of snake demos on YouTube, but basically all I use is 2 briquettes deep x 2 high, laid in a sort of brick-bond style so there's plenty of overlap which ensures the snake continues to burn.

Good luck
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Re: Lighting my Lump with a Chimney

Postby dannysmith43 » 15 Jun 2015, 10:47

Thanks for the ideas guys.
I love the camping stove idea, I may invest in one of those eventually. I actually used a combination of newspaper, vegetable oil and something cool I found in the garden centre on Saturday called "Flamers". They weren't cheap, 24 for £3.99 but they were really good, burnt for a good 5 minutes with a decent flame;

https://www.certainlywood.co.uk/flamers

So lighting went well at the weekend....had a bit of an issue with the charcoal size though...
I think I will invest in some briquettes this week, Weber or the Heat Beads. I'm using the Big K restaurant grade charcoal but the lumps are so big that I can barely fit them in the chimney starter, if I try to break them up they shatter and end up falling through the bloody grate! So I end up with massive chunks, a few small ones but barely enough to cover the area I need.

What do you guys do with your lump? or have most defected to the evil briquettes?

Thanks
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Re: Lighting my Lump with a Chimney

Postby slemps » 18 Jun 2015, 08:11

Hi Danny,

I use Big K restaurant grade too.

It probably is the big pieces combined with lack of vents that's causing the slow light.

Personally I think massive pieces are a nice problem to have, much better than the opposite which I seem to get with almost any other lump.

I use a hammer to break it if it's too big. A fairly gentle tap should get it to fracture into reasonable size chunks.

I guess you could drill some more holes in your starters?

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Re: Lighting my Lump with a Chimney

Postby dannysmith43 » 18 Jun 2015, 13:58

slemps wrote:Hi Danny,

I use Big K restaurant grade too.

It probably is the big pieces combined with lack of vents that's causing the slow light.

Personally I think massive pieces are a nice problem to have, much better than the opposite which I seem to get with almost any other lump.

I use a hammer to break it if it's too big. A fairly gentle tap should get it to fracture into reasonable size chunks.

I guess you could drill some more holes in your starters?

S.



Thanks for your reply.
Your right, it is a nice problem to have. I think I need to be a bit more gentle with the hammer! I also purchased some charcoal baskets from Lidl (£4 each) so this should help with the smaller pieces. Good point, I think I'll get the hammer drill and pound a few holes in 1 of them, see if it makes a difference. I actually bought some Heat Beads at a garden centre near me, I'm going to cook some ribs this weekend which I believe is a 4 hour cook so I'm going to try them out.
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Re: Lighting my Lump with a Chimney

Postby jeremy.green » 03 Jul 2015, 09:19

Slightly off topic but where do you get the restaurant grade big k from ?
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Re: Lighting my Lump with a Chimney

Postby slemps » 10 Jul 2015, 08:06

jeremy.green wrote:Slightly off topic but where do you get the restaurant grade big k from ?


I live in Jersey so probably no use to you! I think you can order direct from Big K though.
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