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    learning's Avatar
    learning Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    May 18, 2003, 06:48 AM
    Chimney starter
    Can anyone tell me how to make my own chimney starter for charcoal grill./ Think use large cans but unsure where the air holes would be placed and what size. Many thanks
    argyllhannah's Avatar
    argyllhannah Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Mar 10, 2005, 09:49 AM
    Christmas cakes
    I'm sorry if I didn't do this correctly but I'm unsure as how to start a new thread on here. Here's my problem... I have made Christmas cakes for the 32 years I have been in the US but still can't make them correctly. They are always to fresh no matter how soon I make them. They crumble terribly. Is it because I live in Colorado and am above 5000 feet? Some recipes need high altitude directions. They taste like my Mother's but just crumble in your hand. I have soaked the fruit, not soaked the fruit, but nothing works. Help!
    kp2171's Avatar
    kp2171 Posts: 5,318, Reputation: 1612
    Uber Member

    Jul 28, 2005, 07:51 PM
    I can think of how to engineer one but it will never be as stable or as same as a purchased one in my mind.

    The thing gets coals white hot and then you need to turn it upside down.

    Might be able to make a poor mans one with a big coffee can (too short) or old metal garbage can, a few holes drilled and metal rods inserted for the coal supprts and a few more holes snipped at the bottom for the paper to breathe... but the stability? And unless you can weld a handle that won't burn your hand off when you grab it or you have flame retardant firemans gloves like I do... well...

    Well I think the low price of the commercial one is more than a fair price for the design and safety.
    grillman's Avatar
    grillman Posts: 1, Reputation: 1
    New Member

    Sep 21, 2005, 05:57 AM
    Homemade Chimney Starter
    Get yourself one of those large tin cans. The size they sell at a warehouse club. To find one for free check out a restaurant or school cafeteia. Look around in the recycle cans or just ask the guy hanging around the back kitchen door when he is grabbing a smoke. The can I used is 6 1/2 inches high and 6 inches in diameter. I use it for a Weber 18 1/2 inch kettle grill. It holds the right amount of charcoal to cook for 5 or 6 people.

    To make the air holes:
    Dril 1/4 inch holes in the bottom 1 inch apart. Make three rows of holes staggering them so they make a diamond pattern. The whole area should be about three inches high.

    Using a can opener (manual handheld is best for this job) Cut out the bottom of the can so you have a large tube. Place the can directly on the coal grate with the holes on the bottom. Ball up some newspaper, about two sheets worth. Place them in the bottom of the chimney. You can pour a little cooking oil on the paper as an accelerant. Then put in the charcoal up to the top. Light the paper from below and wait about 15 to 20 minutes.

    There is no need to dump the can. Just use a pair of pliers or channel locks (they will keep your hand away from the heat). Grab the rim and slowly lift the can. The coals will spill out into a small pile. You can use a small stick to spread out the remaining coals.

    This is a basic design that uses the physics of heat rising to create internal combustion. There is no need to buy anything when you can make the chimney yourself. Plus as a bonus you are keeping trash out of the trash stream, at least for a bit and by then the can will be broken down from the heat.


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