Chimney Starter: What is It?

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  June 1, 2022

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A chimney starter, also called a charcoal chimney, is a device that is used to ignite fire with either lump charcoal or charcoal briquettes.

The typical design dimensions of it is about 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter and is roughly 12 – 18 inches (30 – 45 cm) in height. It’s also made of stainless steel.

Chimney starters also have a quarter inch thick metal plate/grate with horizontal holes evenly spaced across its surface. It is placed at about 3 inches (8 cm) from the bottom.

In order to effectively burn the charcoal in the chimney starter it is designed with large holes located below the grate, which allows air to circulate through it.

To prevent your hands from searing with the extreme temperatures being channeled through the chimney starter, they are also designed with insulated handles so you can safely start your bbq smoker.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.