BBQ Basics Starting The Fire on a Weber Smokey Mountain

Let’s go back to the BBQ basics, starting the fire on a Weber – or any other BBQ pit- using a charcoal chimney. Whether you are just starting out, or just need a refresher, here are some helpful tips for using a charcoal chimney to light your BBQ.

BBQ Basics: Starting The Fire (on a Weber Smokey Mountain)


To start a fire using a charcoal chimney, you will need a few things:

  • Chimney (obviously)
  • Charcoal
  • Lighter (fire starter) cubes

The chimney is, essentially, a steel, fire-grade cylinder with a handle on the side and holes in the bottom that promote air flow.

Get your charcoal, and fill the cimney to about 1/3 of its capacity. You don’t want to add more, sincha that would choke the initial flame. You don’t need much more either. Υou only need to dump a few lit coals on a bed of unlit ones to get a slow and steady burn going.

Lighting the Chimney

To light the chimney, place the fire starter on a fire proof surface (like a second grill or a stone slab in your backyard), and light it up. Keep in mind, ash is going to fall out , and the flame will leave a burn mark. That’s why we suggest you do this on a grill.

Place the fire chimney directly on top of the small flame, and let the fire spread to the charcoal for about 15 minutes. A good way to know the charcoal is ready, is when the top layer is glowing bright red.

In the meantime, go to the grill you’re going to be using. Place as much charcoal as you need for the cook. The exact amount depends on how long you want to cook, how hot, and how fast your cooker will burn through it.

Time to Grill!

When the charcoal you lit before is ready, carefully (and maybe wearing protective gloves) bring the chimney over and dump its content over the unlit charcoal. Make sure to spread the lit coals evenly.

You’re ready to cook!

More Guides

Exclusive Pitmaster Gear

bbq basics starting the fire
King of the Grill | Grilling T-Shirts for Dad
bbq basics starting the fire
Heat Resistant Silicone Gloves for BBQ