Charcoal Chimney Burner

You'll need to invest in a charcoal chimney burner if you're intending to do long slow smoking using a charcoal fired smoker.

This is the Weber model that comes with great reviews

When smoking meats such as brisket or pork shoulder, generally speaking, the longer the cookout the better and the more chance you have of getting that all important tenderness that you're looking for.

Inevitably, after 6 or 7 hours of smoking, your coals are going to need replacing and this isn't as simple as adding more fresh charcoal because:-

  1. Fresh charcoal will absorb energy (and therefore reduce the temperature of your food chamber) as you get it going. If you've ever placed your hand near freshly ignited charcoal then you'll know what I mean. It takes time for charcoal to come up to temperature and the best place for this to happen is in a burner rather than in your smoker.
  2. The smoke from freshly burning charcoal will obscure the flavor that you're trying to get from your wood chips. The smoke from early combustion of wood product is thick and white, it has a bitter taste and is not what we're looking for when hot smoking. We want the blue whispy smoke that comes during the mid to latter stages of combustion. Using a charcoal chimney starter gets you through that thick white smoke phase before you add the fresh coals.
  3. Freshly burning charcoal gives off soot that will leave a black spotty residue on your meat. Again something to be avoided.

You can solve all these problems using the chimney burner as this ensures that before you throw more coals into the smoker that the coals are already glowing and are at the ideal temperature for continuing the cookout.

How To Use A Charcoal Chimney Burner

All you have to do is roll up a couple of sheets of newspaper and put the ends together to form a circle. Place this circle in the bottom of your chimney burner and pour the charcoal on top. From the bottom, light the paper and watch the fire take hold moving gently from the bottom to the top.

A burner works just as well with lumpwood or briquettes

Note: - Using paper as the starter substrate eliminates the need for petroleam based firelighters, gel or fluid, all of which can be another source of unwanted gases that can taint the flavor of your food.

You can also soak a portion of the newspaper in vegetable oil to give it that extra longevity during the ignition phase.

See Also:-

More Accessories and Gift Ideas
How To Light A Charcoal Grill
Information About Smokers

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