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Using a Chimney in a Classic B


GS1397
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Hey Guys,

 

So during my first two cooks I noticed that the coals weren't burning very evenly and that resulted in a couple of hot spots. It was likely due to me not knowing how to light the coals very well. So today I used a Weber Chimney and it worked very well to get the lump to light and burn evenly. I used my Weber gas grill as a base for the chimney at sat it on the grates of the weber. All was going well until the lump started to light and once it really caught it turned into quite the spark show. i got nervous as it was sparking everywhere and popped a couple of times which shot sparks far enough it was off the grill and onto the deck. 

 

My question is why couldn't I just put the Chimney on the lump in the fire bowl and once it's hot, just dump it instead of having to sit it on a different surface, etc. Anyone tried this? 

 

Thanks!! 

GC

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10 hours ago, GS1397 said:

My question is why couldn't I just put the Chimney on the lump in the fire bowl and once it's hot, just dump it instead of having to sit it on a different surface, etc. Anyone tried this? 

 

Thanks!! 

GC

Uh... I didn't even think to put my chimney on a different surface.  I did exactly what you asked about, starting with the chimney sitting on the leftover lump in the fire bowl and dumping when it was ready. I just assumed that's what I should do. No experience here, I bought the chimney when I bought the kamado. My chimney has a bottom dump so it was really easy.  It worked great.  You know, when I read what others are thinking about, I realize that despite my normal (i.e. non-grilling activities) penchant for overplanning, I have a tendency to just blunder in a forward direction with grilling. I may need to slow down a little.  I'll be watching here for responses from the folks who actually know what they're doing.  But in lieu of that, it makes sense to me.  

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I have the large chargrill one I fill half full and use that method for  slow and fast 8-10 min only I sit it far back as possible to keep from scorching the handle .It will catch some of the charcoal under in the grill as well, like you said spread it out ,doesn't hurt to stir it some. 

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19 hours ago, jbrown said:

I just slide one of those starter cubes in the pullout ash drawer, light it and slide it the drawer right in. no problems.

So when you do this, I am assuming that you still have the cast iron grate over the ash drawer? And the flames can get through that good enough to start the lump? i might try this next cook....

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56 minutes ago, GS1397 said:

So when you do this, I am assuming that you still have the cast iron grate over the ash drawer? And the flames can get through that good enough to start the lump? i might try this next cook....

I actually have the Kick-Ash basket now which is a little more "open" that the cast iron grate, but yes I keep it over the ash drawer. No issues.

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I also have a Vision Classic B and have tried various starting methods. The method i have settled on is an alcohol soaked cotton ball set into a well in the center of lump charcoal right in the firebox. I leave the lid up for about 5 minutes then close it up with top & bottom vents wide open. I prefer this method to the chimney method for the same reason you mentioned, i also tried the electric charcoal started, but still prefer the cotton ball method. If you need to speed things along you can use 2 or 3 alcohol soaked cotton balls spaced equidistant apart.

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I used a chimney for the first couple times and although I've used it in the past fine I didn't like that I couldn't dump it easily and it all sat right under the opening and then I had to try to spread out a bunch of hot coals and I didn't like that

Ended up getting the electric lighter and I think it works pretty good, it does concentrate the heat in the area of where the lighting grate is but I'm okay with that as I then have a centralized hot spot that I can choose to put things directly over if they need the heat or set it away from it if they don't need it as t creates like a pill shaped heat area and if you could long enough it of course spreads out

The only thing that you have to do is consider that is not a one amount of time fits all lights, if you wanna be roasting real fast leave it in there for 12 or so minutes if you wanna do a low and slow about 8 minutes is perfect or even 5 and you let it grow on its own

But I think if I get more into the low and slows I will do a light cube or the cotton ball in the middle of the pile, that way it's a much more controlled and even burn. But for anything else the electric lighter is great


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A chimney is a rather blunt instrument to get a fire lit.  I personally would never use one to light any fire in my kamados.  

 

I have used all manner of means to light lump ... I've used starter cubes, oiled paper towels, gelled alcohol, MAPP gas, propane, etc.  I have used either MAPP or propane over the last 17 years.

 

The amount of charcoal you light depends on the type of cook.  For low and slow, I only light a single spot in the lump pile.  For something like a reverse sear on a couple of steaks, I'll light a couple do spots in the lump pile.  For a roast/braise, maybe 3 spots in the pile.  Finally, for a high temp pizza cook, I'll light four spots in the lump pile.  

 

Lighting lump in a chimney and then dumping that into a lump pile just doesn't fit my way of kamado cooking.  There is o right/wrong way, but some ways may be more preferable to others.

 

I wish everyone well in there kamado journey.

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