BBQ Charcoal Starter

About: relaxed pic

I've always used a charcoal BBQ, and I've used a charcoal starter chimney to start the charcoal for years. I had a Weber brand one that lasted about ten years, until it rusted away, the handle and heat shield live on, on this new Stainless Steel Charcoal starter.

I had purchased a no name brand of starter that lasted less than two years, then I thought a stainless steel one would be the way to go, it would take the heat and never rust away.

To buy the material would be cost prohibitive, a source for the S.S.would have to be found. Luckily some machines at the place I work where on their way to be recycled soon and they had some very nice S.S. pieces. I managed to extract two identical pieces, the project could begin.

Step 1: Materials and Tools Needed

I had two 16" x 8" pieces of Stainless Steel that are either 18 or 16 gauge and are quit heavy. A piece of 16" x 7.5 " piece of perforated steel. I had some S.S. bolts on hand they are 1/4" x 1" and nuts, washers and lock washers qty. 6 of each.

The handle and heat shield from my old long lasting Weber BBQ Charcoal starter.

The place I work also has a small manufacturing shop. The person that worked there said he would cut and form the S.S for me, he used an industrial sheet metal shear and an industrial sheet metal brake to do the work. Thank you Kevin W.

I also needed to used my electric power drill, a step drill bit and an electrical 1" knock out punch and a ratchet wrench to use it.

A 7/16" socket and wrench for the bolts.

Step 2: Construction

Sorry I don't have pictures of the forming or drilling, but you can see the results in the pictures.

The two identical pieces have four 1/4" holes in them and one of the pieces has two additional 1/4" holes that match the holes on the heat shield / handle combination.

Using the step drill bit, pilot holes were drilled for the knock out punch, I needed a 3/8'' hole for the bolt of the 1" punch.

The holes were punched out, two per side, about 1 1/2" from the bottom edge.

The two halves were bolted together and the handle / Heat shield was bolted on.

When it was bolted together. I then took the perforated steel piece folded a right angle about 4" inches from one edge, then placed it on the chimney and made a second right angle so that it just would fit inside the chimney at the bottom. The way it fits in is so that it holds the charcoal above the punched holes.

It is now completed and ready to be tested.

Step 3: Using the Charcoal Starter

Paper starter in the BBQ.

Place starter on top of paper in BBQ.

I also use a couple of pieces of ZIP charcoal starter, placed on top of the perforated metal.

Added charcoal, I use the wood type not the briquet type.

Lit the paper underneath the starter.

Smoke starts to appear.

More smoke and now flames.

It's burning quit well now.

Coals are starting to glow now.

After about ten minutes the glowing coals are dumped into the BBQ.

Grill is put on and time to look for something to BBQ.

Step 4: What It Looks Like After the First Use

The Stainless Steel becomes discoloured with a bit of a rainbow effect.

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    2 Discussions

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    lolamatic

    5 days ago

    Neat. You might even be able to add another line of holes and a bend to change the size to accommodate less charcoal for a quick cook. That might be more headache than it's worth though!

    1 reply
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    john pedersenlolamatic

    Reply 5 days ago

    Thanks for the comment lolamatic, it seems to be getting enough air flow as it is, besides the knock-out punch seemed to be at it's limit with this gauge of Stainless Steel. Thanks again for the suggestion though.