The 7 Best Chimney Starters

Updated May 06, 2017 by Johnny Woodard

7 Best Chimney Starters
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 26 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Don't undo everything charcoal does for the flavor of your food by dousing the briquettes in lighter fluid before you cook. Instead, kick off your grilling quickly and easily with one of these quality chimney starters. Each is designed to be ignited with only a few wads of newspaper and a match, and to deliver red-hot coals in a matter of minutes. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best chimney starter on Amazon.

7. GrillPro 39470

Those seeking a bare bones but effective option won't find better than the GrillPro 39470. Its no-frills design makes heating as much as two pounds of charcoal possible in just about 10 minutes. It also includes the same hand protection as more expensive models.
  • basic but rugged materials
  • wide synthetic handle
  • won't outlast higher-end models
Brand GrillPro
Model 39470
Weight 1.8 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Weber 7447 Rapidfire Compact

For small or portable grills there is the Weber 7447 Rapidfire Compact. It boasts the same construction quality and rapid coal heating ability as its full-size cousin, but can be much more easily tucked away into the trunk or a camping bag.
  • starts quickly with paper
  • sturdy single handle
  • won't be big enough for some
Brand Weber
Model 7447
Weight 1.7 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

5. Steven Raichlen Ultimate

The Steven Raichlen Ultimate is one of the largest models available, with a generous seven-pound capacity. Its Bakelite handle stays cool and a second flip-up handle lends added control for moving and dumping the unit when it is filled with burning embers.
  • ideal for multiple grills
  • wide holes make starting easy
  • square shape helps when pouring
Brand Steven Raichlen Best of
Model SR8041
Weight 3.4 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

4. BBQ Dragon Insanity

The BBQ Dragon Insanity sports an elbow tube that makes it possible to light the unit without lifting or moving it. During heating, this novel design allows more air to flow into the frame, expediting the process. Also, the engraved dragon simply looks cool.
  • can serve as forced-air grill
  • nylon handle won't overheat
  • includes a full heat shield
Brand BBQ Dragon
Model BBQD100
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

3. OutXPro Charcoal

The OutXPro Charcoal lights coals evenly and quickly, so you can be ready to grill in as little as 15 minutes. This slick looking black canister is treated with durable, heat-resistant paint and sports a comfortable hardwood handle.
  • holds four pounds of charcoal
  • heat shield protects hands
  • lighter than similar models
Brand OUTXPRO
Model pending
Weight 3.2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

2. Lodge Charcoal Prepper

The Lodge Charcoal Prepper stands at 12 inches, allowing it not only to hold many briquettes, but also to produce hot coals in just 10 to 15 minutes. Additionally, a shielded wooden handle makes for safe and comfortable movement of the unit.
  • made of rust-resistant steel
  • takes seconds to light
  • respected manufacturer
Brand Lodge
Model A5-1
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

1. Weber Rapidfire

The venerable and best-selling Weber Rapidfire features a cone-shaped bottom that ensures a fast start, and a straightforward metal construction that will stand the test of time. Its open top can also be used to perfectly sear sous-vide meats in a matter of seconds.
  • stay-cool thermoplastic handle
  • made from aluminized steel
  • additional handle aids lifting
Brand Weber
Model 7416
Weight 3.7 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

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Last updated on May 06, 2017 by Johnny Woodard

Johnny Woodard fled the sweltering South and a career in journalism to pursue comedy and edit a popular comedy/sports website in Los Angeles.


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