The 10 Best Chimney Starters

Updated April 08, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

10 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.

10. 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
  • very stable stance
  • metal rusts and warps quickly
Brand Steven Raichlen Best of
Model SR8041
Weight 3.4 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

9. 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 2 pounds of charcoal possible without the need for lighter fluid. It also includes the same hand protection as more expensive models.
  • works in heavy winds
  • could use more airflow holes
  • metal feels a bit thin
Brand GrillPro
Model 39470
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. Lodge Charcoal Prepper

The Lodge Charcoal Prepper stands at 12 inches tall, allowing it not only to hold many briquettes, but also to produce hot coals in just 10 minutes. Additionally, a shielded wooden handle makes for safe and comfortable movement.
  • made of corrosion-resistant steel
  • doesn't require much starter paper
  • takes seconds to light
Brand Lodge
Model A5-1
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

7. Charcoal Companion

Unlike many other models, which are usually silver, the Charcoal Companion is black. This helps it stay looking nice and new for longer, since the large scorch marks from the roaring fire will be less noticeable. It also features an attractive wooden handle.
  • gets briquettes ready in 15 minutes
  • multiple ignition points
  • overall durability is questionable
Brand Charcoal Companion
Model CC4041
Weight 2.4 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

6. Cuisinart CCC-100

The Cuisinart CCC-100 is packed with air holes and not just on the bottom. They run the full length of the unit and are evenly spaced throughout. This helps to ensure there are no areas of your fire that are starved of oxygen and all the coals burn at the same rate.
  • logo on the handle
  • oversized heat shield flaps
  • lightweight at just 1-and-a-half lbs
Brand Cuisinart
Model CCC-100
Weight 2.3 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

5. Royal Gourmet Foldable

Anybody who hikes a long distance to their campsite will appreciate the Royal Gourmet Foldable. As the name implies, it is simple to store since, when collapsed, it is very compact. It features eight large holes to ensure proper airflow.
  • also works as a standalone bbq
  • includes a steel cooking grill
  • easy to pour out the briquettes
Brand Royal Gourmet
Model TD1402
Weight 5.3 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. Weber 7447 Rapidfire Compact

For small or portable grills there is the Weber 7447 Rapidfire Compact. It boasts the same construction quality and fast coal heating ability as its full-size cousin, but can be much more easily tucked away into the trunk or a camping bag.
  • works with all kinds of charcoal
  • ribbed handle for a secure grip
  • won't be big enough for some
Brand Weber
Model 7447
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

3. Firefly Grill 'N More

The Firefly Grill 'N More can hold up to five pounds of charcoal and allows for quick-fire starting without the need for any lighter fluid. It feels very well-made and should stand up to years of constant use, making it a favorite of many grill masters.
  • galvanized charcoal rack
  • large lighter hole
  • rust-resistant components
Brand Firefly Grill 'N More
Model AH-XCS07
Weight 3.5 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. BBQ Dragon Insanity

The BBQ Dragon Insanity sports an elbow tube that makes it possible to light it 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.
  • compatible with a clip-on blower
  • nylon handle won't overheat
  • makes starting a fire super easy
Brand BBQ Dragon
Model BBQD100
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

1. Weber 7416 Rapidfire

The venerable and best-selling Weber 7416 Rapidfire features a cone-shaped bottom that ensures a fast start, and a straightforward metal construction that will stand the test of time. It can hold enough charcoal for a 22.5-inch kettle-style grill.
  • stay-cool thermoplastic handle
  • made from aluminized steel
  • second handle to aid lifting
Brand Weber
Model 7416
Weight 3.6 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

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Last updated on April 08, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.


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