Home - The Best Charcoal Starters in 2023

The Best Charcoal Starters in 2023

by Alexander Wong

Charcoal grills are a great pastime and can even provide better-tasting food when utilized properly. But we all know starting those charcoals can be a pesky business. That’s why you need to get the best charcoal starters for those upcoming spring and summer grilling sessions.

We’ve analyzed models in the market in terms of their size, ease of use, safety, and effectiveness in order to provide you with a list of the top ten chimney charcoal starters. Let’s jump right in!

Top Charcoal Starters Reviews

1. Weber 7429 Rapid Fire Chimney Starter

Weber 7429 Rapidfire Chimney Starter

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The first model in review is a large charcoal starter chimney from Weber. The Weber 7429 Rapid Fire Chimney Starter is the most well-built model on the market, and that’s no surprise coming from the grill experts at Weber. The unit is easy to handle and even easier to use.

Consumers have nothing but high praise for this charcoal starter from Weber. It’s noted as being very sturdy, easy to use and allowing for great airflow to the charcoal.

2. Kingsford Grilling BB0466 Deluxe BBQ Chimney Starter

Kingsford Grilling BB0466 Deluxe BBQ Chimney Starter For Charcoal Grill, Silver

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Landing at the second spot in the charcoal chimney starter reviews is the Kingsford Grilling BB0466 Deluxe BBQ Chimney Starter. This unit is your classic chimney charcoal starter with a heat-shielded handle and lighting access holes on the bottom to ignite your kindling, whatever that may be.

Consumers are head over heels for this Kingsford Grilling charcoal chimney. It’s noted as being perfect for small to medium-sized charcoal grills and does exactly what it should, how it should.

3. Weber 7447 Compact Rapidfire Chimney Starter

Weber 7447 Compact Rapidfire Chimney Starter

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This next Weber model is more of a mini charcoal chimney. It’s still wide at its chimney opening but this Weber 7447 Compact Rapidfire Chimney Starter is designed for charcoal grills on the smaller end. It’s equipped with a heat shield and ergonomic handle for simple and safe handling.

Consumers love the size of this compact Weber charcoal chimney starter, stating that it’s extremely easy to handle and fits the perfect amount of briquettes for small grills.

4. Char-Broil Electric Charcoal Starter

Char-Broil Electric Charcoal Starter

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This next model is less of a chimney model but it’s the best electric charcoal lighter you’ll find. This model plugs into an outlet and is one of the safer charcoal starters thanks to its lack of flames. This unit utilizes a metal loop that heats up and is placed on the charcoals to get them started.

This Char-Broil charcoal starter is a hit among consumers and specifically so because of its ability to function in windy conditions. Additionally, some call it “easy, quick, and effective.

5. JJGeorge Grill Torch Charcoal Starter

JJGeorge Grill Torch Charcoal Starter

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This next model will interest the pyros among us. The JJGeorge Grill Torch Charcoal Starter is a great BBQ fire starter but isn’t a chimney. This model utilizes propane or MAP gas cylinders and a torch handle to directly light the charcoals and effectively start the charcoal quicker than most models.

Aside from its simplistic nature, consumers love the customer support from JJGeorge. Consumers also note that it’s the fastest way to get your charcoals going.

6. BBQ Dragon Charcoal Starter and Grill Lighter

BBQ Dragon Charcoal Starter and Grill Lighter, BBQ Lighter Grill Fan/Battery-Powered Bellows Faster Than Charcoal Chimney Starter BBQ Fan, Smoker Fan, Charcoal Lighter Weber Kettle Grill Accessory

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This next charcoal grill chimney is more of a fan than a lighter itself. The BBQ Dragon Charcoal Starter and Grill Lighter is an adjustable air-bellowing device that keeps a constant airflow on the charcoals for expeditious charcoal lighting.

This unit is also massively versatile and capable of being used in many fire-starting activities.

Consumers are slightly disjointed in their reviews of this BBQ Dragon unit. While some find it useful and efficient at starting their charcoal, others claim the system burns the bottom charcoals too much before lighting the entire pile.

7. GrillPro 39470 Chimney Charcoal Starter

GrillPro 39470 Chimney Charcoal Starter, Silver

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This next barbecue coal fire starter can hold over two pounds of charcoal briquettes. The GrillPro 39470 Chimney Charcoal Starter is one of the larger capacity chimneys on the list and is constructed from durable metal and is also engineered with a heat-shielded handle.

Consumers are pretty blown away with this unit when they first use it. One such consumer even questions why they were using lighter fluid all this time! Consumers love it and claim it works as advertised.

8. Beau Jardin Charcoal Chimney Starter

Charcoal Chimney Starter 11"X7

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The Beau Jardin Charcoal Chimney Starter is another compact charcoal chimney. It’s perfect for small to medium grills, but don’t let it fool you. This chimney can hold up to four pounds of charcoals simultaneously and have you ready to go in under 20 minutes.

Aside from the few consumers who report receiving incomplete units, the Beau Jardin chimney is mostly satisfactory for consumers. It’s noted as safe to use thanks to the heat shield and it’s also claimed that it’s very efficient.

9. Oklahoma Joe’s 9848125R04 Half-Time Charcoal Starter XL

Oklahoma Joe's 9848125R04 Half-Time Charcoal Starter XL, Brown/A

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The Oklahoma Joe’s 9848125R04 Half-Time Charcoal Starter XL is the only wide-mouthed grill chimney on the list. The wider chimney design allows for the charcoals to heat more evenly, reducing the worry that your bottom charcoals will burn out and ash before the top layers are prepared.

Most consumers are happy with this Oklahoma Joe’s chimney charcoal starter, aside from the few who note that the handle melted. Many note that they’ve been using this unit for years and don’t expect to need a new one for quite some time still.

10. HOMENOTE Rapid Charcoal Chimney Starter

HOMENOTE Rapid Charcoal Chimney Starter Set Fireplace Accessories Lighter Cubes BBQ Heat Resistant Gloves Blower BBQ Tools

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The final barbecue chimney in review is the HOMENOTE Rapid Charcoal Chimney Starter. This is the only model on our list that comes with included accessories such as starter cubes, a portable air blower, and heat-resistant mitts.

However, some consumers have reservations about the heat resistance of the mitts. It’s also the only wooden-handled model in review.

Consumers, as with many of the similarly designed chimneys, find this HOMENOTE model to be an efficient manner in which to start their charcoal. For many consumers, it’s exactly what they were expecting.


The following is a list of FAQs regarding charcoal chimney starters:
How do charcoal chimney sizes effect the charcoal?
Depending on the height and width of the charcoal chimney, the charcoals will burn or ignite more or less evenly throughout. For instance, the Oklahoma Joe's model allows for all of the charcoal to get a relatively even burn so that you're not worrying about your bottom charcoals ash-ing up before the top is ready. In comparison, the taller, thinner chimneys tend to burn the bottom layers with much more intensity before the top layers can get going, meaning that your charcoals may start unevenly and will be prepared less uniformly.
Which model of charcoal starter is the most efficient at evenly burning/starting charcoals?
The most efficient charcoal starter model is likely the torch style from JJGeorge. This torch-style starter allows you to ignite and get your charcoals started in a flash, but of course, you have to move the torch around the charcoals until they're all started. In that regard, they're less efficient even though they ignite the charcoals faster. The Oklahoma Joe's wide-mouthed model is most likely the best model for evenly burning/starting your charcoal as it's the model best suited to provide flames to the entirety of the charcoal supply.
Why does zinc plating elongate the lifespan of chimney charcoal starters?
Any model that lists zinc plating or a zinc component in steel construction is a winning model. This is because of zinc's ability to block out oxygen and water from reaching the steel surface. Therefore, any model with zinc components is the least likely to take on rust and degradation over time, thus, improving its lifespan immensely.

How to Light a Charcoal Grill

Summer is here, and every foodie knows it is barbeque season. The charcoal grill guarantees fresh and smoky flavored food from roasting meat over the flames to buggers and sausages. Nothing is more satisfying to a cook than serving charred food with a rich smell.

Every barbeque starts with lighting the charcoal grill. Knowing how to light a charcoal grill is essential because it improves your grilling skills. However, lighting a charcoal grill is a challenge to many.

Best Ways to Light up Charcoal

To light the charcoal grill, you will need a lighter, lighter fluid, a wire brush, and charcoal. Here are the best ways to fire up your charcoal grill:

How to Light your Charcoal Grill with a Chimney

The charcoal chimney is also referred to as a charcoal starter. It is a metal cylinder that keeps briquettes together and has air spaces to facilitate the fast ignition of the charcoal. This is one of the best methods of lighting your coal.

How to Light a Charcoal Grill Without Lighter Fluid

Many people avoid charcoal grilling because of the lighter fluid. Lighter fluid may make your food taste like gasoline.

Coal soaked in lighter fluid will make your food smell unpleasant as the food will absorb the chemicals from the coal while cooking. Most grillers prefer using natural ways of lighting coal as it positively impacts the flavor of the meat.

Here are ways of lighting a charcoal grill without lighter fluid:

Lighting your grill with an electric charcoal starter Electronic charcoal starter is an electronic gadget with a handle on one side and a coil on the other end, which acts as a heating element. All you have to do is make it hot enough by plugging it into a power source to light up the charcoal.

Although electric charcoal starters light up the charcoal slowly, they eliminate the need for lighter fluid and newspapers.

Lighting your grill with a loof lighter

Looflighter is also known as a hot air charcoal starter. This method makes lighting a charcoal grill super easy. Whereas the charcoal chimney ignites charcoal in fifteen minutes, the loof lighter can ignite coal briquettes in two minutes.

The loof lighter operates like a paint stripper by focusing hot air on the charcoal. The look lighter functions as a power blower, which fans the flame.

Looflighters are pricier than other techniques of lighting a charcoal grill, but they are safe and efficient.

Fire starter briquette

This is an easy alternative to using lighter fluid, and you can easily find them at your local grocery store or hardware store. These briquettes will burn much cleaner than lighter fluid.

They are preferred to lighter fluid because they burn entirely and thus don’t leave residual flavor on your food.

With this information at your fingertips, lighting a charcoal grill will no longer be a daunting task. However, avoid using lighter fluid as it leaves a chemical aftertaste in your food. Use the above natural ways when lighting your grill for a chemical-free meal.


In conclusion, the Weber 7429 Rapid Fire Chimney Starter is the best model on the market, hands down. However, not everyone needs this size or necessarily wants this style.

For those looking for a different style, we suggest the JJGeorge torch as it’s the best model outside of the chimney style for starting your charcoals. For those looking for the evenest charcoal starting for larger grill models, we recommend Oklahoma Joe’s model because of its wide-mouthed design.

No matter the model you’re interested in, be sure that it will cover your bases when you go to buy a charcoal chimney starter for your grill. Stop using lighter fluids and risk your health! Get your chimney charcoal starter today!

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