DIY Charcoal Chimney

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It’s barbeque season, folks. Many grilling experts recommend preparing your charcoal in a charcoal chimney. Aaron Newcomb made his own charcoal chimney for less than 20 dollars and documented how on his website.

20 thoughts on “DIY Charcoal Chimney

  1. Looks like he’s using galvanized ducting for this hack.

    The vapor emitted from hot galvanized steel is toxic to breathe!!!

  2. “Aaron Newcomb made his own charcoal chimney for less than 20 dollars”

    That’s great and all. I certainly applaud his ingenuity, but…I got my charcoal chimney at some big-box store for about 12 bucks.

  3. Don’t these things only cost $12 or so? I remember buying mine at a local hardware store for something around that. Nice construction, though. Even if it’s somewhat toxic (re-galvanized steel comment), it still beats lighter fluid.

  4. I think that’s a picture of his old flimsy charcoal chimney. He built a ‘monster’ one out of metal duct that seems to be about 3X larger.

  5. You’re right, James, and that’s the point of his project– it’s bigger than your standard charcoal chimney and therefore better for entertaining guests (galvanization aside). Plus it’s always fun to make your own of something…

  6. … and brain damage from the galvanizing will make the guests easy to entertain. This was a good idea, but he needs to get STOVEPIPE (the black kind) and not common duct (the shiny kind).

  7. I remember using something like this when we would go tailgate camping in he boy scouts. Ours were made out of large (gallon size?) tin cans, top and bottom cut out and triangle shaped holes around the bottom edge made with a can opener. Thy were very effective and the price was cheap as free.

  8. Just use a portable propane or mapp gass torch, it’s faster.

    Also use natural charcoal rather than crap that’s got binders in it. It burns fine and the tastes imparted are fantastic.

  9. What poo-poo’ers. This is a great idea. No one is going to cook *over* the chimney starter, nor is anyone going to huff the fumes. The commercial chimney start I have looks like it was made of galvanized steel. I probably breathe more heavy metals during a hot shower.

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Becky Stern is a Content Creator at Autodesk/Instructables, and part time faculty at New York’s School of Visual Arts Products of Design grad program. Making and sharing are her two biggest passions, and she's created hundreds of free online DIY tutorials and videos, mostly about technology and its intersection with crafts. Find her @bekathwia on YouTube/Twitter/Instagram.

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