Can chimney starter damage Weber?

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BAPyessir6

Senior Cook
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I live in a town home area so I can't light my chimney starter on the patio (I hear you can explode the concrete anyway if you do that, but also we aren't allowed to put marks on the patio). So I light my chimney starter on the second (deeper) grate on my charcoal Weber grill but I've heard that you can damage your Weber if you light the chimney starter on it. Is this true?
 
I start my chimney in the grill on the bottom grate just as you described. It's the best way to go and the only way I've ever done it My Weber is about 20 years old.

There's lots of bad advice on the internet. If you have questions about your Weber, start at the Weber website.
 
1972 we got a small hibachi-for-two.
every since I've lit up the chimney with lump charcoal on the grate . . . of many many grills ever since . . .
the grates are intended to take the heat.
 
It is possible for a chimney starter to damage your concrete patio. What happens is water trapped in the pores of the concrete gets hot enough to flash to steam, and concrete (or even rocks) explode.

I use my Weber chimney starter on top of the fire (bottom) grate in my Weber Kettle. That is perfectly safe.

EDIT: To directly answer the OP question, using a chimney starter on the charcoal grate of your Weber Kettle will not harm your grill.

CD
 
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I agree.
There is no issue at all.
After all, you can also start a fire on the bottom grid without a starter to get your fire going.
It's all designed to cope with the heat.
Your grid may watp a bit, but that's not an issue (I use hardwood lump charcoal that burns very hot. No issues)
 
The bottom (charcoal) grate is where you place the chimney. Not on the ground.
Something I have learned is a few drops of used cooking oil on the paper really speeds it up.
Also, I save Amazon and other packing paper for lighting the chimney. We don't get a newspaper anymore and the packing paper with a few drops of oil works fantastic.
Another thing I have is a cooking grate that fits my chimney. It is designed to fit the Weber chimney starter. Seven inch, I think? Perfect for a single steak or to sear something from the sous vide.
 
I'm curious as to why you would even start the chimney on the ground in the first place? I've never heard or seen that done. It's always been done right in the grill.
To me, the farther you must lift, carry and dump that chimney, the more likely there will be an accident. JMHO
 
yes - but . . . if you have to lift the (hot) grate to dump the coals 'under' . . . .
also not a cake walk for the unprepared.

on something like a hibachi or a rectangular clam shell, less of a 'deal' than on a round Weber, supported by a center stalk . . .
 
yes - but . . . if you have to lift the (hot) grate to dump the coals 'under' . . . .
also not a cake walk for the unprepared.

on something like a hibachi or a rectangular clam shell, less of a 'deal' than on a round Weber, supported by a center stalk . . .
We're talking about the bottom grate. Take off the cooking surface grate and light the chimney sitting on the lower grate where the hot charcoal burns during cooking.

A round Weber does not have a center post. The grates sit on tabs around the perimeter of the bottom half of the tub.
 
I'm curious as to why you would even start the chimney on the ground in the first place? I've never heard or seen that done. It's always been done right in the grill.
To me, the farther you must lift, carry and dump that chimney, the more likely there will be an accident. JMHO

If I m doing a very long cook on the Weber Kettle, like smoking a pork shoulder, you may need to light some more charcoal to add halfway through. That's the only time I've needed to start any charcoal on the ground. I just do it over dirt.

CD
 
I reread the OP's post, guess I started to assume from the other posts that they were starting it on the ground anyhow. I now realize they were actually doing it correct in the first place but thought they might incur damage.
LOL... so No, BAPyessir, you will not damage your unit. Keep on as you always have.
 
there is zero.zero question about supe-high-'spot heating' causing concrete (anything) to "explode" aka spall.
so, while that is a factual / established "truth" - I'm still totally puzzled as to why one would would light up a starter chimney on some random concrete/other surface.

is that some internet video "rule"?
 
If I m doing a very long cook on the Weber Kettle, like smoking a pork shoulder, you may need to light some more charcoal to add halfway through. That's the only time I've needed to start any charcoal on the ground. I just do it over dirt.

CD
I just toss a few new briquettes onto the lit charcoal and that keeps it going.
 
there is zero.zero question about supe-high-'spot heating' causing concrete (anything) to "explode" aka spall.
so, while that is a factual / established "truth" - I'm still totally puzzled as to why one would would light up a starter chimney on some random concrete/other surface.

is that some internet video "rule"?

I think people do it because concrete is a non-flammable surface, so one would assume it is a safe place. You could probably do that hundreds of times, and not have a problem. But, it only takes that one time, and you have little flying bits of concrete shrapnel.

CD
 
I live in a town home area so I can't light my chimney starter on the patio (I hear you can explode the concrete anyway if you do that, but also we aren't allowed to put marks on the patio). So I light my chimney starter on the second (deeper) grate on my charcoal Weber grill but I've heard that you can damage your Weber if you light the chimney starter on it. Is this true?
No. You can use the top or bottom grate if you want too. Weber sells grates if you ever need another one.
Using the bottom grate is much easier as when they are ready you can just dump them out. If you use top grate, you must remove it to dump the coals.
If I m doing a very long cook on the Weber Kettle, like smoking a pork shoulder, you may need to light some more charcoal to add halfway through. That's the only time I've needed to start any charcoal on the ground. I just do it over dirt.

CD

I just toss a few new briquettes onto the lit charcoal and that keeps it going.
I never have to add coals to long cooks. I use the snake method and adjust the size of the snake to ambient temperature and cooking time. With a good charcoal, you can get several hours of cooking time. I have heard of 12 hour cooks and I'm not sure if it is true. But I got 8 hours a few weeks ago with part of the snake remaining.
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Roll Bones, how does that work? put them in a circular pattern with the majority to start in the center? Then as it burns down, you push the outer ones in?
 

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