Make a charcoal chimney

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Revision as of 17:45, 17 July 2006 by Hapa (talk | contribs) (added Usage Notes)
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Lighting charcoal briquettes without lighter fluid is easy with this homemade Charcoal Chimney

Materials Needed

  • 1 #10 tin can (coffee can)
  • 1 can opener
  • 1 church key
  • 2 Wire coat hangers
  • 1 drill with a 1/8" drill bit
  • 1 pair of diagonal cutters
  • 1 pair of needle nose pliers

Making the Charcoal Chimney

Placing the holes

  • Begin with a clean #10 tin can remove any labeling that may be on the can.
  • With the can opener remove both ends to form a basic chimney (Fig 1)
  • Using the church key make a series of triangular holes on one side of the can separated by about 2 inches (see Fig 2.) (this side will be referred to as the bottom)
  • Drill two sets of eight holes about 3 inches from the bottom of the can (see Fig 3.) with about 3/4 of an inch separating the 2 holes in each set
  • Drill 4 holes for handle (see illustration)

Making a Wire Mesh

  • Open the coat hangers and straighten with the pliers
  • Cut the coat hanger into 12 8 inch pieces using the diagonal cutters
  • With the pliers form a hook at one end of each of the 12 pieces of wire about 3/4" in diameter

Threading the Holes

  1. Thread the straight end of the wire through the can to it's opposite hole making sure to thread the hook end into it's corresponding hole
  2. With the pliers form a hook at the opposite end of each of the wire and thread through it's corresponding hole.
  3. Using the pliers bend the hooks on the inside part of the can so they cannot be removed
  4. repeat for each wire


Fig 1. Removing the ends
Fig 2. Placing Triangular Holes
Fig 3. Placing 2 sets of 8 1/8" holes
Fig 4. Threading the Hanger wire
Fig 5. Finished Wire Mesh
Fig 6. Finished product


  • Be careful, I cut myself twice while building this be smarter than me, use gloves.
  • I make absolutely no claim to the safety of this project, make it and use it at your own risk. There are professionally built Charcoal Chimneys on the market (see #Amazon's Related Products below please consider buying one if for any reason you feel uncomfortable about making your own.

Usage Notes

This particular design lights enough lit charcoal to fill a small barbecue, perfect for cooking a few burgers at a time. If you need to fill a large barbecue then you may want to make more than one of these or consider purchasing a larger one.

More to come

This tutorial is unfinished I will finish it shortly and add another tutorial about How to Light charcoal without lighter fluid using this chimney


  • (ISBN 1563058669
  • (ISBN 0761120149
  • (ISBN 1558322973

Amazon's Related Products

  • (ASIN B00004U9VV
  • (ASIN B00004RALR
  • (ASIN B000F64UKA

See Also

External Links

In use

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