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Apr 20, 2009 01:11 PM

Charcoal Grill - NYC

So I have a 20x10 terrace in Manhattan, and I bought a Weber charcoal grill last summer. I've been using the charcoal with lighter fluid already on them, and they have been a disaster. My neighbors all complained about the smell of the lighter fluid/gasoline. Does anyone know how to prevent the smell of gasoline/lighter fluid? I've heard that using a chimney starter should do the trick. Any suggestions would be money!

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    1. You already have the answer, chimney starter.

      5 Replies
      1. re: KTinNYC

        thanks. hopefully this gets rid of my problems with my neighbors!

        1. re: babaganoushface

          In case you have never used a chimney starter, its real easy:

          Stuff two full size sheets of newsprint (broadsheet size, not the tab's size) in the bottom, fill with your briquettes, then stand it up in your firebox, set a lit match to the newsprint and 20 minutes later you will have hot coals read for cooking. Much better than petro-chemicals.

          And as Alton Brown likes to say, dual purpose, you can read the paper and then use it to help cook dinner.

          1. re: ChinoWayne

            I saw an interesting tip to use a paperplate with stale potato chips as the fire source for the chimney starter. Interesting concept, anyway.

            1. re: jeanmarieok

              That is a good waste of potato chips! I've never had any sit around long enough to go stale. You can achieve the same effect by pouring some cooking oil on your newspapers but I don't think it'd be necessary.

              1. re: KTinNYC

                You are correct, adding anything to the newsprint is not necessary. Just use newsprint and while you are waiting for the coals to turn white enjoy a nice cocktail or two.

      2. Here is a youtube video that shows how to do it.

        There is no need for lighter fluid. Besides being noxious-smelling, it can impart unwanted flavors to your food.
        I wouldn't use briquettes that already have lighter fluid in them if using this method-defeats the purpose.
        Use regular briquettes, and once you're proficient, try finding lump charcoal to use in place of briquettes. Better all around, imho.

        1. I'm glad your neighbors complained. Hopefully everyone will eventually start using a chimney starter! Your next step is to graduate from briquettes to real hardwood charcoal.

          1. Buy a chimney started, Weber had the best rated @$15. +/- at Home Depot, it'll pay for itself in one season, your food will not have a taste of petrol and your neighbors will be much happier about you.