How to Use a Charcoal Grill Without a Chimney: Read and Find Out!

How to Use a Charcoal Grill Without a Chimney

The best charcoal grill is a must-have for anyone who is into outdoor cooking. Whether it is in the patio and when you are out tailgating, a charcoal grill opens a world of possibilities when it comes to mouthwatering feasts you can prepare.

To make the most out of your charcoal grill, you must learn how to use it properly. Among others, one of the most important things you need to know is how to fire it up.

The quickest way of lighting a fire is through the use of a chimney starter. However, the charcoal chimney method may not always work, especially when there is no chimney starter.

That said, keep on reading this short article and we’ll talk about how to use a charcoal grill without a chimney starter.

How to Use a Charcoal Grill Without a Chimney

1.    Start by Cleaning the Grill

Before anything else, clean the grill, even if it is your first time using it right out of the box. This will lessen the chances that there will be foul odor or smell because of the chemicals from the brand-new grill.

Also, this gets rid of dirt and debris from the previous grilling. If not cleaned, the efficiency of the grill will suffer.

2.    Put Paper in the Grill

Now that the grill is clean and ready, load the grill with paper. Rolled-up paper is one of the best materials that can help you light up the grill without using a chimney starter. Old cardboard will also work. Place the paper on the bottom part of the grill.

3.    Douse with Lighter Fluid

When the paper is already arranged at the bottom of the grill, douse it with lighter fluid. The fluid will help to create flames and for the paper to stay on fire.

When it is wet with fluid, put charcoal briquettes on the top. Stack the briquettes properly and douse it with lighter fluid as well.

Be careful when pouring the fluid and avoid the sides of the grill as it can catch fire once you light up the briquettes.

4.    Light Up the Grill

At this point, almost everything is ready, and you can now fire it up. Use a long-stemmed lighter to initiate fire on the charcoal briquettes. Spread the charcoal evenly as it is set in flames. This is crucial for the even distribution of heat throughout the grill.

5.    Building and Keeping the Fire

Lighting the charcoal grill is just the first step of the process. You also need to work on building the fire and keeping it burning. Otherwise, you will end up frustrating.

The heat will also be uneven, which can affect the outcomes of grilling. One of the most important is to keep the coals packed. However, do not crowd them in a single portion of the grill as it affects the distribution of heat.

It is also important that you regularly add more coals in the grill to keep the fire burning. If you are grilling for an extended period, add two to three handfuls of charcoal every half hour.

To sustain the fire, another important thing to do is to open the vents of the grill. The more air the fire gets, the hotter it becomes. Oxygen is important for the fire to burn.

If you want to cook food slowly in low fire, adjust the opening of the vent accordingly.

Another thing that you can do is to add hardwood. There are countless options available, including mesquite, hickory, maple, and applewood.

Along with charcoal, they can keep the fire burning for an extended period, which means that you don’t have to light it up in the middle of grilling.

As a bonus, the hardwood also effectively adds a mouthwatering flavor to whatever it is you are grilling.


Knowing how to use a charcoal grill without a chimney starter is important to light up the fire when the chimney method isn’t available. As noted above, it is simple and uses only paper, briquettes, lighter fluid, and a lighter. It won’t take long before the grill is ready and you can prepare a delicious grilled treat!