How to build a fire for BBQ’n

Cooking over wood and coals produces the best barbeque, and knowing how to build the proper fire is very important.  There are all sorts of fire starter products, gas flame throwers, and other gimmicks on the market but all you really need to start the proper fire is three things.

  1. Charcoal Chimney:   Metal cylinder with a grate in the bottom designed to hold charcoal.  The coals burn from bottom to top and produce hot coals in about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Newspaper: placed in the bottom of the Charcoal Chimney. Produces the initial fire to light the bottom coals
  3. Fire Source: Used to light the newspaper.  I use the Aim-n-Flame style lighter  it keeps your hands away from the fire and is fast.  Any lighter or a simple match will work.

To start the coals simple place one sheet of crumpled newspaper in the bottom of the charcoal chimney.  Place the chimney on a smooth surface away from any structure (I use a concrete paving brick).  Fill the chimney with charcoal and light the newspaper with the Aim-n-Flame.  Stand back and in about 15-20 minutes you will have hot coals ready for the grill.

Once the coals are ready I place them in the grill, add more charcoal to the coals according to how hot of a fire you need for your smoker and place the smoking wood on top of the coals.  As the coals burn it will ignite the wood and you’ll get just the right amount of smoke.

About Malcolm (the Author)

For over a decade now Malcom Reed has been competing in barbecue competitions... and it didn't take long for this hobby to develop into a full-blown addiction. After being inspired by the comradery and brotherhood of the sport, Malcom developed, a website devoted to sharing BBQ techniques and promoting the Competition BBQ Lifestyle. Through his cooking team, The Killer Hogs, and his barbecue business, Malcom is a constant student of 'Que... and his goal is to and his goal is to share his knowledge and passion with everyone.