Review: Weber 7416 Rapidfire Chimney Starter
As far as chimneys go, this is a good one. It's made with a solid, heavy gauge body, sturdy handle and grab loop for pouring out briquettes. The heavy wire "basket" the coals sit on top of allows more flame from burning newspapers to ignite the briquettes, and the area for the newspaper is larger than most, so better chance the coals will light the first time. My only complaints are that it really needs to come in a larger size. Maybe that would make it too heavy to safely pour out the hot coals, but there are times I need to fire up a smaller one to have enough coals to spread out in a full size kettle. Also, with all these types of lighting chimneys, by the time the ones on the top are getting started, the ones on the very bottom are starting to disintegrate, and you end up with a mass of some almost out coals mixed with ones just right, and some just getting started. Maybe taper it at the bottom like other designs I've seen? I would love to see a chimney with an electric element that has a loop at the bottom, and a rod that rises through the middle to get the whole party started at once. Heating element might not be able to handle the stress, or be too expensive, but Weber needs to work on that.
- Aluminized steel construction
- Large capacity charcoal bin
- Special cone-shaped grate
- Gives you hot coals in under 15 minutes without using lighter fluid
- Stay-cool handle
- Weber chimney starter measures: 7-1/2" diameter x 12"H
Top Customer ReviewsBy W. Timm on April 10, 2008
I'm a big food Network fan and my favorite guy is Alton. What I saw on one of his shows was the most awesome advice for this device. Take ONE, that's right, ONE piece of newspaper and sprinkle a few drops of vegetable oil on it; then put it under your chimney starter (outdoors, please, eggman if you're reading this) and fire it up with a full can of any kind of charcoal. You won't believe how well this works. One more thing; DO NOT set a chimney starter on a gravel driveway when you start it. For some reason, the heat transfers much easier through gravel than concrete. Just put the thing on your grill grate and wait for 20 minutes. You'll have smokin' hot coals that will be almost too hot for smokin' food. I even saw Alton searing tuna on top of one of these things.By Paul J. Ste Marie on April 13, 2008
This is the absolute best way to get your grill going. Unlike the little chimneys sold at Lowe's, this holds a lot of charcoal, enough to fill an entire kettle grill, and the airflow through it is very efficient. Two sheets of newspaper and a match, and your briquettes will be ready to go in 10-15 minutes.
The aluminized finish on this resists heat and rust quite well. Other reviewers have commented on the helper handle, but the really key feature of this chiminey starter is the conical wire grid inside that holds up the charcoal. Unlike perforated metal plate inside the no-name chimeny starters, this wire grid lets all of the flame from the newspaper through to the charcoal, resulting in the charcoal lighting in half the time.
All of that, and it isn't any more expensive that the no-name brands. Bigger, faster, and more durable. What more could you ask for?
I usually cook in small batches, so I have a small Weber Smokey Joe. Since the grill is so small, I figured I could get away with using a perforated coffee can as a chimney starter to save the $13. I took the can, removed both ends with a can opener, and made a bunch of holes along the bottom with a bottle opener. I then put a sheet of newspaper inside, pile the coals on top, and light it. The can worked, and I used it for over a year, but then I finally decided that this starter was cheap enough that I should give it a try.
The difference is night and day -- my coals start in half the time with the Weber, are much hotter when started, and, if I need to, I can start a LOT more coals at once. When they call this "Rapidfire" they mean it. If I had known what I do now, I never would've gone the coffee can route. This thing is so cheap, and works so well, that everyone with a charcoal grill should have one.
I've had several of these. They are great. Word of warning when done dumping coals look into the chimney to be sure all coals are gone. In the process of transporting my chimney to bare ground, I hadn't noticed that a small piece of coal dropped out and rolled near the house on my deck out of sight. Dog woke me up at 2AM my deck and house were on fire. Got it under control and repaired. Very thankful to my dog and that my home is brick. Since then I have seen coals stuck in the chimney grate after pouring. Please be careful folks. I was fortunate to have a persistent dog. Still use one today.Click Here To Read More Customer Reviews