The grill is an essential tool of summer. But just owning a grill isn’t enough. you have to constantly work at becoming a better griller. And that means learning how to use a chimney starter.
A chimney starter is what you use to light charcoal or hardwood lumpcharcoal. It’s basically a metal cylinder with a handle on top and holes in the bottom and sides. You crumple up some newspaper, put it in the bottom, fill the upper part with charcoal, then light the newspaper through one of the side vents.
The beauty of a chimney starter is that it makes starting your fire easy, quick, cheap, and clean. The method I used to use — lighter fluid — was none of those things. It was expensive (despite what its manufacturers say, you need quite a bit for each cook), dangerous (if you don’t douse all the coals with enough fluid and wait long enough before cooking, you can pass the taste of lighter fluid on to whatever you’re cooking), and dirty (the more fluid you use, the dirtier it gets). A chimney starter is too cheap to care about wasting; there’s no danger whatsoever from using too much because there’s no accelerant involved; and even if you
The main problem with grilling is that you can’t get the meat to come out rare. The outside is burnt before the inside is done.
The way to solve this problem, I realized after reading a little about cooking, is to cook the meat indirectly. Instead of heating the air around it, you heat the air above it, so that the heat rises into it.
To do this you need a double-walled lid for your grill. You can make one from some cement backer board, which is easy to cut with a circular saw and drill holes in.
If you’re converting an existing grill for indirect cooking, you probably also want to add some vents. I put one in the bottom and two on one side, controlling them with three ball valves that I got at Lowe’s for about $3 each.
Get a good thermometer: I got an oven thermometer on Amazon for $8. Then you’ll have something to measure your improvements against.
This recipe is for a meat glue based fire cement. It is food grade, non-toxic and can be cooked over 400 degrees without problems. In fact, it’s the same way I do my joints in the kamado grill.
It is a wonderful addition to any griller’s arsenal. The uses are limitless; grillers have used it to repair cracks in their ceramics, used it as mortar to set up their firebox and other uses. For me, I use this stuff to build a fire ring out of brick in my kamado grill. This meat glue can withstand the heat and smoke of cooking in a kamado grill with no problem at all.
This is a great great idea. I used to hate the idea of using a fluid and then trying to light it in my charcoal chimney. It takes a long time for the fluid to burn off and the coals to get hot. This stuff works great, can be lit with a match, burns completely away in about 10 minutes, and you are ready to roll.
Highly recommend this product!!
For the first time ever, I grilled with a wood fire today. The result was some of the best steak I’ve ever eaten. The secret: fire cement, which is used for building fireplaces and pizza ovens. It holds heat like nothing else.
There is no need to soak the logs in this case because there is so much air flow between them from both above and below. There are two things to watch out for: don’t make the fire too big or it will burn yourself; and if you want to cook something slow, such as ribs or a chicken, you may need to move the food around to avoid flare-ups from grease dripping on hot coals.
Fire Cement is a high temperature resistant cement designed for sealing flue pipes and gaps around stoves and flues.
Fire Cement can withstand temperatures of up to 1250ºC (2282ºF) and is suitable for a wide range of applications, including gas fires, boilers, stoves and ovens.
– Can be used on all-makes of flue pipes
– Ideal for filling gaps in fire bricks, and around stoves
– Highly heat resistant up to 1250°C (2282°F)