Charcoal starter from juice can

chuckr30September 4, 2007

I made a charcoal starter from a veggie juice can. Do you know how if you stack up your charcoal it gets going faster? That was the idea.

First, cut off top of can.

Next, Drill or punch with a churchkey, holes in the bottom of the can. Holes drilled should be 1/4 inch and every 1/2 inch. No need to cut out the bottom.

Next, I made a handle out of copper pipe. First I hammered it flat, then I made it into a D-shaped handle. Then I used rivets to attach it to the can.

Well I found a few things out.

- Copper from handle absorbs heat tremendously! Do not use copper next time. Buy allthread steel rod from hardware store and cut to length.

- Can did not hold enough coals even for my little grill and 4 burgers. Use a large coffee can next time.

- Charcoal still took 1 hour to get ready in the starter. Perhaps I did not have enough holes for oxygen to get to the coals. Drill 8 more holes 1/2 way up the can.

- Next time, when spraying the coals with lighter fluid, fill can 1/2 full, spray charcoal, then add rest of charcoal, and spray again. Light from bottom. I lit it from the top and it had a hard time lighting the bottom coals.

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I love posts that tell "trial & error" . We can all learn from each other's mistakes. ( God knows I've made enough of my own ! ) Can you post pics ? I think I might like to make one of these ~~


    Bookmark   September 7, 2007 at 11:18PM
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I do not have pics yet but I might work on getting some.

I think a coffee can would work better here as it would hold more coals.

I found some allthread at the exact size I need. Cost: $1us. I already had some wingnuts to hold the handle to the can.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2007 at 8:12AM
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I'll add my two cents worth. Cut a piece of hardware cloth so that it fits inside the bottom of the can and push it up about 2 inches. Pour the charcoal on top of that. Under that hardware cloth divider crumble 3 full size pages of newspaper.

Set it on the grate of your grill and light the newspaper. Don't use lighter fluid or any starter but the paper. Takes about 20 minutes to get fully started and no lighter fluid taste.

Weber makes these specifically for their grills and they work great.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2007 at 2:44PM
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