Monday, January 28, 2008

Lighting it up with a chimney smoker

Image from

I used my smoke this weekend. The ribs fell a little flat. I was so afraid of over seasoning, I didn't put enough of the spice rub on the meat. It was super tender, nice and smoky but it just didn't have the kick I was looking for.

The most exciting thing to come out of the weekend was using a chimney starter for the first time. It looks like a giant metal coffee mug and is divided into two parts. The top is for the charcoal and the bottom is for a wad of newspaper. (I told one of my coworkers I enjoyed his column ... and then I burned it.) Light the newspaper, wait 10 minutes and you've got glowing orange coals. No lighter fluid, no waiting. It worked perfectly four times for me over the weekend. (Once to cure the new smoker, once to start the cooking and twice to add heat to the process.)

Here is a handy guide showing you how to use a chimney starter. Mine is less fancy than the one on their site. Or if you can't read, here is a video from the guys at