How to use a charcoal fireplace with newspaper (2023)

A charcoal fireplace is a silent, hollow cylinder made of ceramic and wire mesh. They can be used to cook food for human consumption without fuel or flames. In American English, the term "chimney" is also often used interchangeably with "fireplace" to describe a smoke outlet connected to a fireplace that uses natural gas or wood pellets to heat and circulate the air in the room. Charcoal is a popular method of smoking food in many countries. There are different types of charcoal fireplaces, but the most popular and affordable is the one that uses newspaper as the fuel for the smoke. The paper burns quickly and produces a lot of smoke.

This article will show you how to use a newspaper charcoal fireplace so you can follow traditional recipes from your favorite grill master or cook outdoors on your next camping trip.

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How to use a charcoal fireplace with newspaper: tips for beginners

safety first

Propane and charcoal are fuel sources that can ignite or explode if misused. Make sure you follow safety practices in your area when using a charcoal fireplace to ensure a safe and fun experience.

Buy a chimney

Commercial charcoal fireplaces are usually made out of clay, but metal fireplaces also exist. You can purchase a chimney online or at your local hardware store, department store, or grocery store that sells grilling accessories in the United States and Canada. If you prefer to use an unglazed ceramic cylinder rather than metal for reasons of cost or aesthetics

buy coal

If you're looking forward to finally buying your first charcoal fireplace and have already bought the fireplace, you can go ahead and buy charcoal to fill it. You'll need enough charcoal to fill your chimney at least 2/3 full, but most of the time a 3/4 bag of briquettes will be enough to cook for one or two people. If you plan on cooking for a crowd, buy one bag per person plus an extra bag. This will ensure you have enough fuel for everyone without running out of fuel while eating or cooking.

(Video) How to Light a Fireplace Fire With Newspaper and Kindling

Prepare the chimney

To fill a charcoal fireplace with newspaper, you must place it on a table or other flat surface at least 3 feet away from combustible materials such as curtains, furniture, etc. Partially fill your fireplace lighter with newspaper, then stack loosely crumpled newspaper around the starter until the cylinder is at least 2/3 full. If necessary, you can wrap more paper around the outside of your chimney to fill it completely. You should leave about an inch of space between the top of your charcoal and the top of your chimney so your fuel doesn't burn out too quickly.

Insert the charcoal tube

Use a pencil to trace the opening inside your charcoal fireplace on a piece of paper.

Insert the charcoal pipe into your charcoal fireplace.

Push it all the way in until you feel it bottom.

Light the paper

Pour enough charcoal down your charcoal fireplace to cook with, but not so much that you can see the floor at this point. This depends on your desired cooking time and number of cooks, as well as how big the pit you are using.

Light your charcoal

Light the paper on the inside of your charcoal fireplace with long-range matches or a kindling stick. If you have trouble lighting the paper at first, apply more pressure to your match or kindling by holding it closer to the mesh side of your chimney.

(Video) Tips For Using a Charcoal Chimney Starter

Put your lid on your chimney

After 10 minutes of burning you should be able to remove a lid from your chimney and put it on if you need to finish cooking early, as if you've finished cooking and want to reduce fuel usage.

Let your charcoal burn out

Turn off your stove and let the charcoal burn out. Do not open your chimney cap until you are completely done cooking, but if you do so at any point during the cooking process, give it 5-10 minutes before adding more fuel.

Clean up

When you are finished using your chimney, be sure to completely extinguish the fire and remove all loose papers and charcoal. You should also inspect your chimney for any cracks or holes to ensure it is in good condition for next use.

Materials and Tools: What you need to build your own charcoal fireplace

To make homemade charcoal you will need the following materials:

A metal container or old grill that serves as a "oven" or "oven." The container should be at least 3 feet tall and made of a material that will not melt when exposed to high heat. Square containers are good for making small amounts of charcoal, but an oblong or round container is needed to make a large amount of charcoal at once.


You can find this at any home improvement or hardware store, or buy it online at sites like The most commonly used type is briquettes and they are available in regular and wood grades. They are typically sold in 20 lb bags and contain two 10 lb sections of fuel inside. You can also use lump charcoal, which are simply smaller pieces of charcoal sold in 5- to 50-pound bags.

(Video) Marks Paper Logs 2016 07 02


Traditionally, charcoal was made from a mixture of oak and beech wood, or a combination of willow and hazel wood, with a small amount of birch or elm. The fuel had to be extremely dry in order for the fire to ignite on the first try.

A heat source

This can be a standard garden hose if you are making small batches of charcoal, or an industrial grade propane lamp if you are making large batches. You can also use a thicker rope made from natural fibers from trees such as coir.

Other helpful tools

A container or bucket to carry the charcoal, a spatula to remove the hot charcoal from the "stove" or "oven", and a measuring cup marked in tablespoons and teaspoons, and cups.

How using a charcoal fireplace can benefit your home

save money

Using a grill to make charcoal instead of buying one is a great way to reduce heating costs because you can use the grill multiple times throughout the year and never have to buy charcoal again. If a traditional charcoal fireplace is left in place, the fire will burn out and you will have to replace the entire unit when the fuel runs out. To use your chimney again, simply fill it up with the correct starter material as above and place it on top of your grill.

environmental awareness

Charcoal produces less smoke and toxicity than traditional grills, making it safer for the home environment and a healthier alternative for smokers.

(Video) Lighting Coal Fire

smoke meat

Using a charcoal fireplace to make your own charcoal is an easy way to start smoking meat or vegetables, even if it's not part of your regular cooking rotation. Because you are making charcoal at a high temperature, the smoke produced will have a slightly different flavor than traditional charcoal, which is made at lower temperatures.

How do you use a charcoal fireplace for cooking?

1. Prepare your ingredients: You should take the time to prepare your ingredients before you start cooking to ensure the food is thoroughly cooked and tastes as good as possible. It's a good idea to start first with ingredients that require a longer cooking time, such as: B. Meat, and then vegetables to cook on the side.

  1. Maintain an even temperature: One of the challenges of using a charcoal chimney for cooking is that it can be difficult to maintain an even temperature throughout the cooking process since most grills don't have adjustable heat controls like stovetop grills do is. It is important to start with hot charcoal in order to complete this challenge. The best way to maintain an even temperature is to use a charcoal fireplace and place it on the bottom rack of your grill, away from the heat source.
  2. Use Aluminum Foil: While using a charcoal fireplace for cooking doesn't require any special materials, you can place aluminum foil under your food to protect it from drips and splatters that can occur during the cooking process. To use aluminum foil, use tongs to take each piece of meat or vegetable and fold it in half before placing it on the grill.
  3. Place your dish jug: If you're cooking with a large amount of food, it can be a good idea to place a dish jug on top of your chimney, as it can be difficult to reach from underneath with tongs. To position your jar, start by placing the bottom of the chimney in the center of the grill, then hold up the sides. Place your crockery container between the bottom of the chimney and the sides and close it.
  4. Start Cooking: Once you've placed your food directly over the fire, let it cook for 5-15 minutes, turning or removing anything that might burn to ensure everything is thoroughly cooked.

frequently asked Questions

How to use a charcoal lighter kindling paper?

If this is your first time using a charcoal fireplace lighter newspaper, you should use it with either plain paper or some type of durable paper that hasn't been treated with chemicals. This will ensure that the newspaper does not catch fire before the coals and will prevent smoke from entering your home. For best results, you can burn newspaper along with scraps of cardboard to start a larger fire.

How much paper do you put in a charcoal fireplace?

If you are using charcoal kindling newspaper, you should only need 1/4 page for every pound of charcoal. By putting more paper in the starter you simply run the risk of it catching fire before all the coals do and also ensure there is enough heat to cook your food.

How do you light a charcoal grill with newspaper?

When lighting a charcoal grill with newspaper, you should take the time to separate the sections so they don't immediately catch fire. To do this, simply tear the paper along the seams, and then you can light it up with a lighter or a match to make it catch fire. You should hold newspaper over your charcoal fireplace for up to 30 seconds before adding your coals to ensure everything is lit.

Can you burn paper on a charcoal grill?

While it is possible to use newspaper as a charcoal starter, you should avoid paper as a charcoal grill as it will not cause your charcoal to burn due to its chemical treatment. Chemicals in papers can cause your charcoal to run out while it's still burning, which would make the whole charcoal making process less effective.

How do you start a BBQ with a newspaper?

You can burn newspapers on your grill if you wish, but you should be careful when doing so. By using newspaper regularly and practicing with it, you can get used to the smell and the right amount of newspaper for your charcoal grill. To use, simply tear the paper into thinner strips and place them between your coals before lighting. If you're using newspapers for charcoal, it's important to also open them up to allow air to flow through and keep smoke out of your home.


There are many benefits to using a charcoal chimney for cooking, making it an excellent resource for anyone looking to make their own charcoal. For those who just don't have the time or energy to make their own charcoal from scratch, purchasing a chimney starter kit is an easy and convenient way to start making your own charcoal.

Many of these starter kits are extremely affordable and can be used over and over again to save money on traditional forms of charcoal grilling. After reading this article, you have learned more about using a charcoal fireplace with newspaper. Once you start using a charcoal fireplace for cooking, you will quickly realize that it is actually possible and easy to use one at home.

(Video) How I light my fire without kindling.


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