Top 5 Best BBQ Charcoal Starters

If you’ve been looking for the best BBQ starter on the market, then this is exactly where you want to be. This quick guide will show you all of the best charcoal starters that are available right now, across a range of different brands, styles and more. You’ll be hard-pressed to go wrong with any of them, so ultimately it will come down to personal preference and the small, specific feature differences from one to the next.

1. Weber Rapidfire Barbecue Charcoal Lighter Chimney (Model 7416)

This is by far the most popular and most widely used of all of the charcoal starters that you’ll be able to find. Hands down, we recommend this as the best BBQ chimney starter.

For example, it has about 250 reviews on, and almost all of them give it a perfect 5 out of 5 stars. It’s efficient, effective and safe, it holds plenty of charcoal, and it gets the job done without any hassle. The wire cone separating the lighting materials from the charcoals helps to ensure consistent and “rapidfire” lighting, and that’s what probably separates this BBQ starter from the rest.

Weber is a trusted brand, making the purchase one you can rest easy about. Oh, and the price is certainly right, too.

2. Outset QS10 BBQ Starter

What separates this model from other charcoal starters is that it’s made from stainless steel. For one thing, this will provide you with a grilling accessory which looks extra nice and can be kept indoors or out. But for another, stainless steel will also maintain its integrity and won’t succumb to rusting, staining and other issues like many metals do. Plus, you’ll notice the “circular cut out” design which is meant to provide a great path for the air to circulate and keep those flames burning.

The Outset barbecue charcoal lighter chimney also has a built-in heat shield which separates the main chimney compartment from the handle. That means it will be perfectly cool and comfortable to grip no matter how hot your charcoals get. It really does look great, and while it costs a few dollars more than some of the other charcoal starters you see listed on this page, it’s by no means expensive.

3. Charcoal Companion Barbecue Charcoal Lighter Chimney

This BBQ starter combines several features from some of the other models on this page to ensure safety and proper usage. It both has a wooden handle and a heat shield for easy, worry-free gripping while your charcoals are hot and ready to be used. It’s made to be sturdy and durable, and is very affordable as well.

One difference with this model is that instead of wire grates or other designs, what separates the charcoal from the lighting material such as newspaper is a metal sheet with circular cut outs. There are also circular cut outs along the side to help provide proper circulation to ensure everything gets lit very fast and efficiently. They are small enough so that there is no threat of charcoals slipping out the bottom, too.

4. Charcoal Companion Platinum Barbecue Charcoal Lighter Chimney

If the last two charcoal starters look the same to you, then you have a good eye — or you just saw the each has basically the same product name! By and large it’s the same design, and features the same efficient circular cut outs to ensure a well-lit batch of charcoals for the grill.

The difference is that this BBQ starter is made from heavy-gauge stainless steel, which generally means a bit fancier of a look, as well as an exterior that will be less susceptible to rust and staining. The wood handle is also different, with a darker color that also adds to this being the “Platinum” model.

Big brother is just a little bit nicer looking than the Silver model above! If you prefer the stainless steel style and the darker wood, then this one is for you. The Charcoal Companion Platinum BBQ Starter certainly does look great.

5. Lodge Charcoal BBQ Starter

The Lodge barbecue charcoal lighter chimney is another solid choice in our list of the best charcoal starters, and it’s another great choice that comes in at less than $20, which is always a plus. The differentiating factor here is the wooden handle, which is durable and protects you from gripping any hot metal.

The chimney itself is made from heavy-gauge aluminized steel, offering durability and strength. If there’s a downside to this BBQ starter, some consumers have mentioned how the wire grate on the bottom is a bit too widely separating, and a charcoal can slip out that way. That could potentially create a safety hazard, however, most individuals haven’t had substantial problems with it. Just something to keep an eye on.

There you have it, the 5 best BBQ charcoal starters for sale. Not one of them costs more than $25, and some are less than $15. They are all effective and convenient, each just has its own slightly different twist. Whichever barbecue charcoal lighter chimney you use, you’ll be completely satisfied for years to come.

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