I know that winter is over when the building patio is opened and I can start
Last year, I took to cooking in a 1950's fashion, charcoal briquettes, and lots of lighter fluid. The biggest problem is that it takes forever to get the charcoal hot and burning - approx 30-40 mins to get it hot enough to start. I wanted something faster, and in that, I found the charcoal chimney. Now you can buy these things for about $12 but I was in a DIY/Cheap kinda mood.
photo from HERE, one of MANY pages on the net
I delved through the internet at large for design concepts, and they all follow the basic steps. Metal coffee can, newspaper, charcoal and a coat hanger.
So I set about to make my own BUT I lack the tools and equipment necessary. I didn't have a coffee can, I didn't have a proper handle, I did not have a grill inside and I didn't have a church key.
So I ended up making 3 versions.
CCP: VERSION 1 - Apple Juice Can
Not so good.
- The wind was so strong (and blowing into the grill) that I couldn't even get the lighter to work.
- Paper was crumpled to tightly to allow itself to catch on fire.
- I gave up and dumped it out and eventually it got hot enough to grill, but the charcoal was basically done and it didn't stay hot enough to finish grilling, so I had to put it in the oven and finish my kebabs on broil.
I was disheartened but not defeated.
CCP: VERSION 2 - Apple Juice Can Again
Heating time: More than 1 hour.
Then, THEN, taking some pop cans down to the recycling bin in our parking garage the next day, there, on top of the bin, was a coffee can in all its glory. SCORE!
I was grilling chicken wings and damn did they turn out good. Hot charcoal in minutes and it was great.
I would like to add a handle onto the coffee tin, but I don't have the proper tools to do so (the opener on my knife isn't strong enough to go through). Otherwise, I'm pretty happy the way it turned out. Oh, and I'm going to get matches because the lighter goes out too easily.
I felt a sense of accomplishment similar to what I imagine our prehistoric ancestors when they first discovered the way to start a fire. No more lighter fluid, no more waiting forever to just start the cooking process.