Lighting Your BBQ Or Smoker

Take a look at our tried and tested methods for lighting your barbecue or smoker.

Lighting Your BBQ


To light a fire using the ProQ Chimney Starter all you need is some newspaper and charcoal. Ball the newspaper up under the base of the starter, being careful not to make it too tight to ensure it burns and fill the top about halfway to 3/4 with briquettes or charcoal (we will add more later if necessary). Light the newspaper, the shape of the chimney will direct all the heat upwards into the coals, and in about 20 mins they should be burning strong.

You can use firelighters at the base of the starter as well, but we tend to avoid them as the paraffin based fuel tends to affect the flavour of the food.

Once the coals are lit, being very careful and using a good quality BBQ mitt, pour the coals into the charcoal basket in the base of the smoker, and top up as required. 2.5kg of charcoal should burn for about 4 hours if you use a good quality briquette like Big K, but this can vary depending on the temperature control, brand and weather. Another half hour should ensure all the coals are lit. The coals will be grey or white when ready to cook on.


To light a fire in a more traditional way, just place 2-3 firelighters around the charcoal basket, light and add a small amount of coal, trying not to smother the flames, and wait until they’re lit, then add more coal to suit. When the coals are white/grey they’re ready to cook.

Alternatively, you can use newspaper, balled up. Place this in the centre of the charcoal basket, pile coals around it and light from the bottom, add more coal when they’re lit.