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The BBQ Dragon Charcoal Chimney of Insanity Review

The BBQ Dragon charcoal starter is an innovative piece of equipment in the grilling world.

The main advancement of grilling technology that the BBQ dragon chimney of insanity brings to the table is a 90-degree elbow that allows for air to be let in (or forced in) to the chimney’s lower end.

The airflow helps the fire start quicker, and can make a stronger fire with charcoal as well.

By the end of this review, you’ll be armed with the pros, the cons, and the facts about the BBQ Dragon Charcoal Starter to help in your decision-making.

The BBQ Dragon Charcoal Starter

BBQ Dragon Charcoal Starter Quick Facts

Product Name: The BBQ Dragon Chimney Of Insanity

The BBQ Dragon charcoal starter got its name because of its self-proclaimed ability to create an “insane charcoal blast furnace.”

Made By: BBQ Dragon

Top Features:

  • A 90-degree elbow allows extra airflow
  • The ability to attach a (separately sold) fan to the starter
  • High-quality and striking design

The BBQ Dragon charcoal starter offers a few exciting features. All of these are attributable to the BBQ Dragon team and the innovative grilling process. Above are a few of those features.

Standout Benefits of the BBQ Dragon Charcoal Starter

The BBQ Dragon Chimney of Insanity helps to shorten the starting time of charcoal even further than the average charcoal chimney. It makes possible a quick BBQ session for those nights when you just want a steak for dinner but doesn’t have the time.

It also brings you the ability to charcoal at an extremely high temperature if you are willing to also buy the original BBQ Dragon fan, a grill-specific fan that is sold by the same company.

How to Use the BBQ Dragon Chimney of Insanity

If you have used a charcoal starter before, you probably know the basics of using the BBQ Dragon charcoal starter. But in case you haven’t here is a quick breakdown of the basics of charcoal starter use.

First, stuff newspaper into the bottom area of the starter, which is sectioned off by wire or mesh. Expect to use 6-8 pages of newspaper, torn in half. Roll them loosely, roughly an inch in diameter. Too tight prevents air from circulating properly, too loose and the paper burns too quickly. You can also wad the paper up. This works nicely too.

Next, fill the charcoal starter with lump or briquette charcoal. Lighter fluid is not needed so leave that safely stored away.

Once your set-up is ready, place it on your grill and light it up using a match or lighter.  Make sure to have the charcoal started over the grate that will hold your charcoal, not the top one where you want to grill food.

Handling both the starter and a hot grate is not a fun multitask, so just be ready from the beginning. When the charcoal is white and ashy, you know it is time to dump it into the grill. I recommend using a good pair of heat-resistant BBQ gloves while handling the super-hot chimney starter.

The BBQ Dragon Charcoal Starter Difference

The reason the BBQ Dragon charcoal starter is different is the extra vent placed onto the side.

The innovative 90-degree “elbow” that sticks out on one side allows you to insert additional fuel or lighter material without having to lift the chimney. And the vent actually creates a turbo effect, which lights the coals much faster, even without the extra fan.

The reason for the name Chimney of Insanity? You can insert the original BBQ Dragon fan in the elbow vent and it will turn the chimney into an insane charcoal blast furnace!

Charcoal Fire Supercharger

Just like with other chimney starters if you want to add extra fire starters (things like wax sticks, fire-starter packets, or cubes) you add them below the charcoal. With this BBQ Dragon charcoal fire supercharger, you can add the fire starters low and directly under the charcoal, making them as effective as possible.

If you plan to use the original BBQ Dragon fan as well, you just attach it to the side of the charcoal starter, forcing air into the starter and increasing the airflow to the coals.

BBQ Dragon Charcoal Starter Description & Features

The design and build of this starter are unique and attractive.

Made with a full-length heat shield and a nylon handle, you don’t have to worry about getting burnt by using it.

The cut and design of the starter make it look clean and sharp.

Charcoal Chimney

The BBQ DRAGON name cut into the base doubly acts as an extra air inlet and a cool design for the equipment. A thick gauged wire shelf will hold your charcoal and the thin gaps between mean it will even hold lump charcoal with no problem.

The main feature of the BBQ Dragon Chimney of Insanity though is the 90-degree elbow that comes out one side of the starter. This hole in the side allows you to attach a fan to the starter, and force extra air (and therefore oxygen) into the fire. The extra oxygen supercharges the starter and makes lighting the grill super quick.

Charcoal Starter with an Innovative Design

To turn this starter into a true BBQ Dragon charcoal fire supercharger, and to gain the ability to use it as a charcoal blast furnace, you need to have the BBQ Dragon fan as well.

With the fan, which attaches perfectly to the hole in the side of the starter, the amount of air is perfect and powerful, making a strong fire and a constant high heat because of the intense amounts of oxygen being pumped into the base of the fire.

Who Is the BBQ Dragon Charcoal Starter Useful For?

If you are looking for a new charcoal starter, this is a great option to look at. The features and style are well worth the money.

If you aren’t already in the market for a starter but are wanting a new and quicker way to get your grill going, definitely keep the BBQ Dragon charcoal starter in mind. It is a good addition to any grill set-up, and you won’t regret the purchase.

The BBQ Dragon Chimney of Insanity is a fun option for a gift as well. If you’re looking for a birthday present, a Christmas present, or a gift just to make the griller in your life happy, this is an affordable way to give a gift they will appreciate.

If you don’t expect to use a charcoal chimney, or if you only ever use gas, this is not a great option for you. But I would still recommend switching to charcoal. Just because it is so darn good.

BBQ Dragon Charcoal Starter PROs & CONs

The innovative approach to a charcoal chimney is not something commonly seen. The new improvements on a classic grilling tool are a huge plus to BBQ Dragon’s take on a charcoal chimney.

Being able to add fire-starters to the bottom of the chimney, and pump air into it as well, are fantastic new concepts that can’t be overlooked.

BBQ Dragon Charcoal Starter, Innovative 90 Degree “Elbow” Design

The additional safety features, like the heat shield and nylon handle, are appreciated as well. Nobody wants a fresh burn blister because they tapped the side of their chimney, or forgot to put on an extra gl0ve before touching their chimney.

The BBQ Dragon Chimney of Insanity doesn’t mean you are insane for using it, it is almost insane not to.

Finally, the ability to increase the temperature so drastically and turn the starter into a blast furnace is an awesome feature and totally a pro for the product.

While the design and concept are near flawless, one con that is noticeable for the BBQ Dragon charcoal starter is the necessity to buy the BBQ Dragon fan alongside it if you want the full perks of the chimney.

Without the BBQ Dragon fan, their chimney is quite similar to any other chimney, although slightly faster.

As previously stated, the ability to add fire-starters (like wax sticks and such) to the side is still very appreciated, but the truly impressive aspect of this chimney is only available with the fan attachment.

Final Thoughts on Our BBQ Dragon Charcoal Starter Review

The BBQ Dragon Chimney of Insanity is a great product at a reasonable price. It is worth the buy if you grill even a couple of times a year.

Keep in mind the necessity to buy the BBQ Dragon fan as well. But the chimney is a great product, well worth the buy for your grilling times.

Here is a link again to the Original BBQ Dragon Fan if have any interest. It is worth checking out and has many great uses even without the BBQ Dragon charcoal starter.

It’s always fun to take the time to try new grilling tools and techniques. With so many new, innovative, and fun products out there, not to mention grilling variables, it’s a shame to confine yourself to the first one you try out! It will be worth it in the long run.

I hope this BBQ Dragon charcoal starter review was helpful to you.

What are your personal charcoal lighting tips and techniques?  Let us know by commenting below!


Pat G.

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At The Grilling Life, I am committed to researching and writing thoughtful, informative and editorially independent reviews of the best products for your outdoor cooking needs.  If you like what I do, you can support me through my chosen links, which earn me a commission.  This allows me to continue sharing with you my love for all things barbecue.  Your support is truly appreciated.

Patrick Ginise

A backyard warrior, certified carnivore, lover of good whiskey, grill master and I’m Living The Grilling Life!

I have a passion for cooking with live fire and smoke, no matter the weather. I’m a real person just like you, who loves outdoor cooking and BBQ. Food, fun, and time spent with family and friends are what it’s all about! It is my mission to take my passion and knowledge for outdoor cooking and all things BBQ and share this expertise in techniques and grilling equipment with you. In other words, Living The Grilling Life!

I have personally tested over 150+ Grills and Smokers and hundreds of grilling thermometers, temperature controllers, grill brushes, grilling tools, fire starters, and other BBQ products.