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an orange juice carton charcoal chimney igniting

How to Make a DIY Charcoal Chimney Starter

Learn how to make an inexpensive and disposable DIY charcoal chimney starter using only an orange juice or milk carton.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Australian, barbecue, BBQ, Smoked
Servings 1 DIY Charcoal Chimney


  • Can Opener or Scissors
  • Utility Knife or Scissors
  • Lighter
  • BBQ Tongs


  • 1 Empty Orange Juice or Milk Carton cleaned out
  • Crumpled Newspaper
  • Charcoal


  • Cut the top off your OJ or Milk carton
    cutting the top of an orange juice carton
  • Clean and wipe out the inside with a paper towel
    the top cut off an orange juice carton
  • Punch or cut small holes around the perimeter of the base of the carton, about 3-4 on each side.
    poking holes in DIY charcoal chimney
  • Place some crumpled newspaper at the bottom of the carton
    newspaper in a DIY charcoal chimney
  • Fill on top of the newspaper with dry, fresh charcoal
    filling a cardboard carton DIY charcoal chimney with charcoal
  • Place the filled carton on your grill and light the newspaper through one of the holes with the lighter.
    lighting a DIY charcoal chimney
  • Let the entire carton and newspaper burn away as the chimney lights, about 15 minutes.
    an orange juice carton charcoal chimney igniting
  • Spread the lit charcoal around using BBQ tongs.



Video courtesy of Buzzfeed Nifty
Keyword cardboard, Charcoal Chimney, charcoal chimney starter, Charcoal Starter, Cheap, Disposable, DIY, DIY smoker, homemade smoker, Inexpensive, milk carton, orange juice carton