If there’s one thing that makes charcoal grilling undesirable to the uninitiated, it’s probably all the handling of the briquettes and waiting for them to light. While it is a superior way to cook, a gas or propane grill is lit with the push of a button. If only there were a way to speed up the process…
The Weber fireplace comes from one of the best known and most trusted names in outdoor cooking. The company has been around since 1893 and has been manufacturing and selling barbecues since the late 1950s. These guys know grilling.
The 7416 Rapidfire charcoal lighter is the quintessential fireplace. It’s a basic aluminized steel cylinder with little ornamentation except for the Weber logo emblazoned on the heat shield and handle. I like the fact that there is no paint chipping or fading, and it should be rust resistant.
The bottom portion, where the fire starter is located, is perfectly vented all the way around, making it easier for the fire starter to burn and light without having to lift it.
The inner grate that separates the charcoal from the fire starter is tapered, which allows for better draft in the chimney and a faster overall burn time. I’m not big on physics, but the tapered shape amplifies the chimney effect and allows more briquettes to ignite at once through the stack, instead of having to rise from the bottom layer.
The handle is made of thermoplastic and remains cool even when the chimney is fully ignited. The heat shield adds an extra layer of protection for your hand, and a secondary handle allows great control when pouring lit charcoal into your stove. The extra handle helps compensate for the endemic problem with all top-dump fireplaces: strategic placement of briquettes or pieces can be difficult when you’re pouring them with one hand.
It’s not the largest model on the market (7.5″ diameter X 12″ height), and some people may find that it doesn’t hold enough charcoal for their stove. However, by emptying only a portion of the lit coals, then adding new briquettes to the already glowing charcoal, you should get them burning even faster than the first batch. You’ll be refueling in no time!
In short, this fireplace is a great all-around starter. If you’re new to charcoal grilling, you’ll appreciate choosing a name you probably know. And if you’re a pro, you already know it’s a name you can trust, and you’ll love the simplicity of turning it on and letting it do its job.