Review of Heat Beads Barbecue Starter vs Weber Charcoal Chimney

It’s been a while but my Weber chimney has finally given up (after 4 years not too bad). I searched and searched but could not find any Australian retailer that stocked these chimneys. On the forum I found out that Heat Beads also has barbecue starter (as opposed to a chimney) so I decided to get me an Aussie one! I could have ordered one from Amazon as well but I like to change things up!

Anyway I did compare my “old” and trusty Weber chimney with the Heat Beads barbecue starter and the differences are as follows:

I got the Heat Beads Barbecue Starter from Barbeques Galore and it came in the following package:
Heat Beads vs Weber review

I quickly unpacked and found a number of well packaged (in clingwrap) components and a page with assembly instructions:
Heat Beads vs Weber review

Following the instruction I managed to build my chimney (or BBQ starter) in about 15 minutes. and it looks like this:
Heat Beads vs Weber review

The starter vs the chimney look like this side to side; Yeah have a look at the great way I “fixed” my Weber chimney, very safe!
The Weber chimney is a bit taller than the Heat Beads barbecue starter
Heat Beads vs Weber review

From the top they look like this; again the Weber seems to have a slightly bigger circumference.:
Heat Beads vs Weber review

I filled up the barbecue starter with some Heat Beads briquettes (yeah yeah when I cook with briquettes I use Heat Beads!). It took about 3/4 of a 4kg bag which is enough for me to start a cook:
Heat Beads vs Weber review

I put the content of the Heat Beads barbecue starter in the Weber chimney. As expected (because of the size differences) my Weber could have taken a bit more charcoal:
Heat Beads vs Weber review

I placed the loaded Heat Beads on my side burner for 5 minutes:
Heat Beads vs Weber review

I moved it into my Komodo Kamado to fully light all the briquettes:
Heat Beads vs Weber review

This what the starter look like after first use:
Heat Beads vs Weber review

Even though it is a slightly smaller size I foresee no problems whatsoever with using the Heat Beads barbecue starter. I will post a separate blog about my complete starter sequence shortly!
My Weber chimney lasted for over 3 years with very frequent use and stored outside constantly.
I hope that my Heat Beads barbecue starter will last for at least that amount of time!

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11 thoughts on “Review of Heat Beads Barbecue Starter vs Weber Charcoal Chimney

  1. paulr Post author

    IMPORTANT INFORMATION FROM HEAT BEADS (March 2010):

    Product NO HB 152ST

    Australian Char Pty Ltd has identified a potential safety issue with the Heat Beads® Barbecue Starter. Customers are advised not to use the product if purchased after 1st September 2009.

    Please contact Australian Char immediately for further information and advice. Call our Consumer Hot Line 1800 333 283 or email [email protected]

  2. peter yeoman

    YOUR COOKER LID WILL BE COVERED IN CONTAMINATES FROM THE WAY YOU LET YOUR HEATBEADS LIGHT UP. TAKE EM OUT OF YOUR COOKER UNTIL THEY ARE ALL ASHED OVER OR ALL THE HORRIBLE BITS WILL FALL FROM THE ROOF OF THE COOKER
    ONTO YA FOOD..
    I you use charcoal ,as soon as its lit you can start cooking !

  3. paulr

    Hi Peter, appreciate the comments 99% of the time I cook with lump charcoal I had to finish this bag (and it looked better with the heatbeads starter).

  4. Grill Reviews

    I’m glad I read the last comment. I’ve never used briquettes in that type of cooker, always lump. And I never need a chimney to start that, I just use simple starter sticks and it lights right up.

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  6. Patrick

    Hi, I could not read the second half of your post but if you are still looking for a chimney starter, try bunnings and masters. Hope that helps : )

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