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I want to pan-fry a burger tonight, but I don't want the smoke or smell in the house (we don't have a range hood, just an anemic exhaust fan that dates from the Truman administration). I considered grilling, but I don't want the trouble of cleaning up the grill.

So, in true mashup form, I figured I could combine the two and heat the cast iron skillet outside on top of my chimney starter.

Is this okay? I've seen people sear tuna above a chimney starter, but I haven't heard of using it like a campfire.

Cooking-wise, I don't care too much about having the heat concentrated in the middle of the pan - I'm more concerned about unwittingly damaging the seasoning on the pan or something.

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For those who (like me) thought, "A chimney what?", here it is: – JustRightMenus Sep 3 '10 at 0:50
Chimney starters are the charcoal users friend. Don't head for the grill without one. – dmckee Sep 3 '10 at 2:19
up vote 3 down vote accepted

I don't think you will hurt the pan, cast iron skillets can take a lot of heat. I think the biggest risk is that you are building a kind of dangerous tower. If you were to somehow knock it over you could hurt yourself badly.

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True, thanks. I kept that in mind while cooking - and I had a pan that fit the top of the chimney starter perfectly, which kept it very stable. – mskfisher Sep 3 '10 at 0:59

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