A charcoal chimney is a quick and easy way to get the charcoal (lump or briquette) started.
The charcoal is put in the chimney and settles on a grate near the bottom. Wadded up newspaper is placed in the bottom and lit. The flames rise up through the chimney and light the charcoal. Once the charcoal is ashen is can be dumped into the grill or smoker.