Many of you use a chimney starter to start the charcoal and have it completely burning (briquettes coated with gray ash) before adding it to the pit. This is great for it allows the burning off of much of the petroleum-based (mineral) coal and its tastes. Just stick your nose in the smoke as the charcoal begins burning and you'll know how that smell will foul the meat.
Anyway, most folks use a 'wad' of paper to start the chimney starter. Here is your secret --- grab the corners of two full size sheets of newsprint and crumple it so that the length stays the same. Take the length and curl it like a donut leaving a hole in the center. Light one part of the paper after it is in the bottom of the starter and get all the paper burning. Set it down and add the charcoal. The center 'hole' in the paper allow the heat to rise and begin the charcoal burning. Just crumpling the paper and stuffing it in prevents the heat from rising.
Need more heat? Leave a few burning briquettes (3 or 4) in the bottom of the chimney and refill to the desired level. That way, you will not need additional paper.
If you are using natural lump charcoal, start the charcoal in the same manner, but when adding additional charcoal for more heat, simply add the charcoal to the existing fire in the pit. There are no chemicals and fillers in lump charcoal to mess with.