Lighting the Fire

by Kevin H. on February 22, 2012 · 2 comments

There are 3 basic ways to light your charcoal:

1.  Chimney  Yep, the same way your dad did.  It’s clean and efficient.  You can buy a chimney at Home Depot/Lowe’s and most grocery stores for under $20.  You put newspaper in the bottom, charcoal in the top.  Remove you top grilling grate, place it on the bottom grate of your grill , light the paper and you’re on your way.  15 minutes later the chimney will be full of red-hot coals.  Wear hot gloves to be safe, pick up the chimney and dump out the coals. For a more comprehensive explanation of my favorite way to light charcoal, check THIS out. Smoked BBQ Source did an EXCELLENT job with this article, leaving no questions.

2.  Lighter Fluid.  I personally don’t like using lighter fluid, unless maybe I’m camping.  Build a pyramid of coals.  Spray a small amount of lighter fluid across your pyramid and light immediately.  Do NOT let the fluid soak into the coals.  Why not?  Because it will give an undesirable taste to your meat.

3.  Electric These are pretty cool and a clean way to light your coals.  You need an outlet nearby obviously.  Build a pyramid of coals with the metal ring in the middle.  Make sure coals are all around the ring.  Plug in and you’re done!  After 10-15 minutes the coals will be lit enough for you to remove the metal ring.  Be very careful – this will remain hot for quite a while so you need a safe place to keep it while it cools.


For more tips from Smoked BBQ Source, go HERE and enjoy!

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Vicki June 1, 2012 at 8:41 am

I tried the first option but always seemed to have to add a second round of newspapers before the charcoal would burn. Then I read about a solution that I think has merit. Buy a bag of Matchlight, but only use 3 lumps in the bottom of the chimney and then fill the rest of the chimney with regular charcoal. That way when you are ready to dump the lit charcoal onto the grill, any chemical on the bottom has already burned off. Worked for me!


Kevin June 3, 2012 at 10:08 pm

This is an absolutely great suggestion, Vicki! I’ve never had the problem of needing to add more paper to my chimney – but I stuff almost a whole section in there usually. Regardless, using a few matchlight makes a ton of sense – thanks for the great tip!