6 Ways to Light Your Charcoal Without Lighter Fluid

There are many ways to light a charcoal grill.  The first thing that many people reach for though is a bottle of stinky lighter fluid.  Well, this is a big no-no in our world.  The smell and the fumes will penetrate your food and give it a weird, off putting flavor.  Not to mention that if you are using a kamado style cooker such as a Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe or Primo, the fluid will get into the ceramics and the smell and fumes will seemingly never go away.

We are constantly asked what the best way to light charcoal is, so we decided to cover some of them for you.  Now, this may be common knowledge for some, but to many it is a great mystery.  We will show you six different ways that you can light your charcoal and have it burning just as quickly, if not quicker than you would with lighter fluid.  Uggh, I don’t even like typing the words!

  1. Paper towel and cooking oil- This is a great one to use and using items that you probably have around the house anyway.  Simply wad up or twist the paper towel and cover it in cooking oil.  Simply tuck it down into your coals and light, it’s as easy as that.  In just a few minutes you will have a nice, clean fire going.
  2. Fire Starters- These are an item that we sell right on our website or your local grill store should carry some.  The FOGO fire starters are an all-natural way to get the fire going.  Simply place one or two into the are where you want to start your fire and light them.  You can leave them burn or you can build a little charcoal tepee around them.  Either way, your fire will be burning hot quickly.
  3. Propane Grill Torch- This is quite possibly the easiest way to light your coals.  It is a portable propane bottle attached to a JJGeorge grill torch.  The propane bottle gets screwed on to the torch and you’re ready to go.  Just turn the gas knob on and hit the built-in igniter switch.  The flames will shoot out the front of the torch and you simply aim it at the coals where you would like them lit.
  4. Newspaper and Chimney Starter- This is a great way to get a larger fire going quickly.  It starts with filling the chimney up with FOGO Premium charcoal.  Crumple two pieces of newspaper and set then on your grill grate. Place the chimney full of charcoal over the newspaper balls and light the paper.  In about ten minutes, the coals will have lit and burned from the bottom and ignited all the coals up to the top.  Carefully pour the lit coals onto your charcoal pile and start cooking.
  5. Electric Starters- For this, you must have an electrical outlet and usually requires an extension cord as well.  You place the heating element down into the charcoal and plug it in.  That’s all there is to it.  Let it go for about five to ten minutes and pull the hot element out of the coals.  Be careful it will stay hot for a long time and is easy to get burned.
  6. Blazaball- This handy little cage is something that we have just started carrying on our website and is a very handy little item.  These are great for low and slow cooks in a kamado cooker.  You place two fire starters inside the small metal cage, close it, place it in your empty grill and light it.  Let it burn for a minute, then dump your coals on top.  This is the most efficient way to burn your kamado as the air is getting directly to the fire and not having to fight its way to the top of the coals to reach the fire.  You can also light it and place it atop your charcoal pile and build a little charcoal tepee over it to get the coals really lit well.  It has many options for use.

Each of these methods will help you achieve the same result, a clean, hot fire with no chemical smells or fumes.  Your food will taste better, and it is better for you.  Apart from the chimney and electric starter, each of these items are available on our website at www.FOGOCharcoal.com.


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