How to Light Charcoal Without Lighter Fluid Using these 7 Things

There are several ways on how to light charcoal without lighter fluid. Even though the fluid is more quick and convenient, it is not a must to use it.

On the other hand, lighter fluid can be harmful, messy, and chemicals can get absorbed by food changing its taste.

Another drawback is that after lighting the charcoal you are left with the odor on your clothes or even hair.

Want to light charcoal in the backyard and you have no lighter fluid? .

Here are the different lighter fluid alternatives. Lets get started;

Techniques On How To Light Charcoal Without Lighter Fluid

1. Electric starter

An electric starter usually consists of a U-shaped and oval piece of the metal set.

It works by lighting the charcoal with the heat from a coil eliminating the need for using a live flame.

It’s the right choice when it comes to lighting charcoal.

Char-Boil electric starter is on of the best electric starters in the market.

These metal elements start heating up once the device is plugged into an electrical source.

To be effective, you have to set the lighter under the briquettes then plug it in.

Then wait for the coals to be covered in a layer of gray ash before you unplug and remove the starter.

One of the advantages is that it is Eco-friendly and easy to use.

2. Chimney starter

There are a few steps to follow when lighting your charcoal with a chimney starter.

First, put the right amount of charcoal on the chamber, ensuring that you don’t put too much since it slows the igniting process.

Squeeze up some paper towels, then Dip the crumpled papers in vegetable oil.

Note that it is not a must to dip them in the oil, so you don’t have to worry if you don’t have it.

Put the papers under your chimney starter

Then put charcoal on top of the chimney starter

Lastly, light up the paper towels.

The paper towels will produce heat that eventually ignites the charcoal.

This works since the heat rise to the top of the charcoal, which lights up after some time.

The best side of this alternative is that it does not leave your food with a chemical taste at the end of the cooking, unlike lighter fluid.

Note that how you spread your charcoal will determine how fast it will light.

When lighting, use less charcoal, then add more once they light up.

Did you know you can get rid of a tree stump using charcoal?

3. Fire briquettes

How to Light Charcoal Without Lighter Fluid

Here are the steps for lighting up the charcoal with a fire briquette

Remove the grate

Secondly, add some fresh coal; however, this depends on your grill since some can easily use previously used coals.

Open the vents to allow air to flow in.

Place the fire starter in the middle of the coals, then light it up depending on the package’s instructions.

Close the lid and allow it to burn. Note that you must leave the vents open to avoid the firestarter from burning out.

Wait for around 10 minutes for the charcoal to light up fully.

Once the fire starter has burned away, and the coals light redistribute them for even heat distribution.

Put the grate back and allow it to heat up for a couple of minutes.

Check my post on what to do with wood chips from chipper

The charcoal is now hot and ready to cook your food.

4. Newspaper

Old newspapers can be of help when lighting up your charcoal.

If you are not in a position to get an electric or chimney starter.

First, ensure that the grill is empty and has no ash remains or any other dirt.

Open the vents to keep air flowing into the grill.

Rumple a few newspapers, then place them in the grilling chamber.

Set the right amount of charcoal on top of the newspapers.

Light up the papers, then watch to ensure they do not go off before the charcoal ignite.

In case they don’t, repeat the process, but this time use more newspapers.

You can also add some firewood or wood chips on the newspapers.

Also read on what to know on wood chipper rental prices.

Ensure you don’t use too much charcoal or too little.

5. Alcohol

When it comes to alcohol, any high-proof liquor will be a great choice.

Pick some paper towels then dip them into the alcohol then put them between the coals.

Light the papers and be careful of flare-ups, which can lead to severe burns on your body.

The best way is to drop the igniting match into the papers while keeping some distance.

Wait for several minutes for your charcoal to ignite.  You are now ready to start using your charcoal.

In case they don’t repeat the process and ensure you are using the right amount of charcoal.

6. Vegetable oil

Vegetable oil is another alternative for a lighter fluid when it comes to lighting charcoal or starting a fire.

You have to dip some paper into the vegetable oil and then place them in the middle of the grilling chamber.

Add the right amount of charcoal on top of the soaked papers.

Light the papers and give them some minutes to ignite the coals.

In case they don’t ignite, repeat the process, and you can use chipped wood on top of the soaked papers for better results.

Be careful when lighting the papers since flare-ups are most likely to appear quickly.

If you don’t have vegetables, you can use bacon grease or lard instead.

7. Egg carton

Instead of throwing away an egg carton, you can reuse it to light charcoal.

What you do is place the charcoal on the spots where the eggs usually lie.

Put the carton in the grill chamber and light all its corners.

You will notice that as the egg carton burns, it will be igniting the charcoal, making them ready for use.

Final Thoughts On How To Light Charcoal Without Lighter fluid

Knowing how to light charcoal without a lighter fluid will help ensure that your food does not have a chemical taste.

All the above methods are effective, so it is up to you to choose depending on what is readily available to you.

So if you don’t have an electric or chimney starter, you can go for another method like an egg carton or vegetable oil.


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