How to Light a Charcoal Grill

Understanding how to grill with charcoal properly is always important and key to having a successful barbecue. But knowing how to get to the grilling process is part of the battle as well. This entails lighting your charcoal grill correctly and having a full understanding of how to light your grill safely. It might seem obvious that you would have to light a charcoal grill with a charcoal starter and that is all, but there is much more to the lighting process than you might think. This blog is tailored towards helping beginners light their charcoal grill appropriately or teach an “old dog new tricks” when it comes to lighting a charcoal grill.


Charcoal burning
Old Dog New Tricks



Best Way to Light Charcoal

When getting ready to light your charcoal grill there are some “do not’s” to keep in mind before lighting the charcoal. Do not use any kind of charcoal that is self-lighting; do not use charcoal that possesses additives, and DO NOT use lighter fluid. These “do not’s” are preventing any bad flavors from contaminating your food and that is the last thing you want for your favorite feel good foods. An alternative process to lighting your charcoal is with the use of a charcoal chimney and newspaper. The reason why a charcoal chimney is so useful to the lighting process is due to the chimney causing the charcoal to burn completely, quickly, and without the use of any additives. Additionally, a charcoal chimney allows the use of more charcoal to be burned, which creates a longer duration of burning time and makes your grilling process easier.


Charcoal burning in a charcoal chimney
Charcoal Chimney



How to Light a Charcoal Grill without Lighter Fluid

As stated above, the best way to light a charcoal grill is without using any additives that could create an unpleasant taste in your food. A way to go about using a more natural and cleaner lighting process is using a charcoal chimney and newspaper. Here is a step by step process to light your charcoal without lighter fluid. 


Examples of how to form your newspaper.
Charcoal Chimney and Newspaper



Step 1: Scrunch a full sheet of newspaper, un-scrunch it, then loosely roll the sheet of newspaper into a tube.
Step 2: Then form the tube into a circle almost like a bagel and place it at the bottom of your chimney starter.
Step 3: Pour around one table spoon of vegetable oil or canola oil on the newspaper.
Step 4: Place 15 to 20 pieces of charcoal in the chimney starter.
Step 5: Light the bagel shaped newspaper in several places from underneath your chimney starter.
Step 6: Let your charcoal cook for around 10 to 15 minutes and your charcoal should have a nice fire spreading.
Step 7: Place any additional charcoal that you will need for the size of your meal and let it set for another 10 to 15 minutes.
Step 8: Finally, move the charcoal and newspaper from your chimney starter to your grill and start grilling!


How to Build a Charcoal Fire

If you are a user of lighter fluid and do not mind or notice a different taste when adding lighter fluid. Than preparing different levels of a charcoal fire might come to your interest. Whether your heart desires to master how to make an even fire, two-level fire or an indirect fire, and show your friends a trick or two. Here is a link to a step by step process on how to make different levels of fire for your charcoal grill


Now that you have different lighting techniques in your arsenal, it is time to find the best charcoal grill that is the perfect match for you!




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