Getting ready to cook in your charcoal grill is easy but you do not want to use lighter fluid. So now you need to learn how to start a charcoal grill without lighter fluid safely and easily.
Cooking on a charcoal grill is perhaps makes the best tasting food making charcoal grilling one of the best ways to cook delicious ribs or steaks on the weekend.
You might have read it somewhere that lighter fluid is not the safest way to light your charcoal grill, and that is true as it can emit chemicals that might stick to your food when cooking.
Luckily for you, there are a lot of fire starters and different methods that you can use as a substitute for lighter fluid for charcoal lighting and we all have them here on this post.
You can easily put off your charcoal grill too using these hacks.
There are safer no-lighter fluid hacks that you can easily learn when cooking with your charcoal grill. There are electric charcoal starters and some more natural ways to do this.
One bad thing about the use of lighter fluid to start a charcoal grill is that it has many chemicals, which can produce unpleasant flavors and leave chemical tastes in your food while cooking.
That is why it is important to light your charcoal briquettes with more natural ones so that you do not have to deal with chemicals. Here, I will share the best ways to light charcoal with you.
How To Use A Chimney Starter
The use of lighter fluid is not the only way to start a charcoal fire in your grill.
One of the best ways to start charcoal grills without lighter fluid is to use a charcoal chimney starter.
This no-lighter fluid hack to start your charcoal grill is an inexpensive way to get your fire started. Charcoal chimney starters cost under $30 so you can afford them.
They are also for long-term use so you do not have to buy a new one every time you need to light your charcoal grill. This is one of the easy ways you can get instant charcoal fire.
Within 20 minutes or so, this charcoal starter will have you cooking the best-tasting foods on your grills and bring the best results to your hot dogs and other recipes.
It is very simple and easy to use.
The concept of a chimney starter is to allow hot air to enter from the bottom through the small air vents on the side and then light up the charcoals up to the top of the chimney starter.
Follow these step-by-step instructions in order to understand how to start your charcoal grill easily without lighter fluid.
Step 1. Get Your Fire Starter
If you are using a charcoal chimney starter, the best fire starter is just a couple of pieces of newspaper, and they ignite quickly and will have the charcoals blazing within a few minutes.
The first step is to twist the newspapers and then make a round shape, small enough to fit into the charcoal chimney starter. Palace the newspaper at the bottom of the charcoal chimney starter.
Make sure not to ball up the newspaper too tightly, you just need to crumple them up so that they can also light up quickly and produce fire under the chimney starter.
Note: avoid using paper towels as they would only produce too much smoke instead of producing flames.
Step 2: Fill Up The Charcoal Chimney Starter
Get your charcoal briquettes after placing the newspaper at the bottom of the chimney starter. Put all the charcoal you need up to the top of the chimney starter but do not press down on it.
By the time the chimney starter fills up, you can look for the holes at the bottom of the chimney starter. You should be able to see and access the newspaper from there.
Step 3: Light Up The Charcoals
Use a couple of pieces of newspaper out of the chimney starter through one of the air vents. You can use your Zippo lighter to light up the newspaper but this will be dangerous.
It is best to use a lighter with a long handle so you do not get burnt.
Start lighting up the newspaper in several areas, you can also do this with a long match to safely light it up.
You need to place the newspaper in a way that you do not harm yourself while you burn it.
Once the newspaper lights up, hot air will be pulled up from the bottom of the chimney starter, igniting the charcoal.
Allow the pieces of charcoal to light up for about 15 minutes.
Step 4: Start Cooking
By then, all the pieces of charcoal should be blazing hot and ready to be used.
Pour the contents of the chimney starter into the grill and then allow the open flames to light up other charcoals.
Place your grill grates on top and then start cooking your best-tasting food.
Starting Your Charcoal Grill With Newspapers Without A Chimney Starter
One of the cheapest and easiest ways to start your charcoal grill without lighter fluid is using the plain old newspaper technique.
You do not need other accessories like the chimney starter here.
You will just use your grill’s cooking grates to place the charcoals on.
This no-lighter fluid hack can light up your charcoals within 10 minutes and you will be ready to cook.
All you need to do is to crumple up some newspapers as you did with the chimney starter.
Place the newspaper on top of the grill grates and then pick up some dry twigs or dry sticks.
Put the dry sticks on top of the newspaper. The dry twigs or sticks will function as a charcoal catcher so that the pieces of charcoal will not slip through the grill grates.
Once you do this, you can use a long match stick to light up the newspapers at the bottom.
Allow it to build fire until the dry sticks start to ignite and bring in hot air to light up the charcoals.
You can also use a heat gun to bring in hot air and make the entire process a little bit quicker. Although, I do not recommend using it when the fire is still starting.
Use the heat gun only when the fire has started with the dry sticks so that you do not blow out the fire from the newspapers. The open flame will easily ignite the charcoal briquettes.
You also do not need to use up the whole grill grate, this process needs just a small space to ignite a few charcoal briquettes and not the whole pound of charcoals.
Once there are lit coals on the grill grate, carefully lift the grill grate and slide the lit coals on the firebox.
Place the rest of the charcoal briquettes and allow them to ignite as well.
Start cooking once the heat rises and the top coals are on fire.
You can also use a few coals and put them on just one side if you plan to use indirect heat or slow cooking on the grill.
How To Use A Looft Lighter
A looft lighter is a device that plugs in to create hot air and ignite your charcoals.
This device is made of metal that heats up and a blower at the back to create hot air.
The super-heated air is then blown towards the charcoals and ignites them within seconds.
You can do all of this with a push of a button making it one of the easiest ways to light up charcoals.
When you start cooking, this does not put any chemical taste to the charcoal or the food.
So it is a safe way to ignite the charcoals and a really good choice for your next cookout.
It is a great substitute for charcoal lighter fluid, especially if you do not like the chemicals and unpleasant flavors coming out of the lighter fluid.
My only issue with the looft lighter is that it is not the most budget-friendly option.
The high-quality looft lighters usually cost around $70 plus the electricity they will be using in the long run.
How To Light Charcoal With Cooking Oil
Cooking oil is a great alternative or substitute for lighter fluid for charcoals.
Cooking oil is not the most flammable liquid but it can help maintain strong flames on the grill.
This is one of the best ways to light up your firestarter briquettes without having to burn them out too quickly.
The cooking oil protects the charcoal briquettes so they last longer.
All you need to do is place the charcoal briquettes on the grill and then drizzle a little bit of cooking oil on them.
If you light charcoal with cooking oil, it will not immediately ignite.
Cooking oil or vegetable oil is not that flammable so you will need some fire starters like wood chips.
If you know how to start wood-fired ovens, you have a good idea of how this works.
If you light charcoal with cooking oil, you will need wood chips to make them ignite quicker.
Just be patient while lighting up the cooking oil as it will take quite a while.
Once the wood chips have ignited, they will produce a long-lasting fire enough to get the coals lit.
From there, you can add more coals once the firestarter briquettes are ignited.
Start cooking immediately to get the best results for your meal!