Summer is here, and every foodie knows it is barbeque season. The charcoal grill guarantees fresh and smoky flavored food from roasting meat over the flames to buggers and sausages. Nothing is more satisfying to a cook than serving charred food with a rich smell.
Every barbeque starts with lighting the charcoal grill. Knowing how to light a charcoal grill is essential because it improves your grilling skills. However, lighting a charcoal grill is a challenge to many.
Best Ways to Light up Charcoal
To light the charcoal grill, you will need a lighter, lighter fluid, a wire brush, and charcoal. Here are the best ways to fire up your charcoal grill:
How to Light your Charcoal Grill with a Chimney
The charcoal chimney is also referred to as a charcoal starter. It is a metal cylinder that keeps briquettes together and has air spaces to facilitate the fast ignition of the charcoal. This is one of the best methods of lighting your coal.
Here is how to use a charcoal chimney:
- Fill the chimney starter with charcoal. A regular chimney starter can hold up to 100 coal briquettes.
- Add two sheets of newspaper to the bottom of the charcoal chimney and Light it in several spots. The newspaper will burn in the lower chambers, and the flames will light the edges of the coal briquettes above.
- After about fifteen minutes, the coal should be grey. Consider sprinkling cooking oil on the newspaper for it to burn longer.
- When the charcoal is ready, it will glow through the grill vents. Make sure the grill vents are closed.
- Transfer the coal from the charcoal starter into the base grill grate.
- Spread the coals across the grill grate using long-handled tongs.
- Put the charcoal chimney in a safe place once you have poured the coals.
How to Light a Charcoal Grill Without Lighter Fluid
Many people avoid charcoal grilling because of the lighter fluid. Lighter fluid may make your food taste like gasoline.
Coal soaked in the lighter fluid will make your food smell unpleasant as the food will absorb the chemicals from the coal while cooking. Most grillers prefer using natural ways of lighting coal as it positively impacts the flavor of the meat.
Here are ways of lighting a charcoal grill without lighter fluid:
Lighting your grill with an electric charcoal starter Electronic charcoal starter is an electronic gadget with a handle on one side and a coil on the other end, which acts as a heating element. All you have to do is make it hot enough by plugging it into a power source to light up the charcoal.
Follow these steps when using an electronic charcoal starter:
- Pour the charcoal into your grill in a single pile.
- Place the electric charcoal starter at the center of the pile of charcoal.
- Add a second pile of charcoal on top of the coil of the electronic charcoal starter and the surrounding briquettes.
- As the charcoal begins to ignite, mix the pile, and stir the charcoal to make sure they all ignite.
- Remove the electric charcoal starter when the charcoal is well lit.
Although electric charcoal starters light up the charcoal slowly, they eliminate the need for lighter fluid and newspapers.
Lighting your grill with looflighter
Looflighter is also known as hot air charcoal starters. This method makes lighting a charcoal grill super easy. Whereas the charcoal chimney ignites charcoal in fifteen minutes, the looflighter can ignite coal briquettes in two minutes.
The looflighter operates like a paint stripper by focusing hot air on the charcoal. The looflighter functions as a power blower, which fans the flame.
Here is how you use the looflighter:
- Pour the charcoal at the bottom of your grill.
- Place the looflighter into the center of the pile and switch it on.
- When sparks appear, pull the looflighter backward to spread the flame across the entire charcoal pile.
Looflighters are pricier than other techniques of lighting a charcoal grill, but they are safe and efficient.
Fire starter briquette
This is an easy alternative to using lighter fluid, and you can easily find them at your local grocery store or hardware store. These briquettes will burn much cleaner than lighter fluid.
They are preferred to lighter fluid because they burn entirely and thus don’t leave residual flavor on your food.
These are the steps to use a fire starter:
- First, the fire starters are buried in the pile of charcoal before lighting it.
- Once the charcoal has started igniting, close the lid of the charcoal grill and let the fire starters burn.
- After ten minutes, open the grill lid.
- Redistribute the charcoal for even heat distribution, and you are set to start your grilling.
Also, click here to learn how to put out a charcoal grill.
With this information at your fingertips, lighting a charcoal grill will no longer be a daunting task. However, avoid using lighter fluid as it leaves a chemical after taste in your food. Use the above natural ways when lighting your grill for a chemical-free meal.