How To Light Charcoal Without Lighter Fluid? This is an easy question for many people who enjoy camping and outdoor activities. This situation brings you to search for light charcoal at local grocery store while it may be not there forever. After some time, this problem may appear again including the next trip that needs your attention.
You would like to have your own smoker or grill that can cook everything you need on fire with burning wood instead of lighter fluid. But how to keep food warm all night long? How to spend more evenings outside with friends under starry sky without worrying about means of warming up food on fire?
This article will provide some answers for these questions in details so you will know how to light charcoal without lighter fluid properly if needed one day.
Buy The Best Charcoal
The very first step is to buy best charcoal. The high quality of charcoal can ensure you having food cooked on it without being burned or too hot. If you have kids, the safety should be your priority because little children are sensitive to heat and fire.
As popular brands offer numberless types of coals for different purposes, the very first thing about picking up right one is learn what kind of meat you want to cook this time or how much food you plan to prepare at that day. This way will help you finding out suitable amount of coal which guarantees that all pieces are even enough for cooking evenly.
There are also two main categories of grilling coal available on market: natural wood briquettes and self-igniting briquettes like those with lighter fluid. If you are planning to use less lighter fluid, picking up natural wood briquettes would be better for you.
The regular way of getting them is to cut hardwood until they reach optimal size so no need to worry about rushing out your fireplace with extra bags anytime soon. But what if it’s the last day before the trip and you didn’t find proper pieces of nature like oak yet? Self-igniting charcoal should meet all needs this time as long as there were no kids around.
They are widely available on grocery store shelves or gas stations; not only that but also burn more evenly than woods which keep you covered even when having large amounts of food cooking at once.
To make sure everything is safe, it’s essential to follow instructions on bag carefully and light up charcoal only in fixed fire pit. Also, it’s better to start your journey towards cooking with natural woods and move onto self-igniting ones if needed and vice versa. Just make sure you know what kinds of coal are suitable for grilling whatever food you plan to cook.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Soaking Charcoal In Water?
Beside from how to light charcoal without lighter fluid, if you want to have a long-lasting barbecue for your family, soaking charcoal in water will help you. Charcoal is able to hold outside moisture from being absorbed which gives it a longer usage period.
When briquettes are soaked in water, they become more flexible and pliable, allowing them to burn evenly and thoroughly.
This method prevents burning or charring of meat prior to cooking because coals will be less aggressive when it comes into contact with food that needs tenderness.
Moreover, the added water also prevents ash from burning onto meat despite higher temperatures. In the end, it’s all about better tasting barbecued food even though some people think it doesn’t make much difference.
Soaking charcoal in water is also a good way to clean the grill grates. All you have to do is sprinkle some of the soaked briquettes on the grates, let them heat up, and then brush them off with a wire brush. The black residue will come right off!
There are many other benefits to this easy technique. Soaking charcoal can help increase your cooking time by 50%, make it easier to start the fire, and create less smoke while cooking.
Overall, it’s a great way to make your barbecuing experience easier and more enjoyable! Try it out for yourself and see how much of a difference it makes. You won’t be disappointed.
What can I use instead of lighter fluid?
If you run out of lighter fluid while lighting the charcoal, don’t worry! You can still have your barbecue prepared without it. There are many alternatives for this purpose that people use to light up wood or briquettes, but never forget about safety when trying to use them.
If you want to be safe during using these alternative methods, only follow the instructions on package carefully and keep children away from fire until coals are completely lit up.
Can I use vegetable oil instead of lighter fluid?
A majority of lighter fluid is a mixture of naphtha and petroleum distillates. There are many different kinds of fluids, but they contain similar substances as mentioned above. It’s very flammable and smells like kerosene or gasoline, so it can catch fire easily.
The best way to do this is to find lighter that has adjustable flame then light your grill with lowest heat possible until coals become fully lit up.
If you want to avoid buying chemical products from store, vegetable oil can replace charcoal fluid instead without any risk at all. It won’t have an odor even though the smell will disappear after being used a few times.
We all know how dangerous is to use gas-fueled BBQ tools because they require careful maintenance especially when working with gas tanks. Make sure everything is safe before even trying to light charcoal with lighter fluid or vegetable oil.
As for me, using lighter fluid is the best option because it has long-lasting effect on grilling time while not being expensive at all which makes healthier barbecuing possible. This tip on how to light charcoal without lighter fluid should be useful every time you are done cooking outdoors so let’s get your barbecue started!
Can you light charcoal with sugar?
Yes, of course you can! Maybe it sounds crazy but it won’t hurt to try once. Sugar will help the charcoal from burning too fast while providing a delicious coating which will add an extra flavor. Avoid using sugar when you are trying to cook steaks or other foods that need tenderness because the sugar crust on outside will burn into charcoal and make them harder rather than softer.
Keep your grills clean all the time while cooking outdoors so meat won’t get ash taste on meats. For example, if you want to cook some ribs, be careful not to let some sugar fall onto ribs which is cooked for two hours already. The best way is to test with small amount until you find out whether they are tender enough or too hard.
If you want to avoid extra effort and time, use lighter fluid instead. Using sugar is a long-lasting method that will provide great charcoal taste for your food as well as making cooking process easier without any harmful effect on animals or plants.
You can even try with drinking water which can be effective but it’s not as good as using vegetable oil because the process will take longer time than usual. We all know how important nutrients are for our body so don’t forget about those when selecting one of these methods!
How do you start a charcoal that won’t light?
There are several reasons for this problem and we will try to address them all. Some people don’t know how to light charcoal without lighter fluid, so they can run into trouble then complain about it on internet since there is no other alternative at the moment.
This article provides great tips for everyone who is new in grilling area or having any trouble during this process. It’s very hard to start a charcoal if you are not doing it right since it won’t have any effect on lighting up even though some might work out after few tries. Let’s see what mistakes are most common when starting fires!
Burners are off
Before trying anything else, make sure your burners are turned on all the way. Just turn one of them to the left to see if it’s working correctly. If you are using gas-powered grill, make sure there is enough amount of gas in tank so the stove can produce enough energy for lighting charcoal properly.
If your burners are turned off, you will have some hard time since the charcoal will be too wet and won’t start burning successfully after putting even more lighter fluid on it which can kill whole barbecue process for good.
1. Shake-shake your lighter fluid
Using lighter fluids is very dangerous, so we advise you to avoid this method even though it’s the fastest one when lighting a charcoal. Look at this great video from Grill Master Dave which explains the whole process in a few minutes:
2. Lighter instead of electric coil starter – use gas!
This might not be a mistake but still don’t try to light up different types of grills using a gas lighter or other similar methods since there is a possibility that aluminum foil won’t melt but will start on fire and ruin everything in seconds. Please use an electric coil hook for electric grills only instead of trying to find another way which might lead to very unpleasant consequences if done wrong (we are looking at you, Mr. X!)
3. Not using enough charcoal or too much
Another common mistake is when people try to save money by not buying enough coal or using too much which will result in hard time lighting it up. Make sure you use proper amounts for your grill and everything will be just fine!
4. Poor ventilation
This one is crucial for charcoal grilling – make sure you have enough air moving around the coals so they can light up evenly and create perfect fire. If there is no circulation, the charcoal on one side might not light up and this usually leads to frustration.
5. Wet charcoals
One of the most common reasons why charcoal doesn’t light is because it’s wet which will definitely prevent any ignition from happening. Make sure you allow your charcoals to dry off for at least 30 minutes before trying to light them up.
6. Putting the charcoal on top of the grate
This one is very important – make sure you spread the coals out evenly on the bottom of the grill and don’t put them on top of the grate since it will be hard to get them going that way. This mistake is usually made by beginners who are not aware of all the steps necessary for starting a perfect fire.
7. Not using starter fluid
Some people might not use starter fluid because they think it’s dangerous or they don’t have any at home. However, this is usually a bad idea because charcoal will take a lot longer to light up without using it and you might end up giving up.
8. Covering the grill
This is another common mistake that people make – once the charcoal is lit, they cover the grill which will result in lower temperatures and longer cooking time. Make sure you keep the lid open until the fire gets really hot so your food can cook evenly and quickly.
9. Not using enough oxygen
When starting a charcoal grill, make sure there is plenty of air blowing on the coals so they can ignite properly. If there isn’t enough oxygen, the fire will die out and you will have to start over again.
10. Igniting the charcoal too early
Last but not least, don’t try to start coals too early since they won’t light up by themselves. Wait until the grill is really hot and then start igniting the charcoal with a torch, lighter or electricity – this way your food will cook properly and you won’t run into any problems later on!
How To Light Charcoal Without Lighter Fluid?
The Charcoal Chimney Method:
This is the easiest way to light charcoal without any additional items or equipment needed. All you need to do is put some coals in a chimney and fill in a few pieces of newspaper in it. Set up your grill or smoker before lighting your coals in a chimney so you have all time for getting ready while fire ignites.
When opening the lid, carbon monoxide will come out which makes air outside safer for being inhaled so there’s no danger that smoke may get into your kitchen through cracks between walls and ceiling.
The Charcoal Chimneys are made from metal or clay material which allows heat flow easily inside when putting burning coals on its bottom part. The heat from lit charcoal inside rises inside the chamber with oxygen from newspaper which makes smoke to be full of carbon monoxide.
The advantages of this method are very simple way to light charcoal without lighter fluid, convenience for use and no risk in burning your hands with fire or hot coals after you have lit them.
This is the most safe option for children who may not notice they shouldn’t touch a bowl with burning charcoal directly without reasonable protection even though it’s made from ceramic, metal or any other material that doesn’t get hot quickly.
The disadvantage is time-consuming when using this chimney; it may take longer than 20 minutes if you’re having slow-burning coal which hasn’t been preheated before the grill will get ready. You should set up all stuffs that needed like food utensils, grills and pots before starting to use this method because you have to wait a while for charcoal being ready.
The Charcoal Chimney Method #2:
It’s fast and environmentally-friendly way for how to light charcoal without lighter fluid which you can use almost anything that can hold burning materials like sheet of paper, wood splinters made from pine, logs or other natural sources.
Just set up any kind of heating material in bottom part of chimney then light them up while waiting until they’re hot enough to be moved into another chamber where food should be placed shortly after.
The disadvantage is if the heating materials are not controlled carefully, there may arise the danger of burning your hands with hot coals later because this method lets out lots of smoke when lighting up charcoals.
One more thing you should keep in mind is that it’s time-consuming compared to other methods unless you’re using better chimney like Weber Kettle because these chimneys get charcoal ready for grilling quickly.
The Charcoal Chimney Method #3:
This method uses lighter fluid or gasoline to make charcoals get hot faster and save energy. To use this method, pour little amount of gas used for fueling up stoves in bottom part of chimney then light it up while waiting until all pieces are ready to be moved into another chamber where cooking should start shortly after.
This method is the best when you intend to cook something quicker but if you have many things to prepare at a time, just use any kind of fire instead applying chemical products which are dangerous when used by unexperienced persons.
The Charcoal Starter Method:
It’s the same as using a chimney but with an addition of a lighter or a torch in place of newspaper. All what you need is a wire so you can easily light up coals from the bottom without any risk reaching your hands with fire. It takes more time than chimney method when lighting charcoal to be used outdoors though it still takes only about five minutes if done right.
The extra advantage compared to chimney is that there’s no smoke released into air after lights are on which makes it easier for placing half-open lid over grill or smoker when keeping food warmer longer.
It works like electric starter but not as fast as disposable lighter does. To use gas charcoal starter, all you need is turn on one lever of ignition switch and wait until coals get hot enough before moving them into hotter area where food will be cooked later.
The Disposable Lighter Method:
You can easily put out the fire with water or douse it with sand if needed to avoid burning your hands. The disadvantage of this method is that you should hold lighter against the bottom of charcoal for several seconds which gets your hand dangerously close to heat and flames.
You should keep in mind how long and what kind of heat you light up charcoal with disposable lighters because it’s the most dangerous way.
The Electric Twig Twirl Method:
It’s a fun way to light charcoal without lighter fluid because you don’t need any tools other than electric twig which makes fire from coals by rotating it.
To use this method, you should place your twigs at the bottom of charcoal grill or smoker then touch their red-hot end to coal for lighting up. After that, move your twigs couple centimeters higher and repeat process for several times until all pieces are ready for cooking.
The advantage compared to other methods is environmental-friendly because no chemicals used in gas starter nor disposable lighters needed here. You can use electric twig as safe as possible knowing that if you make a mistake by burning yourself with hot coals, all you have to do is use twigs for touching up coals to put out fire.
The Looftlighter Method:
It works by lighting up charcoal with lighter fluid then placing the device on top of it. The disadvantage is you need some skills for lighting coals without dropping them, making food get burned because they’re ready earlier than expected or causing fire accidents which are serious when using this method indoors.
Another thing to mention is that, there are lots of ways to light charcoal but most of them use lighters so beginners should avoid getting their hands burnt with hot charcoals while waiting until charcoal are done by practicing on simpler methods first.
The Electric Charcoal Starter Method:
works like electric twig but much safer because you don’t risk touching hot coals with your hands later which can cause serious burns if not treated in time. To use this method, just plug in the device then wait until all pieces are ready for cooking to quickly move them into another chamber where food should be placed shortly after getting hotter.
The advantage of using electric charcoal starter is it lights up faster than any other methods partly because parts are hot enough before lighting up charcoals which lose heat while waiting.
Here are 4 ways of electric charcoal lighter with pictures so you will learn how to light charcoal without lighter fluid in easier way:
1. Dryer Sheet Method
This method is very easy because all you need is just one sheet of fabric softener dryer sheet. Take a clean dryer sheet and crumple it completely then place the sheet under your charcoal. Now, you can use a long match or lighter to light the charcoal on fire.
2. Using Stove Top
You can also use gas stove for this purpose, if you have one in your backyard. Just put briquettes at the bottom of stove top and turn it on. After some time, coals should be almost entirely lit up. If not enough, just repeat the process until you see visible signs of coals getting hot enough to begin smoking which means they are ready for grilling now!
3. Fire-Pit Method
This method is pretty similar to using dryer sheet so no need to worry about putting out fire with water afterward. Just put 2-3 layers of newspaper on the ground and crumple a few dryer sheet on it. Once you see fire, gas or stove top is not enough to make coals burning – use long match to light the newspaper on fire and place grill over it.
4. Electric Grill Method
If you don’t have barbecue set yet but want to light your charcoal with lighter fluid, you can also do that by using an electric grill instead! Take a clean cloth then soak it into lighter fluid then wrap inside of each briquette from all sides. Now turn on gas and wait for some time until they start smoking which means they are ready for grilling now!
The Best Way to Light Charcoal Without Lighter Fluid!
Just get an incense stick burner and keep it on top of charcoal pile, it will light your coals for you and in no time you can start your grilling.
Electric Charcoal Starter: It’s the most effective way to light charcoals and one of best ways to light charcoal is by using electric charcoal starter which saves energy and time because it gets hot in couple minutes only while lighting up coals at the same time.
This device doesn’t require any heat sources like fire or lighters when using, all you need is plug it in electrical socket then wait until all pieces are ready for cooking before moving them into another chamber where food should be placed shortly after getting hotter.
The thing I like about this method is its safety because you don’t risk burning your with hot coals afterwards which can cause serious injuries, just get one of these devices and you’ll be free of worries about lighting charcoals.
As you can see, getting ready for grilling is not the only difficult part but how to keep coals lighted until your meal’s done while avoiding harmful products like lighters or chemicals used in gas starters.
So, try any one of best ways on how to light charcoal without lighter fluid then tell about your experience using it because I’m sure there will be more new methods appeared shortly which are safe alternatives of traditional lighter fluids.