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How to Light a Charcoal Grill Naturally: Never Use Lighter Fluid Again

charcoal grilling life 1231 300x199 How to Light a Charcoal Grill Naturally: Never Use Lighter Fluid Again“Let the Lighter Fluid Burn off the Charcoal for about 20 Minutes”… Or Just Suck On An Exhaust Pipe

By Larry Kay

Excuse the sarcasm but if you’re going to use charcoal there is no need to ever use lighter fluid. Simply take a page of newspaper (yes, you may have to buy a newspaper to do this, but you’ll be set for the whole summer that way), drizzle a tablespoon of plain vegetable oil over it and crumple the paper up to smear the oil all over. Take the wadded up paper and put it on your lower grill grate, mound up your coal over it in a “pyramid” shape (or, as we call it, a pile) leaving a small area of the paper accessible. Light the newspaper and the oiled paper will act as a wick; your coals will be ready in about 20 minutes and there’s no chemical residue or nasty taste involved.




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5 comments to How to Light a Charcoal Grill Naturally: Never Use Lighter Fluid Again

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  • Hi, thanks for this tips,I probably will try wood somewhere down the line in the Weber as I have always used wood on conventional concrete BBQ surfaces, and I prefer the smoky taste it gives to the food. I was just initially concerned that it ‘wood’ not be good for the drum?! The grill on which the charcoal brikettes lie on has fairly large spaces between the wrungs. Wood coals are smaller than the briquettes. so I will have to find a new surface to stack the wood on, else the coals will simple fall into the base of the drum.

    I did do my first BBQ with the weber last night. Even with briquettes the chicken did taste good. However I made the mistake of putting too few briquettes on the grill. The coals died out too quickly and we had to microwave the chicken to finish cooking it


  • As a kid I would spray a ton of lighter fluid anytime my dad would grill. He would always get annoyed and say not to use that as it ruins the flavor. Didn’t matter to me at the time. I just liked playing with fire. :)


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  • Hi, thanks for the instructions for lighting charcoal. I have always used lighter fluid and there is a chemical taste. I’ll give your method a try.


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