Everyone loves the flavor of char-grilled food. Of course, the drawback to grilling with charcoal is that it takes time. It may take awhile to get charcoal burning at the right temperature to cook your food. You can use lighter fluid or easy-light briquettes, but both are loaded with chemicals that can leave your grilled food with a funky taste. Fortunately, with the right techniques, you can get your charcoal lit and have your grill preheated easily every time.

Basic Charcoal Lighting Technique

It is possible to light charcoal right inside your grill if you do it the right way. First, lay down a bed of crumpled newspaper. Pile your charcoal over the newspaper in a tightly packed pyramid. Light the newspaper, and wait for the charcoal to ignite. Fanning the charcoal can help the pile of charcoal ignite faster. When the charcoal turns white and stops smoking excessively, your charcoal is ready for grilling.

Lighting Charcoal With a Chimney

One of the most popular ways to light charcoal quickly and effectively is with a charcoal chimney. Charcoal chimneys are simple, inexpensive and incredibly effective. Charcoal chimneys are vented metal cylinders with an upper compartment for charcoal and a lower compartment for an igniter, such as newspaper or a lighter cube. To light charcoal with a chimney, fill the top portion of the chimney tightly with charcoal. Pile crumpled newspapers below. Light the newspaper and give the coals 10 to 15 minutes to fully engage in the burn. You will know the charcoal in the chimney is ready when the flames reach the top of the charcoal piled within the chimney. Using a grilling glove to protect your hand, carefully pour the charcoal from the chimney into the grill, keeping the charcoal tightly stacked to keep the hot burn going.

Using a Looftlighter to Start Your Charcoal Fire Fast

While you can employ the basic charcoal lighting technique or use the simple technology of a charcoal chimney to get your charcoal fire burning, both of those techniques take some time to get your grill going. For a faster charcoal ignition, try the Looftlighter. The Looftlighter is an electric charcoal starter that uses superheated air to fully ignite charcoal in 60 seconds. To light your grill with a Looftlighter, tightly stack your charcoal in a pyramid in your grill, with or without a crumpled newspaper base. Touch the Looftlighter to the charcoal pile, and when sparks appear, pull it back slightly and hold for 10 to 15 seconds. Aim the Looftlighter at the same spot for 60 seconds until the charcoal fully ignites.

If you love to cook over a charcoal fire, stop by Tri-County Hearth & Patio Center today! We stock everything you need to successfully grill with charcoal, from top-of-the-line charcoal grills to high-quality charcoal to charcoal chimneys and Looftlighters.