How to Start a Charcoal Grill

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Learn how to start your charcoal grill and which tools make it easier. Let Lou Manfredini walk you through the safest and most effective ways to light your grill.

How to Start a Charcoal Grill

Lighting A Charcoal Grill

Electric Starter 

The electric starter may be considered the 'old school' way, but it is still very effective.
  1. Take your unplugged electric lighter and sandwich it in between your coals
  2. Cover completely
  3. Plug it in
  4. This method takes 8-10 minutes

Chimney Starter

The chimney starter is an easy way to ignite your coals quickly.
  1. Take a bundle of bunched up paper or fire starter cubes and place them in the bottom of the chimney
  2. Pour coals on top of the fire starter
  3. Light fire starter through the bottom slots of the chimney
  4. This method takes 8-10 minutes
  5. Grab handle with heat resistant glove and dump coal onto the grill

 Lighting Charcoal

When using lighter fluid, be sure to be extra cautious when working with others around you. You can use lump charcoal which lights easily and holds heat longer. If using pre-soaked charcoal, note, you can use this charcoal for all methods EXCEPT in a chimney starter.
  1. Stack charcoal in a pyramid - lump charcoal lights easily and holds heat longer
  2.  Spray lightly with lighter fluid until coals begin to shine
  3. Immediately light coals - do not allow time for coals to soak up lighter fluid
  4. Allow coal to get white hot to ensure all fluid has burnt off

Heating Up

  1. Let a nice white ash cover the coals
  2. Spread out the coals around the grill
  3. Place top on grill and allow to pre-heat for 20 minutes
  4. It is time to grill

Cooling Down

  1. Close bottom vents
  2. Place top on
  3. Allow to cool down for at least an hour
  For more tips and advice, visit your neighborhood Ace!
Published: 1/8/2020