Are you excited that spring is here? Why shouldn’t you be? After all, the season gives you the perfect opportunity to dust off your charcoal grill that has been in the store for several months and start preparing for long periods of outdoor feasting.
However, there are always mood-spoilers lurking close-by. For instance, there is nothing as annoying heading for a camping trip with friends hoping to enjoy some barbecue, only to discover that you did not carry your lighter fluid with you.
Luckily for you, we are here to guide you on how to light a charcoal grill without lighter fluid.
We are going to provide you with friendly and straightforward options that would instantly make you forget the chemical smell that usually comes with using lighter fluid to light your charcoal grill.
Benefits of not using Lighter Fluid
If there is something that we cannot take away from lighter fluid is how fast it is, and your meal will be ready in record time.
However, the fluid also has its disadvantages that would push you into finding viable alternatives.
It is important to note that lighter fluid is extremely volatile, and in a split second, you could have a fireball exploding on your face. So if you value your safety, avoid squirting this fluid on hot coals lest the worst happens.
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If you have ever used lighter fluid to light up your charcoal grill, you must have noticed a chemical smell which affects the flavor negatively. However, you may like how this smell drowns the otherwise choky charcoal smell.
As with most other chemicals in existence, swallowing this fluid is going to have some adverse effects on your health. You should have a safe storage place, especially if you have kids or pets around you.
Other Things to Think About
Before you embark on your grilling activities, there are several factors that you have to pay attention to. This includes the amount of food that you would be cooking, which will have a direct effect on the amount of charcoal you would be using.
The condition of the grill and grate is also essential, and you should ensure that they are very clean. The number of times you clean the grill will depend on how often you use it.
Also, remove any leftover ash so as to allow airflow and minimize the time needed for the charcoal to ignite.
With that in mind, let us dive into the other methods of lighting your charcoal besides relying on lighter fluid.
Method 1: Use of fluid-infused Briquettes
So in this method, we are not precisely avoiding the lighter fluid. However, acquiring such charcoal means that you won’t be adding any more fluid.
This makes it an excellent option for the newbies who are prone to fire hazards since they are never sure about the correct fluid proportions to add.
There are some things to note about these briquettes. First, you need to store them in an enclosed bag, or they will dry out.
Also, be prepared to dig deeper into your pockets since the fluid-infused briquettes don’t come cheap.
Method 2: Use of a Charcoal Chimney
The main benefits of a charcoal chimney are the affordability and durability. Just be sure to keep it from the rain if you want it to last.
There are a few simple steps that you need to follow so as to light your charcoal grill via this method:
- Start by crumpling up some papers before dousing them in some vegetable oil. Then proceed to place these papers into the bottom section of the chimney.
- Next, fill the chimney with charcoal before lighting up the paper towels in the bottom section. As the paper towels light up, they emit heat, which will ignite the coals.
- Wait for a few minutes for the charcoals to ignite as much as you had wanted.
The top of the charcoal turning to ash signifies that you can begin grilling. Your meal should be ready in a short period, and you are going to appreciate the lack of a chemical taste that would have been brought by lighter fluid.
Method 3: Use of Charcoal Starters
In this method, you get to use coal to ignite all the charcoal in the grill. You may be fooled by the small size of the igniting element, but in the real sense, the coal can light up a sizeable chunk of charcoal.
This is an eco-friendly way of avoiding lighter fluid and its chemical smell.
Method 4: Use of Hot Air Charcoal Starters
As the name suggests, this method relies on super-heated air to ignite the charcoal. Although this is an expensive option, it is fast, and you can depend on it for regular use.
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Method 5: Firestarter Briquette
If you want a mess-free option, this is what you should go for. In the end, the briquettes will burn completely such that no residue flavor remains.
To get started, remove the grate before adding some charcoal. Ensure the grates are open to allow for air circulation.
The firestarter has to be in the top layer of the coals, and you should follow the set of instructions stated on the package.
Cover the grill with a lid and let the firestarter burn on its own. In about ten minutes, the coals should have lit up while the firestarter should have burned entirely away.
If you want the heat to distribute evenly, you could spread out the coals.
Wrapping It Up
Have you noticed that your barbecue has a weird chemical taste? If you had used lighter fluid to ignite the charcoal, then you have found the cause of this discomfort.
To maintain the natural taste of roast meat and sausages, you have to find an alternative to this fluid. Not only should your meat taste better, but it should also be free of any potentially harmful elements.
The alternatives that we have provided are simple, and anyone could use them. Although some of them are quite pricey, at least you get to enjoy your meat without an offensive taste that would have spoiled everyone’s mood.