How to Light a Charcoal Grill Safely & Effictively

by Nicasio Latasa | Updated 11/08/20
lighting charcoal grills

When using a charcoal grill, getting the fire going isn’t the difficult part. You need to pay attention to safety considering that lighter liquid is among the top root causes of grilling-related injuries. Discover options and also exactly how to light your charcoal grill safely with or without lighter fluid.

Starting Charcoal

The very best method to begin your charcoal is with a charcoal chimney or comparable device. A charcoal chimney uses paper as opposed to lighter fluid, eliminating using a petroleum product that can add undesirable taste as well as deposit to your food. You position a number of sheets of crumpled paper in the bottom of the chimney and also charcoal in addition to it. Light it as well as the charcoal will get your charcoal ready to place in the grill in about 15 minutes.

An additional alternative is an electrical charcoal fire starter. You place it on your grill with the charcoal and it offers adequate heat to obtain the charcoal going. Currently you can get rid of the electrical loop and let the coals come up to temperature. Either of these choices allows your coals to melt to a full ashy surface before you begin cooking, guaranteeing that any adhesives or additives have been burnt.

It’s finest not to acquire self-lighting charcoal as it has ingredients that act as a lighter fluid. These can include off-tastes as well as chemicals to your food if they aren’t burnt entirely.

Preparing Your Grill

See to it you have actually reviewed your charcoal grill’s guidelines which you recognize them. Cleansing the grill prior to each use lowers the kind of smoke that can leave a poor taste on foods. Completely clear out the grill, eliminating ash as well as oil.

Determine just how much charcoal you are going to need. You will need one layer of burgers and also steaks or more layers for roasts and entire chickens.

You will want to leave enough time for the charcoal to warm up your grill.  You will probably need about 20 minutes before your grill is warm enough to start your food.

How to Use Lighter Fluid Safely

If you don’t have a starter chimney or electric charcoal fire starter readily available, see exactly how to utilize lighter liquid properly and safely. Petroleum-based lighter liquid isn’t your only alternative. Seek bio-fuel lighter fluid made from plant-based oils and also alcohols rather. This is the fundamental approach for illumination charcoal with lighter liquid:

Pour enough charcoal into the grill to make the layers required.

Stack the charcoal right into a cone or pyramid form.

Put lighter fluid over the charcoal cone, making use of extra in the facility than around the sides. Use about 1/4 cup of liquid for each and every extra pound of charcoal.
Let the fluid sit on the coals for about 30 secs.

With a long suit, light the charcoal from the bottom on a minimum of two sides.
Let coals burn up until all coals are white on the surface.With a long-handled instrument, spread the coals equally throughout the coal grate.
Close the cover and wait 5 minutes.

Open the cover, replace the cooking grate, add the food and start cooking.

Safety Precautions

Never ever add lighter fluid to melting coals. Even if there is no fire, the warm will vaporize the lighter fluid and also can trigger a serious flare-up the second the vapor runs into a fire. You can singe your eyebrows and endure burns.

Charcoal should never be contributed to a natural gas grill. If you’ve run out of gas or propane, this isn’t an alternative. At this point, you should go buy some more fuel, or switch over to a charcoal grill.


Amazon, Amazon Prime, the Amazon logo and Amazon Prime logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates. This website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to We may earn a commission when you click on links and make purchases on Amazon.


Become a yard master!    Get tips and ideas for creating a beautiful backyard

[ninja_form id=4]