Grill It: What's the Best Way to Light Charcoal?

Article Posted By: Laura Sullivan

of The Home Depot

Hot charcoal on a grill

Q: What’s the best way to light charcoal?

A: First thing’s first: never use gasoline to start a grill and never put lighter fluid on already-lit coals.

Struggling to get the charcoal going while a pack of hungry people look on is simply no fun. First, build a mount of briquettes that looks like a pyramid. Soak the charcoal in lighter fluid, then—here’s the key—wait for about five minutes. Apply a second coat, then wait a few more minutes before bringing on the flames. Once the briquettes become gray, spread them out a bit.

Another way to get the process going is using a cylinder chimney starter. These metal containers pile the coals up for you. Converts swear that it produces perfectly glowing nuggets every time—and that it produces them faster. These cylinders are also advantageous because you might not need to use lighter fluid with them.

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