The BEST way to light your charcoal without using lighter fluid is to use something called a charcoal chimney. It’s designed to efficiently ignite the charcoal by stuffing the bottom of the chimney with newspaper or any other good burning paper. You light the paper on fire and it slowly catches the charcoal above it on fire, slowly igniting the charcoal from the bottom up. This process generally takes about 15 minutes.
If 15 minutes is too slow and you’re in a hurry, you still don’t have to use lighter fluid, because the charcoal chimney has holes on the sides and on the bottom, which lets you blow air through it, in order to speed up the burning process. To do this, you can either use a piece of cardboard or a plastic plate and just blow air on the sides. If you start getting tired and have an electric fan handy, you can always bring the fan out and have it blow air towards the chimney, this should have the charcoals burning red in 5 minutes.
Why does my food taste like lighter fluid?
I always say that if you’re using lighter fluid to light charcoal, you’re doing it wrong. I don’t like using lighter fluid because it leaves a bad taste on the meat. Although there’s a lot of debate about whether or not this is true, I’ve always been able to taste the difference between food that has been cooked with and without lighter fluid on the charcoal. If you’re like me and have been doing this for a while, you’ll be able to smell it on the food too.
Most people don’t even realize that when they do use lighter fluid, they don’t even use it correctly. They douse the entire grill with lighter fluid and immediately light it on fire, which always causes great big flames and makes the lighter fluid evaporate real quickly, which in turn makes you squirt some more lighter fluid in.
The proper way to light the charcoal is to only add lighter fluid to the charcoal(try not to get it all over the grill, lid, walls, etc…), and give it about 5-10 minutes for the lighter fluid to soak in and penetrate the charcoal. After a few minutes, go ahead and light it. You will notice that you won’t have to reapply any more lighter fluid.
Make sure that you let the charcoal burn long enough to burn away all the lighter fluid. If your burgers taste like lighter fluid, it’s probably because you didn’t give the charcoals enough time to burn the fluid away.
Where can I buy a charcoal chimney?
I have never seen one at a general store before, however if you have have a home department store that sells grills, you’ll generally find them there. I bought mine at Home Depot for around $15. However, you can buy one on amazon for $11.