How To Start a Charcoal Grill With Lighter Fluid?

How To Start A Charcoal Grill With Lighter FluidLighting charcoal is one of the top reasons why some people decide to go with a gas grill. This isn’t necessarily because it is hard to do, but it adds about 30 minutes to your grilling session to get the charcoal lit.

Whether you love the taste of roasted vegetables or the seared flavor of steak, there’s no denying that grilling is one of the best ways to prepare summer staples. Best Charcoal Grill are arguably the perfect way to get that classic “grilled” flavor, but if you’ve never used one before, you’re probably wondering how to start a charcoal grill with lighter fluid?

How To Start a Charcoal Grill With Lighter Fluid?

There’s nothing quite like the taste of food grilled over charcoal. However, charcoal grilling for beginners can be a challenge and there are definitely some things you need to know. But it’s really not that tricky to get a charcoal grill started once your know-how. And it’s totally worth it.

Does this article definitely help you in learning how to start charcoal with lighter fluid? If you don’t have a charcoal chimney or electric charcoal fire starter available, learn how to use lighter fluid correctly and safely. Petroleum-based lighter fluid isn’t your only option. Look for bio-fuel lighter fluid made from plant-based oils and alcohols instead.

Method To Start a Charcoal Grill With Lighter Fluid

This is the basic method for lighting charcoal with lighter fluid:

  • Pour enough charcoal into the grill to make the layers needed.
  • Stack the charcoal into a cone or pyramid shape.
  • Pour lighter fluid over the charcoal cone, using more in the center than around the edges. Use about 1/4 cup of fluid for each pound of charcoal.
  • Let the fluid sit on the coals for about 30 seconds.
  • With a long match, light the charcoal from the bottom on at least two sides.
  • Let coals burn until all coals are white on the surface.
  • With a long-handled instrument, spread the coals evenly across the coal grate.
  • Close the lid and wait five minutes.
  • Open the lid, replace the cooking grate, add the food and start cooking.

Does Lighter Fluid Burn Off Charcoal?

Yes, charcoal lighter fluid can ruin your barbecue, and it imparts chemicals on your meat and grill that may not be safe to ingest in large quantities. Luckily, there is a variety of other ways to get your grill going, that require little more than some newspaper and a chimney starter if you have one. Knowing how to start charcoal without lighter fluid is an essential skill for getting down to grilling.

Charcoal Lighter Fluid Substitute

  • Using dry twigs
  • Using a chimney starter
  • Using an electric charcoal starter
  • Using fatwood

Now that you have your charcoal grill, you need a way to get it started safely. In order to keep your grill in good condition, and keep yourself and your family out of harm, you’ll want to get an electric charcoal starter for your grilling station. For this, you must know how to light charcoal with a fire starter? Lighter fluid may be a surefire way to get the charcoal going, but it also gives off smelly fumes that can mess with the flavor of your food.

We also provide full reviews of Best Gas Charcoal Combo Grills | Hybrid Grills

Light Charcoal Grill With Fire Starter | Step By Step Guide!

Instead, you can use a fire starter that builds a hot fire quickly, with no added chemicals in simple 3 steps.

  • Step 1 Flip the chimney over and push some scrunched-up newspaper into the bottom.
  • Step 2 Remove the top rack from your charcoal grill and set the chimney right side up on the lower rack. Fill it with hardwood lump charcoal or charcoal briquettes.
  • Step 3 Light the paper by sticking matches through the vents in several spots and let the fire burn until the coals are covered with white ash. Using oven mitts to handle the chimney, dump the charcoal into the grill. Return the top rack and cover until it gets hot, about 3 minutes, or until the grill reaches a hot enough temperature for your recipe.

How To Start a BBQ Fire With Charcoal?

It may seem intimidating to start and maintain a strong fire, especially when charcoal is involved. However, with some basic equipment and knowledge of charcoal, anyone can have a professional BBQ going!

To start a BBQ fire with charcoal, follow the following tips and procedures:

  • Try to set-up in an open place
  • Buy good-quality charcoal
  • Use a chimney starter
  • If you don’t have a chimney, arrange your charcoal in a stack
  • Before you start to cook, know whether you need direct or indirect heat
  • Learn to recognize when your coals are ready
  • Use a thermometer for testing the temperature of your food helps to prevent disasters.

Charcoal Grill Lid On or Off

Lighting a charcoal grill lid on or off is another steamy question that comes in a mind. Unlike ovens and gas grills that lose heat when the lid is opened, the opposite happens with charcoal grills. Opening the lid feeds extra oxygen to the coals, which causes them to burn even hotter and ups the potential for burning food.

Just remember to keep your grill lid off while your coals are being lit because of the more airflow the better. If you close the lid during this lighting process, you will kill the fire and have to start over.


On the surface, lighting a charcoal chimney seems simple and easy enough. However, we know that’s not always the case, and that it can be a struggle to consistently light the chimney and get it to your desired temperature. Does this article carry all the related information regarding how to start a charcoal grill with lighter fluid?

Although the lighter fluid is not good for grilling, there are also other kinds of ways to light a charcoal chimney, with the safe and quick hacks that will help you get it started faster and easier, all while using tools you already have laying around the house. Happy grilling!

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