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Lighting Charcoal

From old-school ideas to eco-friendly alternatives, we give you a range of options for firing up charcoal. Check out paraffin blocks, an electric starter, and an economical chimney.

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-Hey, Charlie Worthington gonna get out you grilling. First thing you gotta do is get it started. I'm gonna talk to you about some choices of briquettes and how to get them lit, and then you can make the best choice for your grill. -First things first, you have to pick a briquette. You've got lump charcoal which burns hotter but it burns quicker, so you might have to add some more of that during cooking. Then, you have self-start, quick-start briquettes. Those items, they take care of themselves but they are treated with an accelerant. So you wanna get those fully started. Burn off as much of the accelerant as possible. You don't want your burger tasting like that, petroleum product. Then, you have the traditional briquettes. Those you have to light. You can use a lighter fluid. But like the quick briquettes, quick light, you have to make sure that they are fully started and fully burning because you don't want that fluid getting in the taste in to your food. Then, you have fire starters. These are paraffin blocks. You place them in with the coals when you pile them up at the very beginning, you light them, leave them for a bit, come back, spread your coals out; then you have an electric start. This is the most environmentally friendly. You just stick it in, plugged it in. It's like the coil and all, then it heats up. Start your briquettes, but you wanna be very careful with this when you take it out of the fire. You wanna make sure it's not near anybody. It will burn them. My favorite is the chimney, [unk], and once you buy this, you don't have to pay for anything ever again. You just take some newspaper; crumble it up on the bottom; place it on your grill; take your briquettes; fill the chimney; get fire; and light the paper up. Let that go once the briquettes are lit up and you take the can and you just turn it and dump out the coals and then you're ready to go. -Gotta be patient. Don't rush it. These aren't quite ready yet. They're still black. You wanna make sure they're all covered with ash before you dump them. Looks like, they're ready to go. They're covered with a little bit of light ash. We're gonna dump them out. -Be careful. This is hot. Take our thongs and spread them out a little bit. Put a rack on. Get that hot. You wanna cover it up for a bit to get that crackling hot and you wanna keep your vent open because the briquettes do need oxygen to keep going. So, all we need is some food and we're ready to grill.