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Lighting Lump Charcoal

SawbonesSawbones Posts: 31
edited 10:42AM in EggHead Forum
Whats the best way to light a full load of lump charcoal (to the to of fire ring) on a medium BGE?


  • I use a mapp torch and light spots in the 9, 12, and 3 oclock positions. If you don't have a torch, LIGHTLY coat a paper towel with cooking oil and twist up and bury slightly in lump before lighting.
  • smoky bsmoky b Posts: 648
    i'm a paper and oil guy too.
  • BordelloBordello Posts: 5,926
    I prefer weber starter cubes when I can find them and just bought 3 boxes of them. Been looking for a year. :(

    I also have a propane torch. Some use a weed burner.

    Good Luck,
  • BBQMavenBBQMaven Posts: 1,041
    If your doing a low/slow - light only a small area because you can control the rising temp easier. Use one cube or light with paper in one spot, or start a small amount in a chimney or with a torch - etc

    If your going to cook at high temps any method works - you just want to ensure a total surface start to keep from having hot spots.
    Kent Madison MS
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,505
    I use a slightly different lighting geometry, 2, 6, 10, but that is pretty loose. The main variation I make is that if I'm going for low heat, I only use the torch for 10 - 15 seconds per spot. If I really want to get it going fast, I keep circling the spots till all the lump surface is glowing.
  • johnrezzjohnrezz Posts: 116
    I have used basically every method over the past few years and I have found what works best for me is always using a chimney starter. If I am doing low and slow I fill the box to the top ala Wards directions, put about a handfull of lump in the chimney starter, once it is completely lit I dump it over the top of the lump in the egg making sure it spreads out.

    If I am grilling I take some hardwood (normally cherry drops) and cross it up at the bottom of the egg like a grate (be sure to clear any small leftover lump out of the bottom grate, if there is alot I push it up the sides). I fill the chimney starter to the top and light, once it its really going I throw it in the egg, wait a few moments for the hardwood to burn clean and grill.....

    I have found the real trick to a fast light is how you crunch the newspaper you use to light the chimney, to tight and it will burn to low and to loose and it burns up fast, once you get it right it lights every time. I find that I can have the egg ready to grill at 500+ in just under 1/2 hour...

    I do use map gas to help start the chimney on those really bad winter night (blowing snow). It is too hard to light paper in that weather....

    Like I said this is the system I adopted after much trial and error simply because it is easy and fast....

  • Propane torch for me. Gets the lump red hot in just a couple minutes.
    Jackson, Tennessee. VFL (Vol for Life)
    I use a Bernzomatic TS8000 MAPP torch. Many of my cooks are in the 400º degree range and on my medium egg I can light the whole grill in little time. I only light in spots for cooler temps. The TS8000 is the fastest way I have found.

    Happy New Year,


  • BoatmanBoatman Posts: 854
    Oily towel for low and slow, weed burner for fast cooks B)
  • thanks guys the paper towel method at 9, 12, 3 worked great.

    My brisket has been on now for 3 1/2 hours and is looking good

    thanks for all the help
  • Enjoy the brisket. I really like the paper towel method - and a good way to utilize used oil.
  • AngelaAngela Posts: 540
    Thanks for the explanation, we have used the electric starter ( got tired of replacement costs ) and the starter cubes ( got tired of running out or looking for them at stores) and recently decided to try the chimney starter. Haven't fired up the egg since we got it yesterday and I was considering if I should just do a few pieces of lump instead of filling it up like they suggest.
    Egging on two larges + 36" Blackstone griddle
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