Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg at:

Want to see how the EGG is made? Click to Watch

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #BigGreenEgg.

Is Lighter Fluid Really that bad????

wmd36wmd36 Posts: 58
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
I have never used lighter fluid in my EGG but was wondering what harm would it do. The stuff burns off awfully quick on regular charcoal and I never had a lighter fluid taste on older grills. I was just wondering if you didnt use too much and made sure the fluid was just on the lump ( and not the EGG its self) what harm would it do?


  • EgginTigerEgginTiger Posts: 101
    I've wondered about this myself :) looking forward to seeing some of the responses to this question :)
  • wmd36wmd36 Posts: 58
    So why is it so terrible??
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 27,470
    never tested this myself, but with briquettes you wait til its all burning white and you can still taste it a little, with lump you dont light everything so there would be all sorts of petroleum product residue thats not burnt off just sitting in there
    fukahwee maine

    you can lead a fish to water but you can not make him drink it
  • Rezen73Rezen73 Posts: 356
    My guess: ceramic is a porous material, and will absorb the vapors from the lighter fluid, and release them into food later, or possibly explode.

    I've never bothered cooking with lighter fluid, even when I had a regular charcoal grill. I always used a chimney starter with a paraffin block in the case of a regular charcoal grill (or a paraffin block with the lump on top, in the case of the Egg).
  • Weekend WarriorWeekend Warrior Posts: 1,702
    I think the concern has always been that since the ceramic is porous, that the lighter fluid would soak in and then take a much longer amount of time to burn off than it would in a metal grill for example. In other words, the lighter fluid smell may linger for an extended period of time and impart a foul odor and taste your food.

    BGE explicitly says not to use it to light lump in the egg.

    When their are so many alternatives to lighting the egg, I don't know why anyone would risk using it.
  • EgginTigerEgginTiger Posts: 101
    "yes".....well, that certainly explains it LOL
  • meat03manmeat03man Posts: 83
    I think from the comment you are thinking about using lighter fluid, seriously just go but some 91% rubbing Alcohol, it's a lot better for you and the egg.
  • The Naked WhizThe Naked Whiz Posts: 7,780
    I'd be willing to bet that if some seeps into the ceramic, it won't "burn off" for a very long time given the oxygen-poor environment inside the Egg once you close the lid.
    The Naked Whiz
  • wmd36wmd36 Posts: 58
    I just use a couple of those fire squares (made by Rutland) I beleive. HAve used the MAPP torch as well.
    When you use 91% do you sprinkle it around, or what??
  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    I just didn't feel like getting into it. ;)
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,835
    I start my charcoal using 91% alcohol purchased at Walmart. I use a pencil to poke a tiny hole in the seal and then squirt a little alcohol in 4 places in a circle about 4 inches in from the outside rim of the charcoal. Then a little squirt in the center. Wait a few seconds then toss in a match.

    Alcohol burns clean and quickly starts the charcoal. It is very safe as long as you stand back a little when dropping in the match. The warmer the day, the more it evaporates before lighting and can cause a flash. In the winter, it doesn't evaporate and I actually have to hold the match at the squirt points.
    Large BGE
    Barry, Lancaster, PA
  • Weekend WarriorWeekend Warrior Posts: 1,702
    I thought Pete was back for a second, but he'd have just typed YES into the subject line and left the body of the post blank. LOL
  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    Now that hurts. :silly:
  • PineTreePineTree Posts: 53
    Definitely using any liquid starters will void the warranty on the egg. Any liquid at all in fact.

    "3. The pouring of liquids on your grill flame will void the Warranty. Starter lighter fluid is not to be used to start the fire inside the Big Green Egg."

    If they recommended it they would make/sell it themselves. If you are using lump coal why would you need it? It lights very quickly with out it. If you ask me.
  • jaydub58jaydub58 Posts: 2,167
    Now the way I read this, actually pouring liquids on a burning fire will void the warranty. Duuuuuh....that would require a pretty high level of stupidity, may also void your home fire insurance! It doesn't seem that using 91% alcohol would create a warranty issue. Right?
    John in the Willamette Valley of Oregon
  • PawpawEggPawpawEgg Posts: 26
    In some of the pictures of cracked eggs, I have noticed how little the black actually penetrates the ceramic. I say the chance of the lighter fluid actually going beyond the surface would be odd.
  • Bear 007Bear 007 Posts: 380
    Their was an episode on one of the BBQ shows were one of the contestants used another persons eggs that had been exposed to lighter fluid. At the judging she got hammered for having food that tasted like gas. I would never use it, just my opinion.
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,835
    I agree with you. It doesn't say that using a liquid fire starter will void the warranty. Item number 3 lists 2 things that void the warranty:

    1. pouring a liquid onto a flame
    2. using charcoal lighter fluid

    I use 91% alcohol and I believe the flame temperature is around 53 degrees C. Many people here use MAPP torches to light their eggs and the temp of MAPP is, I believe, around 2900 degrees C. Weed burners are probably somewhere in between.

    Alcohol burns cleanly and lights my charcoal quickly.
    Large BGE
    Barry, Lancaster, PA
  • I find that the taste is always there....especially now that I haven't used any for 5+ years.
    I used to think the smell / taste burned off (except for the "Match-Light" stuff, which I have always avoided), but now realize that it doesn't :sick: .
  • RipnemRipnem Posts: 5,511

    How the heck are you, man? I just ran across my extra shirt stash and realized I never sent you your shirts. :pinch: I'll try and get it out this week.

    Headed up to your neck of the woods over the weekend, just east a bit up the gunflint, to a cousins cabin. Lets hope for some northern lights. ;)
  • guzzijasonguzzijason Posts: 143
    Am I the only one who used the BGE electric starter? Before I got the Egg, I used to start my charcoal in one of those metal charcoal starter chimney things - with an electric starter rather than burned paper.

    When I got the Egg, there was no longer a need for the chimney, but I got the BGE electric starter (it is shaped to accommodate the Egg better than a "standard" electric starter).

    Plug in, give it about 6 or 7 minutes, and voila... you're lit. I love it. No fuss, no muss.

  • nuynainuynai Posts: 101
    Watched a BBQ competition from Vegas. Lady's cooker didn't come in on time, so a friend let her use her BGE. Judges commented that they could taste the lighter fluid. Competitor said she doesn't use it, only to find out that the owner of the BGE was using it to start her fires.
    Chimney for me. Always works fine.
  • wmd36wmd36 Posts: 58
    well , been using lighter fluid for years now and can tell zero difference 
  • KiterToddKiterTodd Posts: 2,464
    never tested this myself, but with briquettes you wait til its all burning white and you can still taste it a little, with lump you dont light everything so there would be all sorts of petroleum product residue thats not burnt off just sitting in there
    :plus_one:  Yes. #1 reason right here.

    You end up tasting it in your cook.

    That said, I was in a jam with a small weber grill a couple weeks ago on vacation. I had some lump, and no other easy way to light it.  I put a lot less fluid than when I used to soak briquettes. Just a bit in the center, and lit the lump.  I let it burn for a while, stirred things around and the fire spread as normal, as needed.  I used this more like a fire starter brick, and less like a "soak it all and wait till it burns off" start.  Still not my choice, but I'd repeat it on a metal grill in a pinch.

    You can also just soak a papertowel in whatever cooking oil you have on hand, and stuff that in the lump.
  • billt01billt01 Posts: 1,219
    is veggie oil really in that short of supply?
     XLBGE / Stumps Baby XL / Couple of Stokers (Gen 1 and Gen 3) / Blackstone 36 / Maxey 3x5 water pan hog cooker
    LBGE / Lang 60D / Cookshack SM150 / Stumps Stretch / Stumps Baby

    Fat Willies BBQ
    Ola, Ga

  • blastingblasting Posts: 6,262
    wmd36 said:
    well , been using lighter fluid for years now and can tell zero difference 

    This is your first post in 7 years - Way to pace yourself!

    It's your egg, use lighter fluid if you wish.  It's a hard no for me.

  • TheophanTheophan Posts: 2,650
    Back when I used to use a Weber kettle grill, I didn't think lighter fluid affected the taste, either... until I tried a chimney.  I discovered that it absolutely DID make a difference I could taste.  No petroleum in my BGEs!
  • wmd36wmd36 Posts: 58
    all a matter of preference I guess. if you wait until the coals are properly lit and you dont spray the fluid everywhere but just on the coals , you will be just fine 
Sign In or Register to comment.
Click here for Forum Use Guidelines.