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Trouble Lighting

bhuggbhugg Posts: 257
edited January 2012 in EggHead Forum
I have the most difficult time re-lighting used charcoal.  If its a fresh, clean egg, no problem.  I did a low and slow Friday night into all day Saturday.  Tonight, Monday, I got home and tossed around the remaining charcoal to get the ash to fall, put some newspaper with oil in it, and lit it.  Getting it to stay lit and light the coals is like pulling teeth.  What am I doing wrong?
Large BGE Dallas, TX


  • nemonemo Posts: 111
    When reusing charcoal...which I do with every burn..I always place new charcoal on top of the used ones. I never have a problem with this process. I doubt if I ever attempted lighting used charcoal by itself.
    Fairview, Texas
  • bigguy136bigguy136 Posts: 1,161
    I saw others were using mapp gas but I didn't want to stand there and burn my mapp torch for several minutes so I would scoop the old lump into my chimney tube and light. I tried the mapp one time and I will never go back to anything else. Maybe one minute with mapp, 8 - 10 minutes with a small draft and I'm ready.

    Big Lake, Minnesota

    2X Large BGE, 1 Mini Max, Stokers, Adjustable Rig

  • Do you also stir the old lump to allow the old ash to fall through & use a "wiggle rod" to remove the ash from the holes in the fire box?  Often times, the holes can become plugged w/ ash, which reduces airflow. 

    Don't get set into one form, adapt it and build your own, and let it grow, be like water. Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water. Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup... Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. - Bruce Lee
  • bhuggbhugg Posts: 257
    I do stir the old lump and have used a hangar as a wiggle rod. It helps, but I still feel as if I am dragging through mud.
    Large BGE Dallas, TX
  • bigguy136bigguy136 Posts: 1,161

    Do yo uhave the lid open or closed? I find if the lid is closed, I will get a better draft.

    If I'm in a hurry, I put my leaf blower inside a 5 gal bucket with it idling and poinging at the lower vent. You can push/ pull the leaf blower/ bucket until you have a good draft. 5 minutes you will have 450°. 

    Big Lake, Minnesota

    2X Large BGE, 1 Mini Max, Stokers, Adjustable Rig

  • bhuggbhugg Posts: 257
    I always leave the lid open. I will try the lid closed next time. I eventually gave up on the newspaper and went with a starter block.
    Large BGE Dallas, TX
  • ShiffShiff Posts: 1,708
    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.

    This works for old or new charcoal.
    Large BGE
    Barry, Lancaster, PA
  • bhuggbhugg Posts: 257
    Chimney, you are my hero!!!!
    Large BGE Dallas, TX
  • ShedFarmShedFarm Posts: 499
    I second the 91% alcohol method. It works very well for me!
    BJ (Powhatan, VA)
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