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Lighting the charcoal...torch, match or lighter?

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what do you use?

I have those cheap lighters that have the neck like this one, but looking for better. What's a good propane torch? I will have 3 18 gallon tanks that need to be used :-)


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Comments

  • danhoo
    danhoo Posts: 684
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    I use a chimney.

    I light the chimney with the side burner of my gas grill or with 2 or 3 Paper towels each with a teaspoon of bacon fat in them. 

    current: | Large BGE |  Genesis 1000 | Genesis E330 | 22 inch Kettle | Weber Summit Kamado
    sold:| PitBoss pro 820  WSM 22 
  • danhoo
    danhoo Posts: 684
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    Some use propane torches or weed burners. 
    current: | Large BGE |  Genesis 1000 | Genesis E330 | 22 inch Kettle | Weber Summit Kamado
    sold:| PitBoss pro 820  WSM 22 
  • JohnfromKentucky
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    danhoo said:
    I use a chimney.

    I light the chimney with the side burner of my gas grill or with 2 or 3 Paper towels each with a teaspoon of bacon fat in them. 

    I have one of those, wasn't sure if I could use it with a BGE. So I take it that you fill the fire box and then the chimney with charcoal, dumping the hot charcoal into the fire box?
  • danhoo
    danhoo Posts: 684
    edited February 2022
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    Chimney's work fine.  

    Cooking in an egg is not like a kettle where you need to get all the briquettes started, you only need to get enough lit in the chimney to light the other lump in the egg.

    You don't need to worry about having too much lump in the egg. Put in a lot, and when you are done cooking, snuff it out by closing all the vents and it will be there for your next cook.

    I usually light 1/2 a chimney on my gas grill and dump it in for lower temp cooks.

    If I'm going for a really hot fire, I'll light a full chimney, get it really hot and scatter the hot coals everywhere across the bed of lump in the egg so it all gets going hot.

    Leather welding gloves to handle a really hot chimney helps me keep from burning my hands.
    current: | Large BGE |  Genesis 1000 | Genesis E330 | 22 inch Kettle | Weber Summit Kamado
    sold:| PitBoss pro 820  WSM 22 
  • JohnfromKentucky
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    I have some gloves I found in Texas that work great for holding the chimney
  • keener75
    keener75 Posts: 392
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    Paper towel and vegitable oil...cheap and efficient.
    St Marys, Ontario, Canada  LBGE
  • Botch
    Botch Posts: 15,485
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    what do you use?

    I have those cheap lighters that have the neck like this one, but looking for better. What's a good propane torch? I will have 3 18 gallon tanks that need to be used :-)


    I've tried every method except the electric loops.  During the warmer months I'll use a half-paper towel that my breakfast bacon drained on, and that works well.  In colder weather I have to use something with more BTUs, I use the paraffin squares, and if it's really cold, I'll throw a shot glass or so of rubbing alcohol onto the square before lighting.
     
    The point I want to make here, though, is my hatred for the Bic lighter you posted above.  I've tried several different brands, and they're all crap.  It seemed mine always quit working, and finally in frustration I bought three more at once: the first one quit working after two weeks, the second NEVER worked, and the third quit after one week.  
     
    Now, when lighting either a paraffin square or bacon paper towel, I use a wooden match.  $0.99 a box, and my first box will probably last longer than I do.  My two-cent's worth.  
    _____________

    "Pro-Life" would be twenty students graduating from Sandy Hook next month  


  • RyanStl
    RyanStl Posts: 1,050
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    danhoo said:
    I use a chimney.

    I light the chimney with the side burner of my gas grill or with 2 or 3 Paper towels each with a teaspoon of bacon fat in them. 

    I have one of those, wasn't sure if I could use it with a BGE. So I take it that you fill the fire box and then the chimney with charcoal, dumping the hot charcoal into the fire box?
    Pre-BGE a chimney with newspaper in the bottom was my go to.  However, I don't like starting lump in the chimney, too many sparks and litte bits fall through the bottom.  Also, I felt like it was too much too fast and the little bits would fall on the felt.

    I don't remember who it was, but I do what at least one other person on the forum does because I got the idea from him.  I wad a square or two of paper towel and dip in used cooking oil.  I put three of those in a circle and light it with a lighter after pushing into the charcoal.  I like to make little lump bridges over the top to ensure it catches.  This has worked well for me with the egg unless you have cheap a$$ charcoal that hasn't been in the kiln long enough (crap from Sam's Club).

    I've been considering a JJ Torch, especially in the cold, but haven't convinced myself to pay for one.
  • danhoo
    danhoo Posts: 684
    edited February 2022
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    I save bacon fat in a quart Mason jar in the refrigerator and never run out.

    I like it better than oil because I can prep it ahead of time and it's not as messy as oil, but oil works well too. 

    The comment on lump sparking with a chimney... 

    This happens if I'm using mesquite, but I don't notice it with other lump.

    As far as stick lighters, I get the five packs of whatever costco has and these last me a year or two or three. 
    current: | Large BGE |  Genesis 1000 | Genesis E330 | 22 inch Kettle | Weber Summit Kamado
    sold:| PitBoss pro 820  WSM 22 
  • RyanStl
    RyanStl Posts: 1,050
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    danhoo said:
    I save bacon fat in a quart Mason jar in the refrigerator and never run out.

    I like it better than oil because I can prep it ahead of time and it's not as messy as oil, but oil works well too. 

    The comment on lump sparking with a chimney... 

    This happens if I'm using mesquite, but I don't notice it with other lump.

    As far as stick lighters, I get the five packs of whatever costco has and these last me a year or two or three. 
    That's another win for Costco Vs Sam's.  The Sam's Bic lighters don't last me long.
  • lousubcap
    lousubcap Posts: 32,375
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    The goal of your lump lighting process should be driven by the fire you want to achieve for the cook.  Hot and fast means more out of the gate at a higher temp and quick.  I can and have used a weed burner but not my preferred approach.  Being old here and with time to get things going I will go with three or four small pieces of a waxed fire starter to get a solid bed of coals ignited.
    For low and slow- no more than one piece of a small starter in the lump bed and bring it up to temp.
    The ability to control the air flow drives how fast things in the lump bed happen.  I start with the bottom vent wide open as with the dome and after around 10-15 minutes shut the dome and go from there.
    For L&S- once around a softball sized area of lump is burning, shut the dome and set the vents to around 1/3 of full open.  Once within around 50*F or so of the target temp, throttle down to the guesstimate stable cook settings.
    All above FWIW-

    Louisville; Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!  Seems I'm livin in a transitional period.
  • Botch
    Botch Posts: 15,485
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    danhoo said:
    I save bacon fat in a quart Mason jar in the refrigerator and never run out.
    I do too, but it doesn't need to be refrigerated; I pour mine into a 28-oz tomato can and keep it under the stove.  
     
    I've dropped my Costco membership, but will keep my eye out for a set of "Kingsford" lighters; thanks!  
    _____________

    "Pro-Life" would be twenty students graduating from Sandy Hook next month  


  • CPFC1905
    CPFC1905 Posts: 1,863
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    Was using natural lighters,  the little bundles of waxy shavings then got a Looftlighter which is a game changer. 
    Other girls may try to take me away 
    But you know, it's by your side I will stay
  • Langner91
    Langner91 Posts: 2,120
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    My order of preference:

    Electric branding iron - 8 minute timer, controlled by Alexa, and she announces to the entire apartment, my phone, my watch when the "Grill is Lit".

    Starter cubes when I want to light both grills at one time.  Alexa can only light one at a time.

    Propane torch - You gotta stand there the whole time.  Sparks suck.

    Paper towels with something flammable.  I always dribble that stuff on the garage floor.
    Clinton, Iowa
  • UncleKeith
    UncleKeith Posts: 39
    edited February 2022
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    When I first got my egg I went with a MAPP gas torch and lit the lump through the bottom vent. That worked fine it just took a minute or two.

    Then a couple years ago someone gifted me a box of tunmblweeds and I have become a huge fan. I just bury a couple of those things in the lump and hit them with the torch and walk away.

    Regarding the stick lighters; I use them at times to light the tumbleweeds to get a chimney going but like others have mentioned their longevity is questionable and once the air temperature drops into the 40’s they are questionable at best. Below 30 degrees and they won’t light.
  • WeberWho
    WeberWho Posts: 11,027
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    I've tried electric starters, Mapp torch, fire starter cubes, chimey, oil and napkin, and a few others I'm sure over the years but I've found the weed burner from Harbor Freight to work the best for me. If you pair it up with a good quality lump you can be cooking in 10-15 minutes. 


    "The pig is an amazing animal. You feed a pig an apple and it makes bacon. Let's see Michael Phelps do that" - Jim Gaffigan

    Minnesota
  • Legume
    Legume Posts: 14,624
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    WeberWho said:
    I've tried electric starters, Mapp torch, fire starter cubes, chimey, oil and napkin, and a few others I'm sure over the years but I've found the weed burner from Harbor Freight to work the best for me. If you pair it up with a good quality lump you can be cooking in 10-15 minutes. 


    This is what I do and you can’t underestimate the fun factor.  Easy way to clear ice around the egg as well. 
  • bobroo
    bobroo Posts: 143
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    danhoo said:
    I save bacon fat in a quart Mason jar in the refrigerator and never run out.

    I like it better than oil because I can prep it ahead of time and it's not as messy as oil, but oil works well too. 

    The comment on lump sparking with a chimney... 

    This happens if I'm using mesquite, but I don't notice it with other lump.

    As far as stick lighters, I get the five packs of whatever costco has and these last me a year or two or three. 
    If you have never cracked open one of these type of lighters to see what is going on inside, I double dog dare you.

    Prepare to be disappointed. 


    If it's brown, it's cook'in....If it's black, it's done ---my Grandfather     Medium BGE
  • 1voyager
    1voyager Posts: 1,157
    edited February 2022
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    I used the electric starter coil for a while, but finding the electrical outlet after a heavy snow was a problem.

    Now I use Rutland starter squares. 1 for low and slow. 3 for 500+ degrees.


    Large Egg, PGS A40 gasser.
  • Foghorn
    Foghorn Posts: 9,842
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    When I first got my egg I went with a MAPP gas torch and lit the lump through the bottom vent. That worked fine it just took a minute or two.

    Then a couple years ago someone gifted me a box of tunmblweeds and I have become a huge fan. I just bury a couple of those things in the lump and hit them with the torch and walk away.

    Regarding the stick lighters; I use them at times to light the tumbleweeds to get a chimney going but like others have mentioned their longevity is questionable and once the air temperature drops into the 40’s they are questionable at best. Below 30 degrees and they won’t light.
    What is bolded above can't be underestimated.

    While playing with a flame thrower or even an electric lighter like a looftlighter is fun, most days I have plenty to do so I prefer to literally spend one minute lighting the egg then I walk away - with the vents set at approximately the setting I will need to cook.  Whether you light a wax starter cube, or tumbleweed, or cardboard starter cube, or paper towel soaked in something flammable is irrelevant.  

    When I'm in a hurry, I quadruple the starter cubes and leave the vents open a little more than I will ultimately need while I prep the food.  When I'm not in a hurry, I light one cube and go for a run or workout or a zoom call or whatever and plan for it to be exactly where I want it to be after about an hour - right temp, all VOCs burned off, good clean smoke, and ready to cook.  The only times I've gotten in trouble (at least trouble related to my start-up process) is when I get in a hurry and become impatient waiting for the good smoke.  

    Keep in mind that I've only ever owned a XL and now a XXL.  On smaller eggs, things can happen more quickly.

    XXL BGE, Karebecue, Klose BYC, Chargiller Akorn Kamado, Weber Smokey Mountain, Grand Turbo gasser, Weber Smoky Joe, and the wheelbarrow that my grandfather used to cook steaks from his cattle

    San Antonio, TX

  • fishlessman
    fishlessman Posts: 32,754
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    i light a small fire for low and slows and a large fire for grilling, its good to have different fire lighting options. you dont want a big fire lit if you are keeping temps low
    fukahwee maine

    you can lead a fish to water but you can not make him drink it
  • RRP
    RRP Posts: 25,893
    edited February 2022
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    Unless I missed it elsewhere in this thread I am probably in the .001% of the egger nation who prefers to use a few squirts of 91% isopropyl alcohol followed by a wooden match tossed in. Just gotta be careful or it will go BOOM!  =)=)=)
    Re-gasketing America one yard at a time.
  • danhoo
    danhoo Posts: 684
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    RRP said:
    Unless I missed it elsewhere in this thread I am probably in the .001% of the egger nation who prefers to use a few squirts of 91% isopropyl alcohol followed by a wooden match tossed in. Just gotta be careful or it will go BOOM!  =)=)=)
    I used 91% iso a few times, yet finding it during the hoarding of 2020/21 was impossible.  

    At least I never ran out of bacon  =)

    current: | Large BGE |  Genesis 1000 | Genesis E330 | 22 inch Kettle | Weber Summit Kamado
    sold:| PitBoss pro 820  WSM 22 
  • fishlessman
    fishlessman Posts: 32,754
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    danhoo said:
    RRP said:
    Unless I missed it elsewhere in this thread I am probably in the .001% of the egger nation who prefers to use a few squirts of 91% isopropyl alcohol followed by a wooden match tossed in. Just gotta be careful or it will go BOOM!  =)=)=)
    I used 91% iso a few times, yet finding it during the hoarding of 2020/21 was impossible.  

    At least I never ran out of bacon  =)


    at 9 bucks a pound its getting pricey to even light an egg.....
    fukahwee maine

    you can lead a fish to water but you can not make him drink it
  • Yno
    Yno Posts: 529
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    I have had a few of these around for years. One stays with the egg, one by the fireplace, one wherever I fired up the last candle. They are refillable, and I have never had one fail. I think there is a newer version, but these old beasts are still working.


    XL BGE in San Jose, CA. Also a Pit Barrel Cooker, a Cal Flame P4 gasser, and lots of toys including the first ever Flame Boss 300 in the wild. And a new Flame Boss 500.
  • RRP
    RRP Posts: 25,893
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    Yno said:
    I have had a few of these around for years. One stays with the egg, one by the fireplace, one wherever I fired up the last candle. They are refillable, and I have never had one fail. I think there is a newer version, but these old beasts are still working.


    I had one of those but after the second or third filling it would never light again and it was full of fluid. Maybe I got a lemon.
    Re-gasketing America one yard at a time.
  • RyanStl
    RyanStl Posts: 1,050
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    You can't be a good 'ol fashioned fireball.
  • RRP
    RRP Posts: 25,893
    edited February 2022
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    danhoo said:
    RRP said:
    Unless I missed it elsewhere in this thread I am probably in the .001% of the egger nation who prefers to use a few squirts of 91% isopropyl alcohol followed by a wooden match tossed in. Just gotta be careful or it will go BOOM!  =)=)=)
    I used 91% iso a few times, yet finding it during the hoarding of 2020/21 was impossible.  

    At least I never ran out of bacon  =)

    I hear you, and then last year Wally World started carrying it again and I bought a few pints.

    Now, in my case bacon grease is a more precious byproduct as I only fry 4 slices per week and I save it since I always saute any onions in it. So to me burning bacon grease is a waste! LOL
    Re-gasketing America one yard at a time.
  • shtgunal3
    shtgunal3 Posts: 5,654
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    Small torch

    ___________________________________

     

     LBGE,SBGE, and a Mini makes three......Sweet home Alabama........ Stay thirsty my friends .