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Starting the Fire

TomTom Posts: 189
edited 8:30AM in EggHead Forum
Is there a problem using lighter fluid to start the charcoal?[p]A fire starter works ok when using new charcoal, but when re-using charcoal, I have used lighter fluid and it starts almost 1/2 hour faster.[p]Why does it take so long to start when re-using charcoal?


  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    new charcoal has more organic stuff left in it. not alot, but enough for the fire to get kick-started. old (used) charcoal is mostly pure carbon (even less organic foohah left in it), and that burns around 1200 degrees.
    so it's harder to start.[p]think of it as sour dough. add a little new stuff each time, to keep the level where it was at the last cook.[p]and that'll make it as easy to start every time

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,946
    Tom,[p]For me, used only takes a few minutes longer than new. I usually break the fire starters in two, so that there's more chance to contact the charcoal, and the resulting fire has a slightly broader base.[p]Nevertheless, I decided to buy another toy, so I got a weed burner and a MAPP gas cylinder. Fires now start in 30 seconds.[p]gdenby

  • egretegret Posts: 4,110
    Never, ever use lighter fluid in your BGE. It imparts a nasty petroleum taste and smell and your ceramic will absorb this obnoxious element.

  • SirKeatsSirKeats Posts: 159
    Tom,[p]Torch it baby!!! I'll say it again... a 30 dollar torch is the best eggcessorie there is!!
  • TheHulkTheHulk Posts: 157
    I second that....Don't use lighter fluid. Get a MAPP torch for lighting old lump.
  • Tom,[p]Agree with others, pick up a $25 MAPP torch at Home Depot and use that to light the way to go iyam.
  • Toy ManToy Man Posts: 416
    Well just to be different, I like using Weber starter cubes in the bottom of the egg.[p]Toy Man
  • KevinHKevinH Posts: 165
    Tom,[p]I am a little confused by this post. I always start my charcoal using a fire starter. When I light brand new lump, I have to wait longer for the nasty smoke to stop. When I light used lump, it starts to burn cleanly sooner. So it actually takes a little less time for me to get used lump ready to cook. I generally stir the lump 10 minutes after lighting the starter to distribute the burning lump over a wider area (the exception would be when I'm doing a low and slow BBQ cook).[p]It probably takes 20 minutes on the short side and 30 minutes on the long side to get everything going for a direct cook, so I don't understand how it could take 30 minutes longer to get old lump going as opposed to new. Do you open up the vents all the way when lighting your charcoal? Maybe you aren't getting enough oxygen into the egg.[p]-Kevin
  • Tom, lighter fluid is a BIG no no in the Egg. I believe it even says that in the manual. Never use it. Go out and get starter cubes, a MAPP torch, propane torch, whatever you want, just do not use lighter fluid.
    On your point of old used lump taking longer to light, I agree with KevinH, that is not my experience. I use a MAPP torch myself, but I don't really notice much difference if any. There is one difference, used lump sparks less.

  • FreddieFreddie Posts: 11
    Grillicious,[p]What is a "MAPP Torch"
  • GretlGretl Posts: 670
    Toy Man,
    Where do you get Weber cubes? I used to buy them locally, but now they're not sold anywhere around here. I ordered a case from, but the package has yet to arrive (though it's been SIX WEEKS, don't get me started on that company...). If you get them mail-order, please tell me the vendor. Thanks in advance,

  • Tom,[p]I agree with everybody else, lighter fluid is a no-no. I use a hot air paint stripper and my fire is alight and burning in a matter of seconds.
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