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Can you REALLY start the Egg with Rubbing Alcohol?

[Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
edited 9:00AM in EggHead Forum
Can you REALLY start the Egg with Rubbing Alcohol or is someone pulling my leg?

I just tried this. Used about maybe a 1/4 and waited about 45 seconds before lighting. I'm using the standard 70% USP Isopropyl. I did in fact light, but didn't seem to be able to STAY lit.

Am I doing something wrong or is this an urban myth that I've just fallen prey to?

If true... just what is the "trick" for starting a fire this way?


  • GrumpaGrumpa Posts: 861
    Here is part 1 of a video that shows how to do it. It does require 91% vs 70% though.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,980
    i think they are using 90 percent.
  • Sounds like a job for "Everclear" (PGA, 95%, 190 proof)... albeit not very cost effective.

    Where does one get 91% rubbing alcohol? I've never seen it that I can recall.
  • GrumpaGrumpa Posts: 861
    Walmart has it.
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 12,991
    For some reason, it works better on my mini than the large. Only tried it a few times til I ran out of the 91% I already had. Didn't bother to buy more.

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!


    Central Connecticut 

  • hornhonkhornhonk Posts: 3,841
    Any drug store. Use 60cc on a large egg. Wait 30 seconds then toss in a match. It's lit!
  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    Or just toss in a lit cube.
  • Good video... informative and complete. Check out that "golden egg"! ;)
  • Got mine at Walgreen's. No more expensive than the lower strengths.

    I still use my Mapp torch most of the time but the alcohol method does work. Just fold up a paper towel, saturate it pretty good and bury it in the lump. Open the bottom and top vents, light the alcohol and it won't be long 'til you're up to temperature.

    Occasionally, a piece of ash will float out. It's not hot but sure makes a mess of a yellow shirt. But so do the sparks from an aggressive Mapp torch.

    I also like the Weber starter cubes. One is enough to be at 350° within about 15 to 18 minutes. 500° shortly thereafter.

    Spring "Come On Bee Bee Like My Phire" Chicken
    Spring Texas USA
  • hornhonkhornhonk Posts: 3,841
    Cubes cost more.
  • A couple more data points on this. I used 95% Isopropal on Maple Leaf and Blue Bag Royal Oak and it worked fine. I also used the blue fondue fluid as it worked just as well and was half the price. But at the Montana fest I was using Weekend Warrior and it took forever to light this way.

    Because of that I drive a weed burner now.

  • 60cc is 2oz., so assuming maybe $4 for 16 ounces, that's 8 lights for $4, 50 cents each.

    i used to bust up my firestartes and use three halves to light up.

    still, the napkin and oil thing hasn't failed me, and that's about as close to free as i can get. aside form maybe the weedburner and its never-ending (seemingly) tank o' propane
  • I think I paid under $2.00 for about a quart-size bottle at Walgreen's. About a jigger's worth will do it. Cheap.

    Spring "Home Of The Cheep Cheep Stuff" Chicken
  • MaineggMainegg Posts: 7,787
    I think we need to give you an Egging 101 course :) I am a weed burner girl :blush: just something about ending my work day with a flaming torch in one hand and a glass of wine in the other that just makes everything alright again. if I had to use something else I love the oil and napkin trick.
  • Capt FrankCapt Frank Posts: 2,578
    I have used the cubes, tried the alcohol thing a few times, both worked fine, recently bought a MAPP torch and will never go back :woohoo:
  • I haven't read the other posts, but it works very well with 91%. I buy it by the quart at Walmart for something like $2.50. Since the byproduct is CO2, there is no lingering aftersmell.

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Just west of Austintatious

  • I have limited space for storage... plus a young 9 y/o grandson... so it is really more of a safety and storage issue.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,980
    oil and napkin works really well and you already have the supplies ;) why stock up on isopropel
  • and 90% isopropyl isn't exactly kid safe :unsure:
  • thebtlsthebtls Posts: 2,300
    The answer is yes, the REAL question is should you? Walk through our burn unit at the university hospital and listen to the simplest little 'lighting' incidents gone wrong and you would have to question the practice. I don't think this is limited to just alcohol however, many methods are dangerous, you are playing with fire after all.
    Visit my blog, dedicated to my Big Green Egg Recipies at You can also follow my posts on FaceBook under the name Keep On Eggin' or the link!/pages/Keep-On-Eggin/198049930216241
  • BacchusBacchus Posts: 6,019
    A box of 144ea Rutland cubes(same as BGE) is $11.99 at Ace Hardware. Cut in half to light 288 fires, at $.41each.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 22,980
    safe compared to my can of coleman fuel when i was nine :laugh: :laugh: never light a lantern indoors ;)
  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    I haven't read the responses but my experience.

    For me 70% didn't work. I changed over to 91% Isopropyl alcohol and the lump light very well. The alcohol light gets the lump lit faster than starter cubes and about the same as oil/paper towel, about the same as MAPP.

    At my cooking altitude I need to use 3 to 4 oz of alcohol (1.5 to 2 times more than suggested in the videos).

    Light time to stable at 350° dome is takes from 12 to 15 minutes.

  • I've been using the BGE for 14 months. I've used an electric starter, starter cubes, propane torch, chimney with newspaper and finally 91% isopropyl alcohol. Purchased a quart bottle at Wally World (aka Walmart)for a couple of dollars or so. Also purchased a clear condiment bottle ($1.00)to measure with and squeeze the alcohol down into the lump. Works great every time. Just don't stand too close when you toss in that match!
  • Smut-buttSmut-butt Posts: 142
    The old electric starter still works great for me; I'm not in a hurry, I'm old.
  • Sorry, it's just easy. I almost burnt my electric starter a few times because I wasn't watching. With this method, I can lite and come back 15 minutes later to see where the temp reads. Don't need to worry about melting a handle.
  • hornhonkhornhonk Posts: 3,841
    If you're old, don't you think you SHOULD be in a hurry?
  • uglydoguglydog Posts: 256
    I use an industrial product called dehydration alcohol, which has almost no water in it. I soak 3 small hunks of Wicked Good lump in a tray of this alcohol for 20 minutes, then distribute the hunks at 10, 2, and 6 o'clock positions around the rest of the lump, and light the three hunks. It works ok about 50% of the time, but frequently this method takes forever to get the main charge of lump going.Usually I wind up putting the parafin starters in to get things going after the alcohol soaked hunks take too long. By the time the parafin starters get my Wicked Good lump up to cooking temps my wife is complaining about my cooks taking too long. Someday I might quit being a hard head about this and just start with the parrafin starters. Uglydog
  • You can make your own firestarters by soaking old corks from wine bottles in 90% isopropyl alcohol.
  • chappy319chappy319 Posts: 41
    Use potato chips
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