Tailgating – How to Light Charcoal Without Lighter Fluid

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 30,997
    Barbecue Expert Mike Hendrick discusses how to light charcoal without lighter fluid for your tailgate party.

    Mike Hedrick: Mike Hedrick, Pit Crew Barbecue. We are talking about tailgating and all the different parts of it. One of those parts of it is, well, heat and fuel. Charcoal is the main base. We have a lot of people that do gas grills and that's awesome, specially for speed and then be able to cool that back down. If we are going to use charcoal and lot of people like myself like to use charcoal, you want to be able to get it lit without using lighter fluid. Why? Well, a lighter fluid has a lot of chemicals in there and those chemicals, in my opinion, aren't as good for you once they are cooked in to your meat. You could use the ones that have the already pre-fueled up briquette, but again I think that these still have that fuel in there while you are cooking. So how do you get the charcoal lit without using all that kind of fuel. Well, there are three great ways. My very favorite way is called a charcoal chimney. A charcoal chimney is a device much like the chimney in your house. You are going to load this thing up with charcoal and then what you are going to do is there are holes in the bottom of it. You are going to use just two pieces of newspaper. That's a great thing about this is you have either got some newspapers or something around. Just two pieces of newspaper and you are going to set that down. You are going to use your lighter. You are going to make sure you do this on a safe surface, like in the parking lot or on some grass. If you are doing it on the grass, simply you can get yourself something that you can put it on, so you don't burn the grass. Then you are going to light this, we have filled it with charcoal. What's going to happen is in within about 15 minutes, it's going to just smolder for a little bit and then get there to coal, it's going hotter and hotter until it looks just like a red volcano. If you don't have the newspaper around, a very safe way is these little tablets that you can use. These are fuel tablets .

    Different manufacturers make them. You have set down about two or three of these under your charcoal chimney. You just give the package a light and that will go ahead and do that same trick.

    Again, about 15 minutes and you have got a lot of very well red charcoals that are ready for staking. My very favorite, I have got to just tell you, is I just love a weed torch. I think that boys down at Texas figured this thing out when they are out there going along defense line and burning the weed, but you can use this thing here for lighten up your charcoal. Let me tell you, it will light up the charcoal.

    I think I have a little bit too much fun with it because when you get this thing lit, it's just like a flame thrower and it's a lot of fun, but you have got to be careful with it. I recommend using some safety glasses when you do use that. Then remember that you there to light the charcoal and not just to be chasing off your friends and may be friends of different teams.

    So these are some of the very best ways to get your charcoal lit without using the lighter fluid.