How to Start a Charcoal Grill

There are different methods by which you can start up your charcoal grill and give a smokey flavor to your meats. It takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes to start a charcoal grill properly. These methods include electric lighters, fluid lighters, propane starters, newspapers, and much more.

Methods to Start a Charcoal Grill

There are specific answers to how to start a charcoal grill. It gives you the smokey flavor of your meat. Furthermore, it makes your food delicious. Nevertheless, a charcoal grill will make your food healthier because it requires less oil. Let us discuss some of these methods.

  • Lighting a Charcoal Grill with a Lighter

As the first and most straightforward method, you can lighten up your charcoal grill with a simple lighter. This method will prepare your grill and produce enough heat within 15 minutes.

Furthermore, while using a lighter to start your charcoal grill, ensure you are using precautions. The fire can suddenly start and infuse in flames excellent. Therefore, ensure that your hands are covered with heat-resistant gloves and that you stand safely from the grill.

Instruments You Need

  • Lump charcoal and briquettes.
  • Heat resistant gloves
  • Barbecue tongs
  • Charcoal grill
  • Fluid lighter
  •  Matchstick

Steps To Start a Fire

  1. Make A Neat Arrangement for Charcoal Bed

You must have a chimney starter to start your charcoal grill within 10 to 15 minutes. Whereas, if you do not have it, you can always make a neat arrangement of charcoals on the grill.

  • Sprinkle some Charcoal Lighter Fluid on the coals.

When all of your charcoals are arranged properly and neatly, make sure that you sprinkle some charcoal lighter fluid on the Charcoals.  This can be a petroleum lighter or any other fluid that will help charcoals instantly catch fire.

  • Let The Lighter Fluid Goes Off

You keep a safe distance once the liquid fluid and charcoals are on fire. This fire can be aggressive and catch up on your clothes or anything. Therefore, let it cool down a little bit. Furthermore, the heat from the liquid fluid will help the charcoals slowly turn grey.

  • Wait For the Charcoals to Turn Grey

Once the fire is out, wait for the charcoal to turn grey. For even heat distribution, put on the lid to minimize oxygen within the grid.

  • Spread The Coals When Ready

Those char goals are now Gray and ready, distributed evenly throughout the grill.  This will help the unlit charcoal to catch some heat from the ready charcoal. All of this process can take approximately 15 to 20 minutes.

  • Starting Charcoal Grill with a Chimney Starter

Starting a charcoal grill with a chimney starter is much easier and more time effective than the lighter method. It would help if you used all the precautions in this method, as the fire can be aggressive.

Instruments You Need

  • Good quality charcoals
  • Barbecue tongs and charcoal grill
  • Matchstick
  • Newspaper or anything to ignite the fire
  • Chimney starter

Steps To Start a Fire

  1. Use Good Quality Coals

First of all, get good quality charcoal for your grill. For this process, you do not need the charcoals which already have the fluid lighter. You can use simple but good-quality charcoal.

  • Fill Up the Chimney with Coal

If you want an excellent seer on your meat, fill up the chimney with charcoal. In contrast, if you want medium heat, fill the chimney starter with a quarter of the charcoal.

  • Use the Fire Starter to Let Coals Grab Fire

To ignite the fire, use anything. For instance, you can use a simple paper, newspaper, matchstick, or anything else at this stage.

  • Let The Charcoals Catch Fire

Wait for the charcoal to catch fire and get heated up. At this point, the charcoal will take about 10 minutes. Afterward, you can pour them into the grill and arrange them evenly.

  • Starting the Grill with an Electric or Propane Starter

As the third method, you can use two different things to ignite a fire in the charcoal grill. For instance, you can use a loop lighter or an electronic lighter. In addition, you can use a propane lighter.

Instruments You Need

  • Loof lighter electric lighter
  • Propane starter
  •  Charcoals and grill

Steps To Start a Fire

  1. Shoot a Jet of Gas into Charcoal

The flames of a propane starter are much more intense than the newspaper or any other method. A propane starter shoots a jet of gas into charcoal which ignites it. This method is much faster than any other method.

  • Use Loof lighter

At the same time, you can use a Loof lighter. It is an electronic lighter that uses high-pressure and heated air to ignite the charcoal. All you have to do is connect this electronic lighter to a plug outlet. You have to put it into the grill and ignite the charcoal.

  • Using a Newspaper to Start the Charcoal Grill

A simple newspaper is one of the oldest methods to ignite a charcoal grill. This method can take a lot of time, but in the end, you will get a nice warm bed of charcoal.

Instruments You Need

  • Newspaper
  • Matchstick
  • Charcoals
  • Barbecue grill and tongs

Steps To Start a Fire

  1. Crumble Some Newspaper

First and foremost, you will take a newspaper and crumble it up. Make sure you have a nice big ball of newspaper wrapped around it.

  • Cover with Some Coals

Now the newspaper cover crumbles with some coal and leaves some space to ignite it. You can sprinkle the charcoal with some liquid lighter to help quit the process. This lighter can be petroleum or alcohol-based.

  • Light it up

Once you have arranged your entire child’s calls, take a matchstick and put the newspaper on fire. Once your newspaper is wholly burned, there will be a lot of fire. This fire will spread around and help the charcoal to ignite.

  • Spread the Lit Coals to let others Catch Fire.

Furthermore, if you want to fasten up the process spread the lid coals around all other walls and put them on the lid to minimize oxygen interference.


In conclusion, you can use all these methods and try the best suits you. For instance, you can use a petroleum or alcohol-based liquid lighter. On the other hand, you can use a newspaper method, an electric lighter, or any other tool you like. Most importantly, make sure that you follow all the precautions, as the charcoal grill can get very hot. Maintain a safe distance and allow the charcoal to do their work.

Eleena Joseph

I am the person behind, and my name is Elena. If you're BBQ lovers, i share information about speakers on this website to help you to choose the best grill.

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