How to Start a Grill with Charcoal and Lighter Fluid

How to Start a Grill with Charcoal and Lighter Fluid

Are you wondering about how to start a grill with charcoal and lighter fluid? Well, If you want to start a grill on your own, with no one to help, then this is the article for you. We will tell you how to start your grill with only charcoal and lighter fluid.

It might be confusing for you, especially if you’re new to grilling. But luckily, it’s not hard at all! So read on for some great insight about how you too can start grilling in no time!

How to Start a Grill with Charcoal and Lighter Fluid   

The first thing you’re going to need is a grill. Generally, a charcoal-based grill is suggested as opposed to gas. They are cheaper, and they work very well. You can find them at most retailers, or online.

One of the reasons that they are so popular is because they get hot quickly, and stay hot for longer periods. More on this later though.

The first thing you have to keep in mind is to always have cold food on standby. Make sure that whatever you’re trying to cook is cooled down and ready before you start working with the grill. For example, if you’re cooking a hot dog, don’t put it on the grill until it’s been chilled in the fridge for several hours.

The second thing that is suggested is having at least two fire-starters handy. If you’re in a pinch, you can use lighter fluid and a match, but it is better to prefer something reusable.

This means that you should prefer charcoal lighters. They are usually made of steel or brass, and they have a flint wheel in them. These generally come with a protective cover that is on the outside of the grill grate, so it’s easy to use.

Start a Grill with Charcoal and Lighter Fluid     

One of the more popular options is lava rocks that have been soaked in lighter fluid. These are a great choice because they come in packs of 3-4. Each of them will burn for about 5 minutes, and then you can use the next one.

Just place one on top of the grill grate, and it will slowly ignite and start burning. When you hear it crackling that means it’s ready to start cooking!

You may have another option is to use an electric charcoal starter. They are generally made of plastic so they won’t break, and they never leave a residue. Moreover, they generally cost around $10-$20 but are worth it if you can afford them.

This method is a preferred one for starting a grill, as it’s very easy to use. You have to place one side of the device on top of the grill grate and then cover it with the flint wheel cover.

The other side is then placed over the actual coals, and the device will automatically light them up for you. It will only take about 30 seconds to start, but during that time you’ll have a fire going on top of your grill.

While charcoal lighter won’t work forever, it’s great to have one on hand in case of an emergency. 

How long should lighter fluid sit on the charcoal grill?

Lighter fluid will generally sit on the charcoal grill for about 4-5 minutes. This heats the briquettes and is enough time to get it hot enough for cooking. You do not have to continue adding lighter fluid every time you start a grill.

One important thing is to always use caution when lighting your grill! Make sure that whatever you’re using is placed securely, and keep a fire extinguisher on hand just in case something goes wrong.

Is it okay to put too much lighter fluid on the charcoal grill?

No. it is not recommended to put a tonne of lighter fluid on the charcoal grill. You’re going to want to use just enough to get the briquettes to ignite. When you put too much on it, then it can make the flames burn up higher than they are supposed to.

This is another reason why using an electric charcoal starter is preferred, as you can control how long the candles stay lit, and how long they stay off.

Can we start a charcoal grill without lighter fluid?

Yes, you can start a charcoal grill without lighter fluid. It does take a little more effort than just sprinkling some on top though.

The first thing that you’re going to need to do is place the charcoal inside of the grill. Next, you want to cover it with either aluminium foil or newspaper. This will help keep the heat in and will get the briquettes to light up faster.

As for your lighter fluid, you’re going to want to put about half an inch on the coals. Make sure that the briquettes are covered with lighter fluid, and then place something over them to keep them in place.

This will ensure that the briquettes catch fire and get hot fast. If you don’t, then they will just sit there, and not ignite properly.

What is the best way to extinguish a grill fire?     

Don’t try to put it out with water! Never use water to extinguish any type of fire on your charcoal grill. It takes too long, and it won’t work.

It’s best to use an extinguisher and spray the flames directly with the extinguisher. This will put them out quickly, but you should check for any remaining hot coals just in case.

Of course, another thing that you’ll want to do is have a fire extinguisher nearby in case the fire does get out of control. Never use anything flammable on your charcoal grill, as it can cause an explosion.


Hope you understand how to start a grill with charcoal and lighter fluid. All the queries are also discussed in detail. So start your grill with this amazing guide and have fun! 


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