How to Light Charcoal Without Lighter Fluid? Detailed Guide

While camping or meeting up with friends, grilling, braising, baking, and BBQing are the perfect activities. There is no season to enjoy the grilled BBQ, seared steaks, or roasted pork butt or ribs. What we need the most, a good grill or smoker?

With regard to lighting charcoal, one thing that you might forget to include is lighter fluid. Have you ever thought that when you don’t have lighter fluid or forgot to bring it with you, what is the alternative method?  For a successful BBQ party, you need hot coals.

I have faced a similar situation, so I know what the alternative should be. Some people even avoid spilling chemicals on coal because it is dangerous; people don’t like the chemical taste, and the smell just lingers with them all day, especially if they use too much lighter fluid. Finding the answer to the query of how to light charcoal without lighter fluid is pretty easy if you spare some time to read this article. 

Alternatives To Light Charcoal Fire Without Lighter Fluid:

Finding an answer about how to light a charcoal grill without fluid or what would be the power source to ignite charcoal briquettes is not tough! For your understanding, first, I need to tell you what is the charcoal lighter fluid. It is used to ignite charcoal and is used in barbecue grills to increase its ignition. Petrol-based solvents like mineral spirits and alcohol-based solvents, sometimes methanol or ethanol, can be used.

Charcoal grilling is much famous because people love the aroma and taste of the meat. There are many ways to light up the charcoal without the lighter fluid, like you can use a Chimney starter, Lighter, electric starter, or matches, vegetable oil, alcohol, newspaper, or paper towels.

How to Light Charcoal without Lighter Fluid?

Chimney Starter:

Charcoal chimneys are a great way to ignite a large number of hot coals without a lighter fluid quickly for grilling. Using a chimney starter will ensure that your meat does not taste like lighter fluid. Don’t you find it useful?

  • Step#1: First, take a charcoal chimney starter and fill it up with the charcoal, avoid a large supply, and don’t overflow it.
  • Step#2: Then roll the newspaper up and stuff it in the chimney.
  • Step#3: Use a long match or a stick lighter to ignite the newspaper by placing it in the center of the grill to lit coals.
  • Step#:4: Check the coals every few minutes to make sure they have ignited; if not, you’ll have to start all over again.
  • Step#5: Once the briquettes are lit, put on heatproof gloves and carefully place them in the cooking chamber.
  • Step#6: Cook for another 10-15 minutes after replacing the charcoal grate.

Electric Charcoal Starter:

A charcoal starter with an electrical element ignites the charcoal and acts as a heating element, ignite the charcoal grill without lighter fluid. An electric starter is a kind of metal rod that is being used; follow the process to use it properly.

  • Step#1: Plug the device into the electrical outlet and switch it on.
  • Step#2: Place the lighter underneath the fresh charcoal.
  • Step#3: Remove the starter when the coals are coated in gray ash after getting the maximum heat.

The Use Of Newspaper or Paper Towel:

To ignite a charcoal grill without lighter fluid, chimney starter, or electric starter, etc., we have another alternative that is also non-toxic and can solve your query about how to light a charcoal grill. The use of a newspaper or paper towel is the best alternative. 

  • Step#1: You need to be sure that the charcoal grills are in an area that is completely clean.
  • Step#2: Now open the vents as far as they will allow before adding the newspaper; by doing so, the oxygen can move in the right direction.
  • Step#3: Take a few sheets of paper and put them in the center of the grilling chamber. 
  • Step#4: Cover the paper with the desired amount of charcoal, ensuring the paper shows through the gaps in between.
  • Step#5: Light the newspaper on fire and watch to make sure the coals ignite. 

If the coal does not glow up, then gently remove the briquettes and then add them again, this time soaking half of the newspaper sheets in vegetable oil before adding them. 

Compressed Cardboard or Cartons:

Do you know useless cartons and cardboard are of much importance? Don’t waste them, bro! You can match light charcoal with them.

  • Step#1: In the first step, take the cardboard or eggs carton, compressed it.
  • Step#2: Place it into the cooking chamber.
  • Step#3: Take a lighter and burn it from corners. As it burns, the heat rises, coals will be ignited, and you can start cooking.

Use Of Alcohol or Wine:

It is preferred to use alcohol or wine for this method due to the quantity of sugar, though you can use any high-proof liquor.

  • Step#1: Pour some liquor over some paper towels.
  • Step#2: Then add the towels to the coals.
  • Step#3: Creating a fire requires extreme caution with a matchstick.

Firestarter briquette:

Using Firestarter briquettes is another simple way to replace the lighter fluid. The lighter fluids will not burn as cleanly as these. Moreover, they burn completely, leaving no residual flavor behind.

  • Step#1: You must remove the grates before you can use them. 
  • Step#2: Make sure that you open the vents on the grill so that air can circulate. Coals should be covered with the Firestarter.
  • Step#3: To ignite the coals, the Firestarter must come into contact with them.
  • Step#4: Allow the Firestarter to burn under the grill lid. Don’t forget to check the vents. They will turn off the Firestarter if they are closed.
  • Step#5: Burn it for 10 minutes. Lift the grill’s lid slightly before removing it completely to let some smoke out.

Use Of Vegetable Oil:

Vegetable oil is also an effective fire starter.

  •  Step#1: You can dip the newspaper or papers in vegetable oil or anything that contains animal fat. 
  • Step#2: Before adding the newspaper, open the vents as far as they will allow. This will allow the oxygen to flow in the right direction.
  • Step#3: Take a few sheets of paper and put them in the center of the grilling chamber. 
  • Step#4: Cover the paper with charcoal, allowing the paper to show through the gaps between each layer.

Wrap It Up!

By giving you many alternate ways to light charcoal without lighter fluid, we have addressed your query regarding how to light charcoal without lighter fluid. We sincerely hope that these methods will make it convenient for you to light charcoals without lighter fluid. You can also share your experience in the comment section below. Please let us know if you know another way! 

What can I use instead of lighter fluid?

The charcoal can be lit with or without the lighter fluid using many methods, including a Chimney starter, a lantern, an electric starter, firestarter, matches, vegetable oil,  alcohol, newspaper, or paper towels.

How do you light a fire without lighter fluid?

In the absence of lighter fluid, kindling, or a fire starter, you can easily start a charcoal fire using vegetable oil, alcohol on a paper towel, or with the help of a chimney starter.

Do you need lighter fluid for charcoal?

Not necessary, why go for difficult methods or get the chemical taste or smell. Simply take cardboard or a bunch of newspapers, put it inside the chamber, and burn it to heat the coals.

What is the best way to light charcoal?

Unless you have a chimney or electric starter for starting a fire, the best way to start one is to take up a paper towel or newspaper, pour in the liquor, and if you have no alcohol, cover the charcoal with the paper and light the paper.

 How to put out a grill?

The quickest and easiest way to put out a charcoal grill is to close its lid and vents. This will stop all oxygen from flowing to the coals. The coals will then take up to two days to cool down completely, but this method of allowing them to rest is far safer than using water to put them out. Then take out the grills.

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