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Charcoal Starters

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Many grilling enthusiasts agree that one of the most flavorful ways to grill is over charcoal. Ace Hardware carries a large variety of fire starters that will have you grilling like a pro in no time. Find lighter fluid, charcoal starters and other charcoal lighter products to get the most out of every grilling session. Learn about the types of fire starters we have in stock to find the best option for you.

Charcoal Chimney Starters

A charcoal chimney lights reasonably fast and provides even heat distribution for coals without the need for chemicals or lighter fluid. Chimney starters are basically oversized metal tubes with grills at the bottom designed to distribute heat upwards. 

The process of using a grill chimney is relatively straightforward:

  • Remove the cooking grate from your grill.
  • Fill your chimney starter all the way to the brim with charcoal. If you aren't cooking much food, you can use less charcoal.
  • Place crumpled up newspaper or lighter cubes in the lower section of the chimney starter underneath the charcoal. Alternatively, you can use kindling like dried twigs or leaves to ignite the coals with a lighter or match. 
  • Set the charcoal chimney on top of the charcoal grate.
  • Using a long fireplace match or lighter, ignite the fuel source in multiple places to ensure the charcoal gets completely ignited. 
  • You'll see flames rising to the top of the chimney typically within 5 to 15 minutes. Once the coals begin to glow, tip the grill chimney over onto the charcoal grate. At this point, you're ready to begin grilling. 

Electric Charcoal Lighters

A high-quality electric charcoal fire starter is also a great choice for a fire starter since it doesn't require the use of chemicals or lighter fluid. Electric charcoal lighters get charcoal lighting quickly in usually less than 10 minutes. They're also inexpensive and reusable.

Unlike charcoal chimneys, electric charcoal grill fire-starters don't require the use of matches or newspaper. On the other hand, you'll need a power outlet to be able to use them, which may not be a convenient option if you're grilling at a park or campsite.

Charcoal Lighter Fluid

Portable and easy to use, charcoal lighter fluid offers a convenient way to light the grill. To use lighter fluid, simply follow these steps:

  • Arrange the coals in a neat mound to increase coal-to-coal contact.
  • Add a small amount of lighter fluid on the sides and top of the charcoal then immediately light after applying the fluid.
  • Once the coals are covered in gray ash, they're ready to spread out. The process usually takes around 15 minutes.

When shopping for charcoal lighter fluid, look for natural, eco-safe products made from agriculturally derived ingredients that eliminate the risk of unpleasant aftertastes.

To up your grilling game, shop the impressive selection of fire starters here, or stop by an Ace Hardware store near you. Searching for charcoal to fuel your grill or smoker? We carry a wide array of charcoal products, too.