The foremost adverse effect of using lighter fluid is that the smell and fumes produced by it would penetrate the taste and quality of your food. People usually question how not to use lighter fluid for lighting up charcoal, but no one answers the best answer to this question.
I decided to cover this question to sort out your problem. This article will cover a few steps to tell you how to light charcoal without lighter fluid.
Why Should You Not Use Lighter Fluid?
The proper way to get more taste from coals is to avoid lighter fluids. The lighter fluids help make a roaring fire that lasts only a few seconds. But the reason to avoid it is that it influences the flavor of food as maximum temperature could burn the food. Moreover, due to the maximum temperature, it produces a toxic smell.
Why Use Chimney Starter To Light Charcoal?
Chimney starters are considered great for light charcoal. These chimney starters look like colossal steel muds having a large handle at the top. The Chimney starter offers an open top and open grate, which is present in the bottom. Airspace is present that is strategically spread on the whole starter for the ventilation of proper airflow.
Chimney starter comes in at a reasonable price of 15-25 dollars with enhanced durability. Heat rising from the coal coming upward from the bottom warms the metal cylinder and spreads evenly over the starter. The starter is reusable and works efficiently.
Methods To Light Charcoal Without Lighter Fluid
As you know, this post is to give you the best ways to avoid lighter fluids. To avoid it, first, you have to avoid purchasing briquettes that have lighter fluids in them. Apart from this, I advise you to avoid buying charcoal briquettes as they have fillers.
Fillers and binders are both used to shape briquettes. You would use it, but you have to ensure no fillers in them. It is impossible. Some people do not like the smell of briquettes even though they can not bear the smell of such briquettes burning at some distance from me.
I like to use natural charcoal lamps as they last longer and create less ash than briquettes. The benefit of briquettes is the uniformity that distributes the heat evenly on the grates. Furthermore, the charcoal briquettes are expensive and last a few seconds.
Charcoal lumps are created by different wood species and come in varying sizes. Depending on the size of your starter, select good size woods that you would effortlessly place on the starter. Less expensive works for a long time and gives a smoky taste to your food.
1- Cleaning Of Grates
Scrub the BBQ grates with the tools that come with the starter set. The simple and reliable way that I prefer is to place the cooking grates on the starter and heat it for a few minutes. Because after heating it is easy to scrape all the rubbish with the cleaning tools. After this, use a wet paper towel to pick up the dirt from the grates.
2- Pour Hot Coals
Sometimes coals start to flame before time, which means they are ready to cook. The coals quickly caught fire and failed to maintain the heat inside the starter. What type of coal is ready to use? The coal, which has white dust after burning and gradually secretes smoke, is best for cooking smoky flavor food.
For this purpose, use long steel tongs to manage the coals. When the coals are rearranged and their color changes from black to silver, pour them in the bottom. These coals continuously burn and distribute the smoke even on the corners of the grate. When you feel that coals are not producing enough smoke, change their direction with the tongs.
3- Add A Large Amount Of Starter
If you use a starter and feed it continuously after some time but stills, it does not create much smoke. Then you need to add more and more until it flames. Use paper towels, bags, rolls, and cardboard as feeding materials.
4- Gradually Fan Your Flames
Some food takes maximum cooking time and needs more smoke, but coals burn to some extent. To light the coals, you need to burn long and hot enough. Then what to do? Fan the coals. It roars the fire also. When you fan the coals, more smoke enters the food and enhances its taste. It is not compulsory to use handy manual fans. You could use small electric fans.
5- Relight The Chimney Starter
As you know, coals light to some extent. After that, you need to change their direction or relight it. To relight the starter, use tongs and ensure never to close your hands to the coals. The smoke of coals is too warm to burn your hand. So use tongs to relight them and attach matchsticks to growl the fire.
6- Under The Chimney, Place The Starter
Different chimney starters are there, such as paper, newspaper, wood chunks, or dryer lint. Dryer lint is popular as it is good enough to light the coal initially. Also, it does not last long.
To get more smoke, use a newspaper with two tablespoons of oil. Newspaper burns rapidly, while oil keeps it burning longer. Moreover, if you use such a type of starter, always place them under the chimney in the required amount.
7- Set Up The Grill
First, place the grill and the chimney starter on top. Now place the empty grate back and fill the chimney with the starter. Whenever you place a starter, use paper rolls and put them in the middle of the chimney.
Then fill it with charcoal. It prevents the chimney from the black spots of smoke. Always fill the chimney up to 80 percent leaving the remaining for the next to rearrange the coals. Moreover, you have to add some more starters to the chimney. This 20 percent space is used for this purpose.
8- Cleaning Of The Grill
Cleaning of the grill is necessary after every use. For this purpose, pour all the old charcoal out and clean the chimney—no need to wash the grates after every use. If you would not clean the grill, the coal residues stick with the grates and food. It is a sticky waste that is harmful to the lungs.
Try to clean it quickly. Each method is important, and you would get good results regarding fire, with no chemicals and good fumes. It gives an excellent taste to food and improves its quality as well.
How To Light Charcoal?
All users have a bigger issue with lighting charcoal: the fire will go out soon. The first way to avoid it is to place the charcoal closer to each other, which lets the weak air inside the starter. Moreover, the steps will help you in this regard. Secondly, feed the fire continuously if you want that fire to last for a long time. Use paper to give air to the fire or use oil to roar the fire.
You should get rid of volatile chemicals that come with lighter fluids. No need to use lighter fluid to light charcoal as I offer you many other ways. In place of a liquid starter, you would use an electric starter. They do not create harmful chemicals. You need to apply a power source, and it starts working. Use a chimney starter for the best cooking. But always be careful whenever you light charcoal.