5 Quick & Easy Ways To Light Lump Charcoal?

Have you got a brand-new charcoal grill and want to get started? If yes, you need to light the grill before expecting any magic. Various types of grills/smokers are there in the market, but no one can beat the classical taste of a charcoal grill.

Unlike other fuels for grills and smokers, lump charcoal is dangerous and exhaustive as it can lead to injury. So, stay connected to learn the art of lighting lump charcoal. I will tell you how to light a lump of charcoal in multiple ways, so you can ignite the fuel for your next cooking endeavor in every possible way.

What Is Lump Charcoal?

Lump charcoal is the most common type of charcoal that you can find in your local grocery store. You can use it to start a fire, or it can be burned for heat if you want to cook on top of it. Lump charcoal is made from pressed-wood chips and is good for grilling and smoking.

The best part about lump charcoal is that it burns much cleaner than briquettes or lump hardwood. You will get better results when using lump charcoal for grilling and smoking. Lump Charcoal has a higher heat output than other types of charcoal, making it ideal for smoking foods like meat or fish.

How To Light Lump Charcoal

How To Use Lump Charcoal?

To use lump charcoal, you must first get it into the shape of brick or rock. It can be done by placing the lump on top of an appropriate-sized rock or brick. You will then need to compress the lump until it reaches its smallest size possible.

After that, you should place it in an area where it will stay cool and dry. You can accomplish it by storing in a room with indirect sunlight or placing it on a tarp or other flat surface that allows for airflow between the lump and the environment around it.

How To Light Lump Charcoal?

The following methods will help you ignite fuel for the charcoal grill, so you can start the cooking session: 

Method 1: Using Charcoal Chimney

These steps are necessary to light lump charcoal using a chimney starter: 

Insert The Paper

The paper is what you will use to start your fire. It is usually made of cardboard or paper, but it can be any material. You must insert the paper into the chimney so that it fits properly and has no holes. Place the paper inside the chimney, where it will be lit on fire and burned for about 15 minutes before you use it for your fire.


Put Charcoal In The Charcoal Chimney


You have to put some charcoal in the chimney so that when you light it, it will burn properly and create smoke that will help start your fire faster than if there was no smoke. You may want to put one piece of charcoal at a time, so you do not get too many pieces clogging up your chimney starter. It makes it harder for you to start fires with it later.

Light The Paper

Place a piece of newspaper on top of the top lump of charcoal in the chimney starter, then light it with matches or a lighter. After that, place another piece of newspaper on top of that paper layer. Then light it again with matches or a lighter so both layers burn until they turn into ash.


Pour Igniting Charcoal From Chimney Starter To The Grill/Smoker


Using a chimney starter with a diameter at least as large as what is inside your grill or smoker is necessary. It ensures that it does not tip over while filling it with burning lump charcoal, which can lead to injury if something falls out of it while filling up with charcoal. Once your chimney starter is lit, pour all of your lit charcoal into the grill or smoker.

Method 2: Fire Starter

Follow these steps to ignite lump charcoal with the fire lighter method:

  1. Choose a fire starter that is the right size for the amount of charcoal you will be using. Those with good handles and the ability to hold a small amount of charcoal are the best.
  2. Remove the top from the fire starter, which should be waterproof and sealed with tape or glue. That way, you will not spill any ash or coal on your table and risk damaging it later.
  3. Place your lump charcoal in the bottom half of the fire starter. Ensure it is covered by ashes, coals, and other ingredients inside it (do not forget to leave some space at the top).
  4. Next, put some more lump charcoal into one side of your fire starter (the bottom side), so you can quickly light it up without moving anything around too much. In this way, you will not waste any fuel.
  5. Once the coals are glowing red-hot and glowing white underneath them (they should be about half covered), pour them into your grill or fireplace grate. So they do not burn up before they are done burning up entirely (the process takes about 30 minutes for each batch).

Method 3: Lighter Fluid

Step to follow when lighting lump charcoal with a lighter fluid: 

  1. Fill the chimney starter with lump charcoal, place the chimney on top, and light it.
  2. Place one end of a piece of newspaper in the bottom of the grill, then put your coals on top of the newspaper. After placing your lump charcoal on top of the coals, place another piece of newspaper on top. It will help to stabilize them.
  3. Pour the lighter fluid into a spray bottle and mist over the briquettes or lump charcoal until they are soaked with lighter fluid all around them. The liquid should drip off, but if you use a spray bottle, ensure it is on low pressure, so it does not spray out too much.
  4. Light the lighter fluid-soaked briquettes or lump charcoal using a match or lighter until it starts to smoke and turn white hot. You may need to add lighter fluid if necessary.

Method 4: Electric Charcoal Starter

Follow these steps for using an electric charcoal starter to light lump charcoal: 

  1. Put the lump charcoal in the electric charcoal starter, put the lid on and place it next to your grill.
  2. Plug in the electric charcoal starter and let it warm up for about 15 minutes before firing up your grill or smoker.
  3. Ensure the proper airflow in the chimney. So, it gets heated up well, and you can see the smoke coming out of it.
  4. After a few minutes, put one end of a matchstick into the chimney, and hold it there for a few seconds. Then pull out the matchstick from the top of the chimney to light it up using an electric lighter or torch flame.
  5. You need to pour the burning charcoal into the smoker or grill, so you can cook your food with its heat.

Method 5: Paper, Kindling, Charcoal

You can employ paper, kindling, or charcoal method to burn your lump charcoal: 

  1. Place the paper on the charcoal pile, and light it with your fire starter.
  2. Place the kindling next to the pile of paper, and light it with your fire starter.
  3. Add more paper to the pile, and light it with your fire starter.
  4. Add more kindling to this pile of paper, and light it with your fire starter.
  5. Repeat until all the charcoal is lit, then place it out of direct sunlight or heat source as soon as possible so it does not scorch over time. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, Lump Charcoal is easy to light. It burns slowly and evenly so that you can build a fire of your desired size. The charcoal will burn longer if the temperature is low, so always ensure you have a heat source nearby.

Lump charcoal takes about 15-20 minutes to become fully lit. If you have a gas grill, this will likely be quicker than a charcoal grill, as gas grills tend to start earlier and burn hotter than charcoal grills.

Lump Charcoal should be white before cooking. It tends to produce more ash than other types of charcoal. If the lump charcoal is not white enough for you, try spreading it over a lower heat until it becomes white sufficient for your needs.

Final Words

I hope that I helped you on how to light lump charcoal to make your work easier in this post. Using the methods mentioned above, you can enjoy sumptuous meals with friends and family after setting up your charcoal grill for cooking. Leave your comment below if you have any questions regarding this post.

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