Start Your Charcoal Grill With a Propane Torch




Introduction: Start Your Charcoal Grill With a Propane Torch

You know the routine, you buy charcoal and charcoal lighter. Then you pour charcoal into your grill douse the charcoal with charcoal lighter, light it and wait. But there's problems with lighting charcoal this way.

  1. You never know how much lighter to use, so you always pour on extra.
  2. If you use too much then your food tastes like charcoal lighter (yuck).
  3. If you use too little the the charcoal goes out and you have to start over again!!!
  4. The charcoal is lit from the outside - in & I always though this was kind of dumb!

There is a better - more fool-proof solution, and the "fix" won't cost more than a few cans of charcoal lighter fluid!

  • A can of Kingsford charcoal lighter fluid is about $6.00.
    A hand held propane torch is about $15.00
    Propane gas cylinders will cost you about $4.00 each.
    One gas cylinder will light 10 - 20 charcoal grills.

Step 1: Light a Small Pile of Charcoal

Start with a very small pile of charcoal - just enough to build a cavity to start the fire in.

Next start your propane torch and point the flame to the center of the cavity in the middle of the charcoal briquettes.

The torch will probably go out but that's OK because the gas from the torch will keep the fire going.

Hold the torch until you see the charcoal inside cavity turn white.

Now turn off the propane torch and put it in a safe place away from your grill.

Step 2: Verify You Have a Good Fire

What you should have is a small pile of charcoal with the center white.

You won't see any flames but you can verify that you have a good fire by holding your hand over the charcoal. The coals will be very hot.

Step 3: Pile Charcoal Around the Fire

Now you need to add the rest of your charcoal.

Pour what you need into the grill and pile the charcoal briquettes around the fire.

These need to be piled as narrow & tall as possible for a fast light.

Step 4: Check Your Progress

In less than 15 minutes your charcoal should be lit and ready to cook.

Step 5: Spread Out the Charcoal and Cook!!!

All that's left to do is to spread out the charcoal and cook!

Thanks for reading.

Tom -

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    7 years ago on Introduction

    While I agree with the torch I also use a charcoal chimney to start charcoal. You want the one with the wire cone inside it. It goes up like a shaped charge. No amount of carefully stacking briquettes can beat a chimney. Not even close.

    Tom Hargrave
    Tom Hargrave

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I agree and I also have a chimney. I use my chimney when the amount it starts is right for what I'm cooking. But sometimes I need more charcoal than my chimney will start and when I do I start with a torch and without my chimney.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I see. When I need more I load the chimney, light it, then when it is coals, I dump it out, and add more briquettes on top of the coals that are going. In fact I always add more briquettes on top of what I lit in the chimney. That is fuel to cook on.