How To Light Charcoal Without Lighter Fluid

Every action comes from energy, and it needs a source for working. This energy source is fuel for the working. It aids in the power that one can use for various purposes. Charcoal comes in handy for a lot of many purposes. It needs an ignition source to light. One can use various options to light a fire. The most common around is to use a Lighter fluid. It is not only a convenient source of fire and ignition but also handy to find. Lighter fuels come in three main types and are nothing but a chain of hydrocarbons. Barbeque is love for anyone who loves food. Charcoals are vital to infuse the best taste in them. Hence, the use of charcoal is a must for a taste like never before! The use of lighter fluid, although handy, comes with a lot many hazards and troubles. It is harmful to the environment but comes along with chemicals in use. In the innovating world, knowing how to light charcoal without lighter fluid is also a must. It allows to solve the purpose and yet have a meal worth the wait and effort!

What Is a Lighter Fluid?

Lighter fluids are a mixture of volatile liquid that comes into use to ignite a fire. It comes in us for grills and comprises terpene oil.

It is a fuel that comes in handy during camping, parties, outings, or other travel. It is one of the most common charcoal lighter for barbequing and other grilling needs.

It comes with chemical composition and can be hazardous to the environment. The notion of lighter fuel has existed since time immemorial. It is now coming with alternatives beyond imagination.

Properties of Lighter Fuel

Every fuel comes with peculiarities that make them unique. It defines the working, structure, and usage of it. The following are the must know about lighter fuels:

Physical Properties

  • It is a colorless liquid that comes with a mild smell of organic solvents.
  • It has a low melting point and has a high boiling point, ranging between 215-300 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • It can evaporate at low pressure at a temperature of around 70 degrees.
  • It comprises hydrocarbons and hence is not dissolvable in water or liquids.

 Combustible Properties

  • They are intense combustible substances and come with the property to sustain fire.
  • The fire can travel long distances, and even the flames are flammable.
  • One must keep it in a ventilated space and away from heat sources or sparks to avoid accidents.
  • If on water, it forms a separate top layer that is susceptible to fire when exposed.


  • It is harmful to humans, wildlife, and marine life. It is not fit for consumption or breathing.
  • Touching it or consuming it can irritate skin and the digestive tracts. Breathing can cause respiratory issues.
  • If it spills on the water body in large amounts, it can be fatal to aquatic life.
  • It can accumulate in the marine biological system. It can further travel into other ecosystems.

The properties of lighter fluid vary with temperature, pressure, composition, and much more. The core nature remains the same.

The properties can become a bit different as per the type of the hydrocarbon chain. Butane, Naphtha, and kerosene, also known as paraffin, are the most common types in use.

Regardless of the differences, they contribute to the best fuels as lighter fluids. They are efficient, trustworthy, and reliable. Even with the best properties, lighter fluids are a big no!

It is because of the composition and the threat it carries. But it does come with the best alternatives as a substitute!

Reasons To Avoid Lighter Fluid – The Comparison!

Before knowing how to light charcoal without lighter fluid, one must understand the reasons to avoid it. It helps an individual to pick the best. The following are the reasons that make one choose the alternatives:


The nature of the lighter fuel is consumable. It is not an asset that will remain with an individual forever. One will have to keep buying it to meet the needs for barbequing.

The alternatives come with a one-time investment. One can enjoy its use for the time it suffers damage. Hence, they are better investments than a lighter fuel for the cause.


Looking at the bigger picture, comparison in the cost is a must. The lighter fuel may cost lesser, but one will have to buy it. The alternatives to it come with a one-time price.

The total price of the lighter fuel is sure to exceed the cost of the alternatives. Hence, the alternates are a wiser choice for the pockets and the future.

Environment Threat

The lighter fuel comes with a composition of hydrocarbons. It adds to the photochemical smog in the environment. It aids to the pollution around and also other threats to the atmosphere.

The alternates to the lighter fuel work with lesser or without any pollutants. Some run with electricity. It aids in protecting the environment and serves as an environment fit for living. It helps one contribute to a cause.

Hazardous to Life

The lighter fluids come with a chemical make that is toxic for consumption. While using it, it can leave a trace on the food one cooks and get into the biological system.

The alternatives for the same come with a neat and clean background. They are safe to use as they are not life-threatening. All one needs is to be cautious when using them.


Lighter fluids are flammable and are hence prone to more accidents. Even the slightest trace of the lighter fluid can catch fire. It can be dangerous if not in use with care and alertness.

The alternatives to lighter fuel come with the perk of creating lesser damage. They are fit to use by both newbies and experts and reduce the accident rates. They also tend to reduce the census of accidental fires.

Lighting Without a Lighter Fluid

Lighter fluid is not the easiest way to light charcoals. If one wishes to seek alternatives, knowing their method is a must. The following are the other options that one can pick for a convenient lighting source:

Charcoal Starter

It is one of the cheapest ways to start a fire in charcoal. It comes in a cylindrical tin shape to start the fire. It is a chimney that is available at any grill store for use.  

It comprises two sections. The upper one for the coals and lower for the ignition or the fire source. The following is the method of using it as an alternative to lighter fluids:

  • One needs to pour the charcoal and place the lighting source beneath it.
  • The lighting source may comprise of paper that catches and can keep the fire for a while.
  • Then, one may light a fire in the bottom of the starter and wait for the smoke.
  • It will ignite all the charcoals in the starter and contribute to heat and smoke for cooking.
  • Once the upper layer of coal starts to ash over, the coals are ready for transfer into the grills.

It is an inexpensive method that is sure to work with minimal effort and work. It is available everywhere and comes with the perk of being friendly to the environment.


It is one of the most convenient ways to light charcoal. The entire setup works on electricity. It is the easiest way that works every time to light a fire.

It comes with a combination of a heater along with a blower that allows for quick ignition. The following is the method of using a looftlighter for burning charcoal:

  • Plug the equipment for the electricity supply. Place the tip of it on the surface of the charcoal heap.
  • Push the button and wait for the charcoal to glow. It directs superheated air towards the charcoal.
  • Do not stop once one sees the spark or glow in the charcoal heap. The heat ignites the charcoal in a few seconds.
  • Hold the equipment a bit back and keep the direction towards the same. Position it until the heat is enough to keep it burning.

It comes with a cylindrical body that makes it convenient to hold near the coals. It is a hassle-free method that helps to ignite the coal in about or less than a minute.

Most of the Looftlighter come with an in-built bottle opener. Hence, it allows it to serve a dual purpose. It, too, does not make use of any chemicals and is clean and smooth to equip.

The use of a Looftlighter can be the easiest and the quickest way to light the charcoals. It is also the most expensive method. So, if one is okay with spending some greens, it is perfect!

Electric Charcoal Starter

It is a perfect starter to choose if one needs to light up a small fire. It covers a smaller area than a chimney starter. It is also a good pick if one has electricity around.

It is a piece of shaped equipment that comes with a handle to hold for convenience. It is smooth equipment to use and comes with the following steps for lighting the coals.

  • All one needs to do is to heap a pile of charcoal on the grill. One must place them one wishes to use it.
  • Plug the starter, and wait for the electricity to heat the equipment. The process will begin, and the coals will start to heat.
  • One can then wait for it to ignite the charcoals or until the coals give out sparks or glow.
  • The time of heating depends upon the quantity of the coal. One can now use the coals to make a meal by using the grills.

It is a one-time investment and a non-chemical method for fire ignition. It is easy to carry around and use for beginners. It is the best option for both newbies and experts.

It is affordable and serves to the best of its capacity and value for money. Picking this alternative is sure to make an individual not regret the choice for the buy!

It is not grilling type-specific and hence is a good investment. It runs on electricity and hence may not be the best to carry around for camping barbeques.

Paper Kindling

It is one of the most traditional forms of lighting a fire. It involves using the things that catch fire, including papers, twigs, sticks, and many more. 

It involves a simple way to start a fire by heaping over coals with the fire initiators and keepers. The following is the steps to light charcoal using paper kindling:

  • Create a base of charcoal first and further lay down the papers at the center of the charcoal.
  • Use dry sticks and twigs to create a level over it to ensure some uniformity. Then place another layer of coal above it.
  • Now, lit the middle layer of the papers for fire. Wait for the charcoals to spark or heat.
  • Keep adding more charcoals over it to keep the charcoal running. It will help it to light.

It is one of the most inexpensive methods of fire production that costs an individual no money. It is the easiest yet tiring way to light a fire by producing fire beneath the coals.

It is not always reliable when it comes to a wet or moist environment. It can be slow to start but does not render any harm or threat to the environment around.

It needs constant inputs to keep the ignition until the coal glows. It requires a lot of patience and is not always a reliable method. Regardless of it, one is sure to add to the skills of kindling!

Although usual and easy to use, there are plenty of better alternatives to lighter fluids. Knowing about it can help with the best and contribute to a safe environment.

The answer for how to light charcoal without lighter fluid is easy and smooth. It comes with the understanding and comparison with the alternates available.

One can have a hassle-free switching from lighter fuels to modern methods. All one needs is an insight into the current trending options. Once an individual gains knowledge, the path becomes wide.

One must further compare the options available and look for the perks. One can look over a variety of factors before buying. It can include price, features, brands, market reach, reviews, reliability, and performance.

The modes of lighting may change, but the purpose will remain the same. Any option, conventional or modern, will render the convenience of perfect BBQ meals.

Choosing a safe alternative is the first step towards a better future. With the best options around, one can be proud of having the perfect help in hand without regrets!

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