Quickest way to light charcoal

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laxation
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Quickest way to light charcoal

Post by laxation » Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:23 pm

I'm coming from the Charcoal booster thread, where someone wrote:
pierre wrote:Look I am nobody, but every of the "veterans" on the forum can confirm if you need 60 minutes you're doing something wrong.
When I light charcoal, I fill up the chimney and stick it on the Wok burner on the BBQ, but without fail it takes 45-60minutes.

If there's a quicker way to do it without buying this little charcoal booster fan thing, what is it?

I'd love to have my coals going in 10-15 minutes so I can cook during the week. Getting home at 7 there just isn't enough time to get coals going...

(The charcoal booster thread: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=15341)


Muppet
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Quickest way to light charcoal

Post by Muppet » Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:33 pm

Wow I can light my chimney with news paper in 20mins, are you talking charcoal or briquettes? The looftlighter takes mabey 5 mins.
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Muppet
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Quickest way to light charcoal

Post by Muppet » Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:34 pm

Lump charcoal lights much faster
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DaBear
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Re: Quickest way to light charcoal

Post by DaBear » Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:37 pm

I bought my first ever Looftlighter a couple of months ago and it's the best thing to use ever.
I'd recommend getting one there's a video of its use on the Looftlighter website.
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kiwiman
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Re: Quickest way to light charcoal

Post by kiwiman » Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:39 pm

I don't think there is a better way than the booster, I don't regret buying mine for a minute.
Stewart
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Mixin
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Re: Quickest way to light charcoal

Post by Mixin » Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:43 pm

Heat beads do take longer - but not that long.

I use the heat beads chimney on my wok burner, and it's about 10-15 minutes for stick charcoal, and 20-25 minutes tops for a full chimney of heatbeads - with a 50cm flame belting out the top!

The trick is to only use the gas to get it going - probably 10 minutes tops, sometimes only 5-6 mins on stick charcoal, then turn off the gas. After you turn the gas off, you can either leave the chimney on the burner, or put the whole chimney on the grate (don't tip it).

The gas uses up all the oxygen, and doesn't leave enough for the charcoal to get going properly. Killing the gas once it's glowing lets fresh air into it - and more importantly, oxygen - which helps the chimney to light all the way to the top quickly.

I have tried other methods, but the "set & forget" of the wok burner is the easiest for me - I can set it going, then go prep (keeping an eye on it) and only have to go back out twice before I'm ready to cook. If you have more time, the natural firelighters under the chimney, sitting in the Weber on the grate, doesn't take much more than half hour for a full chimney of heat beads.
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laxation
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Re: Quickest way to light charcoal

Post by laxation » Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:45 pm

Mixin wrote:The trick is to only use the gas to get it going - probably 10 minutes tops, sometimes only 5-6 mins on stick charcoal, then turn off the gas.
I should have paid more attention in science class... I'll give this a try!

Have also looked into the looftlighter, how long does that take to light a full chimney?

(Using heat beads btw)

kiwiman
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Re: Quickest way to light charcoal

Post by kiwiman » Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:49 pm

The problem with a looftlighter is that you have to stand there holding it when you could be prepping food.
Stewart
Image]Royal Kamado, Weber Q100e, Multikai Cooker, U-Bute portable, Auspit Rotisserie with firedish, Char-Griller , Italian portable charcoal grill, Weber One Touch Platinum, Dragon Hibachi.Weber Jumbo Joe, GMG Daniel Boone on loan

Muppet
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Quickest way to light charcoal

Post by Muppet » Tue Sep 08, 2015 4:53 pm

kiwiman wrote:The problem with a looftlighter is that you have to stand there holding it when you could be prepping food.
Stewart
This is true but you only need 1min to light a small amount then fill the chimney and let it do its thing. I'm cool with whatever works. The booster looks like it works too although I just don't need it.
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wedwards
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Quickest way to light charcoal

Post by wedwards » Tue Sep 08, 2015 8:16 pm

Lighting charcoal and having a chimney full of charcoal ashes over and ready to cook are 2 entirely different things. I can light charcoal in 5 mins but the chimney ain't even close - using map gas, looftlighter, etc.

If you want to take an unlit chimney or charcoal from cold to ashed over without supervision in the fastest time possible, then the heat beads device will be your friend.

All other options other than running it on the gas burner of your bbq for 15-20 mins until ashed over, will not be as fast. And I bet those who are using the gas burner either just use it for a short period to light some of the heatbeads, or have all stainless burners and surrounds, because I've melted several cheap gas burners trying to run them for the entire duration of getting an entire chimney ready to use.

Also be aware that when you say charcoal, most assume you mean charcoal (which lights a lot quicker than heatbeads).


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Muppet
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Quickest way to light charcoal

Post by Muppet » Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:02 pm

wedwards wrote:Lighting charcoal and having a chimney full of charcoal ashes over and ready to cook are 2 entirely different things. I can light charcoal in 5 mins but the chimney ain't even close - using map gas, looftlighter, etc.

If you want to take an unlit chimney or charcoal from cold to ashed over without supervision in the fastest time possible, then the heat beads device will be your friend.

All other options other than running it on the gas burner of your bbq for 15-20 mins until ashed over, will not be as fast. And I bet those who are using the gas burner either just use it for a short period to light some of the heatbeads, or have all stainless burners and surrounds, because I've melted several cheap gas burners trying to run them for the entire duration of getting an entire chimney ready to use.

Also be aware that when you say charcoal, most assume you mean charcoal (which lights a lot quicker than heatbeads).


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What are you on about? You stand there any longer than 5mins with a looft and there's no charcoal left!
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wedwards
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Quickest way to light charcoal

Post by wedwards » Tue Sep 08, 2015 9:20 pm

5 mins ain't going to have a full chimney of heatbeads ready to cook on with a looftlighter. If you want me to make a real boring video to waste 5 mins (it will be more) of your time proving it, say the word.


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Lovey
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Re: Quickest way to light charcoal

Post by Lovey » Wed Sep 09, 2015 12:20 pm

Just a thought Laxation,
I have used the wok burner on my gasser to get the chimney full of heat beads going in the past. What I found was if I put the chimney on top of the grid/grate over the burner, there is a huge gap between the flame and the charcoal/heat beads and it takes forever to get going. I took the grid off and put the chimney over the burner and it then only took a matter of 10 minutes. The only think to watch then is that the chimney doesn't get too hot and start burning the paint surrounding the burner.

urbangriller
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Re: Quickest way to light charcoal

Post by urbangriller » Wed Sep 09, 2015 3:54 pm

I tell people at BBQ School to always have some lump charcoal as it lights quickly and then it will light the rest of the fuel (this works well for Robot Turds).

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Card Shark
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Re: Quickest way to light charcoal

Post by Card Shark » Wed Sep 09, 2015 4:55 pm

kiwiman wrote:The problem with a looftlighter is that you have to stand there holding it when you could be prepping food.
Stewart
No problem here. Use it at the end of the cook too if needed to even up the tan.

Ultimately gets back to what you are cooking. Light at the bottom of the pile for a roaring direct which takes a bit longer to get too 600 - 700. If low and slow, light a top few lumps and put the lid down once glowing. Gets to 225 + in no time. Your temps will be way easier in the latter to control not igniting the entire fire box from the gecko.


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