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7-Step Foolproof Charcoal Starter

The Charcoal Starter you will see here is not a chimney starter or any other gadget to light a charcoal fire. This is actually a charcoal starting technique that will show you how to build a charcoal fire with a consistently even, hot fire every single time.

Besides the obvious charcoal and a small amount of charcoal lighter fluid, this lighting method will require you to have one other ingredient...and that is patience. You will have to be patient to get the right results with this charcoal fire.

This method is perfect for barbeque cooking as well, because your fire will stay hot and even for a long time, allowing you to slow cook your bbq meat over indirect heat. Follow these charcoal starter steps for perfectly grilled or barbecued meat or other foods every single time. This works great for starting a fire for your smoker box as well.

You can get just as good of results from a chimney starter, but they do not hold as much charcoal as what you need in a large grill or bbq pit. I can use as much charcoal as I need with this charcoal starter method.

1) The first thing to do is place the charcoal at the bottom your grill or bbq pit. Use as much charcoal as you think you might need. I have a fairly large bbq pit that will cook a couple of beef briskets and a few lbs. of Texas Sausage. I use a whole 10lb. bag for this large pit.

Stack the charcoal as high as you can, in kind of a pyramid shape. You'll have the grill itself set to the side for now.

2) Get out the charcoal starter fluid and give your stack of charcoal a good soaking. You don't need to go overboard on this. Just make sure every lump of charcoal gets a decent soaking of starter fluid.

3) This is one of the easiest steps but also one of the most important. Walk away from the grill for 8-10 minutes and do something else, like drink a beer or prepare some of the food.

4) After you've waited your time, it is now time to start the fire. I use one of those fire starter lighters. They're just the easiest to start this type of fire because they stay lit for as long as you need.

Hold the flame on a piece of charcoal at the bottom until it holds a little flame. Do this in about four other places around the base of your pyramid until you have several flames that are staying lit. Your fire will soon pieck up to a healthy blaze.

5)This next step is the most important. Walk away for awhile. You may take a few looks but do not touch. You will notice that your blazing fire will go down to no fire fairly quickly. Again, do not touch. Everything will be fine, despite your urge to throw some more fluid on it.

After approximately 10-15 minutes the flames will start to come back. They won't be blazing anymore, but will be a nice steady fire.

6) Now you may touch. Get something to level the charcoal out. You can spread it all the way across the bottom of the grill, or leave a spot on one end for a cool zone.

7)Place the grill over it and let it get hot also. Start putting on the meat and start cooking.

With this charcoal starter method, although you used charcoal fluid, you will not have any of that taste transferred to the meat. Because you showed full patience throughout, you will enjoy some of the best food a charcoal grill or pit can produce. Enjoy!

Leave this Charcoal Starter Method Page for the How to Barbeque Page

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