How To Light Lump Charcoal With Easy And Simple Steps

These days, family gatherings are very favorable since it is the chance for everyone to meet and talk with each other.

As a consequence, people tend to have more barbeque parties and get familiar with using either the charcoal or gas to grill the food.

However, I have met a number of people struggling with the charcoal preparation process and that is why I write the article “how to light lump charcoal” With some easy steps, you can do it the best in only seconds.

Now, let’s get started!

How To Light Lump Charcoal For Grilling

Lump charcoal vs wood, which is better for grilling? I have to say that charcoal is an amazing item for your in-house barbecue.

It comes in the big lumps that make it easy to work with. Compared with the little briquettes, the good lump charcoal itself is very pure. The reason is that it is manufactured directly from the natural hardwood.

Though both the charcoal and the briquettes have their own pros and cons, I still like the charcoal more. Well, the briquette is infused with the little bits of sawdust from the tree.

Therefore, I am sure that you will get the better flavor as well as more brilliant taste when using the natural lump charcoal. In the past, I have experienced a variety of ways to light the lump charcoal.

And of course, I have figured out two good ways to start the lump charcoal for the smoker, the grill, and the pit.

First of all, I recommend the chimney, which is a great way to start your charcoal. Using the chimney is a very natural and clean way, in my opinion.

On the other hand, you can use the turbo flame. This is also a good product that you will never pass when lighting the lump charcoal.

Many people will prefer using the lighter fluid. However, I do not think this is a great and useful item.

After using the lighter fluid for a few times, I do not have a thought to use it again. It can make your food greasy. Furthermore, you are going to run out of the lighter fluid if you use the minor one.

Thus, I am sure that you can light lump charcoal properly without the lighter fluid.

Now, let’s go through the details!


Step 1: Fill The Newspapers Under The Chimney

If you are about to use the chimney, it will be very simple. Firstly, you need to go out and grab some newspapers that you do not read anymore.

The next step is to crumble up a bunch of these pages and stick them underneath the chimney.

Remember not to overfill it, which is a very important factor. Otherwise, you will not get any air into it.

Step 2: Pour The Charcoal Into The Chimney

Next, you can open up the lump charcoal bag and pour some in the chimney. It will probably take about half or a quarter of the bag based on the size of your chimney. In case you see a piece that is too large to fit into the chimney, do not throw it away.

How do you handle this situation? All you have to do is take a hammer, break it into smaller pieces, and stick them into your chimney.

Step 3: Light The Newspapers In The Bottom

Once having the charcoal on the top and the newspapers in the bottom, you can stick your little torch there. Go ahead and light the newspapers.

You need to light many sides to make sure it gets going. In 15 or 20 minutes, you will have a nicely burned-down piece of charcoal that you can use to cook with.

As the flames take over the charcoal, you are going to get some sparking. At this stage, you can hear some popping.

They are the air pockets that are in the charcoal. They were created during the manufacturing process. So, do not worry since it is common in all lump charcoals.

Make sure that you wait for your charcoal to burn down before putting your food on top. By this way, you will not have any of the charcoal popping on your food.

I love using this method since it works out really well. The charcoal can go in a natural manner so that it will not affect our health.

Step 4: Transfer The Charcoal From The Chimney To The Pit

After 15 minutes, the charcoal will be burned down pretty well. You can see that it is nice, hot and gray around the edges. At that time, lump charcoal is ready.

Hence, it is time to transfer the coals from the chimney down into the pit. For safety, I highly recommend that you should use a towel or a barbeque mitt to pick up the chimney.

Then, you can pour the charcoal into the bottom of the grill or the pit. Oh, make sure to spread these hot pieces out.

If you are going to cook for a lot of people, you can add some more charcoal to the grill.

However, I used to make a small mistake here. When adding some more charcoal, it might keep sparking for a while. As a result, you need to wait for this condition to finish before starting to cook.

 And it is very convenient to cook the grilled food or even a good way to reheat the bacon for your children.


Step 1: Pour The Charcoal Into The Grill

Apart from the chimney, you can have another option which is the turbo flame. It is kind of either an extended lighter or a small torch to get your charcoal going.

As always, the first thing to do is take the charcoal and pour it into the grill. Then, you need to make a mound out of it so as to get some air inside.

Step 2: Extend The Lighter Past The Turbo Flame

After that, you can get your turbo flame product together with the lighter. Extend the lighter past the nozzle of the turbo flame, and you can get it on.

As the flame gets going, it is going to spark again. However, you can see that it is a little more accelerated this time.

As a result, do not forget to stand back from the flame. The great thing about the turbo flame is that you can get 10 or 15 minutes before the can runs dry.

Before ending my sharing, I still have a fantastic tip regarding the used charcoal. Since it is a natural product, you can add the ashes to the soil amendment.

 And then, you can put this mixture right back into your garden. It will provide great nutrients for your plants.

How To Light Charcoal With Lighter Fluid

Lighter fluid is a method that works well and is well-loved to light up charcoal. However, you should follow our steps to ensure safety.

1. Arrange the coal in line as a mound or a pyramid with a large base that will help to increase the cross-section for the fire to spread fastly.

2. Pour lighter fluid on the top or besides of the charcoal pile and light it up immediately. When you pour, remember to follow lighter fluid instructions to keep safe. Remember, do not pour the lighter fluid on flaming, or coal begins to heat, making the fire ignite intensely.

3. Wait for some minutes until the charcoal absorbs the lighter fluid to light.

4. When the charcoal is covered with gray ash, it is ready to use as lump charcoal. After the lighter fluid burns off, the coal will turn gray and be covered by ash. All the process happens in about 15 minutes, and then the coal can catch fire and be spread out on your grate to use in the grill.

Frequent Asked Questions

Is lump charcoal hard to light?

Lump charcoal is a natural fuel source of choice to grill and makes an outside barbecue party. Whether any dish you are cooking, you will need hot coals to cook the food. The charcoal will heat enough to cook your food and provide you a unique smoky flavor.

However, in some cases, when you light up the charcoal by using fire or fluid, the charcoal may ignite, but it will not keep burning for a long time. So, is lump charcoal hard to light? In my opinion, the lump charcoal is not hard to light and also not difficult to keep lit too.

If the charcoal no longer stays lit, you can refer to some of the causes below:

  • Hardwood Charcoal

If you buy some charcoal from the store, it may have many fillers, binders, and chemicals in those lumps. So, the next time you buy, remember to check the ingredients if it contains something to make your charcoal hard to light.

Check the quantity needed from you.

Before lighting your grill, you should check how much charcoal you need, how hot the grill requires, and how long the grill will last. It would be best if you prepared all to make sure the lump charcoal will light constantly.

  • Check the grill condition

You also clean the grill to ensure open airflow for the charcoal burn for a long time. If the leftover ash and food of the last grill are still there, they will block the air that charcoal needs to burn intensely.



In summary, I hope that all of the information above will make you more interested and excited.

After going through this article, you can have a general idea about how to light lump charcoal. By following these simple and straightforward steps, you can have a big and perfect party for your whole family. 

You can even reheat the meatloaf when necessary. However, in case you are in need of more advice and discussion, please do not hesitate to keep in touch with me anytime.

Kevin Richard

Hi all! I’m Kevin. I spend plenty of time in the kitchen every day because I love cooking healthy and delicious foods for my family and friends. Cooking gives me a chance to be creative and fun. It’s also one of the most meaningful ways to express my love and take care of my little family.

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