By Mike Thayer
You can start your charcoal several ways, you can use lighter fluid, you can buy those ‘Match Light’ briquettes, or you can do what I think is the best way to go and that’s fire up your charcoal using a charcoal chimney. I don’t like lighter fluid for several reasons. I don’t like to store it, I don’t like running out, the smell can get on your hands and clothes, and inexperienced grillers tend to put too much on or start grilling over charcoals that aren’t really ready yet, giving your food that nasty fuel taste. Those ‘Match Light’ briquettes are OK, they’re very convenient, but they are more expensive and like the traditional charcoal/lighter fluid starting method, can put a fuel taste on your food if cooked over before the coals are really ready. Avoid the fuel taste risk completely and start your charcoal by using a charcoal chimney.
For tips on how to use a charcoal chimney if you're not familiar with them, go to www.grillinggoodeats.com
I recently bought a new Master Touch series Weber Kettle Grill and while picking up a few accessories for it, came across an alternative to using a few sheets of newspaper to start charcoal - Weber Lighter Cubes. I decided to give them a try.
These non-toxic and odorless alternatives to newspaper rock! They're easy to use, inexpensive and easy to store!
Only two cubes are needed to start a chimney full of charcoal and the cubes come in a box of 24, so that's 12 grilling events. And priced at $3.99 a box, they may be cheaper than that newspaper subscription. Here are a few bonuses to NOT having to use newspaper: Bonus #1 - Storing newspaper takes up space and can be unorganized, the cubes take up far less space. Bonus #2 - No newspaper ash blowing around on a windy day! On windy days, I would lightly coat the newspaper with some cooking spray before stuffing it in the charcoal chimney. That extends the burn time of the paper and prevents those little ashes from blowing around. But with the cubes, that step isn't necessary.
Pick up a box of Weber Lighter Cubes before your next grilling event and give them a try. Just light a few cubes before setting your chimney of charcoal over the top of them and you'll have hot coals in no time! According to the package, these things even light when wet!
Weber Lighter Cubes get 5 out of 5 stars