At some point, clever marketing got in the way of common sense when it comes to charcoal grilling. Charcoal is notoriously hard to light, so, using the magic of modern science, lighter fluid was invented and sold to the masses.
But like Twinkies or TV dinners, what is convenient isn’t always the best option.
In this guide, I will explain why you shouldn’t use lighter fluid. I will also give you 5 convenient methods to light up your charcoal without sweating too much.
Why Avoid Lighter Fluid?
No one wants a burger that tastes like lighter fluid, but many people still use the stuff because they believe charcoals need it to light. The truth is, there are many ways to get a charcoal fire roaring without resorting to lighter fluid.
Lighter fluid should be the last resort. It’s a petroleum product, similar to kerosene, and its vapors and chemicals do not break down easily.
Before the vapors have burned off, the chemicals soak into your briquettes or hardwoods, and that funk just won’t go away. No matter what you do, some of those chemicals wind up in your food.
In addition, it’s not uncommon to use a bit too much of the fluid which results in a flare-up that might burn your face and eybrows.
The downsides are obvious, and once you taste food made over high-quality coals with no lighter fluid, you’re likely never to go back. If you’re putting time and money into getting the best tasting