Electric Charcoal Starter Cubes
The electric charcoal starter cube is one of the most popular ways to start your charcoal grill. They are available in various sizes and shapes.
You can buy them from hardware stores or online. Some brands include:
You can use any size electric charcoal starter cube, but it will take longer to heat up the coals than if you used a briquette type burner. Also, they do not last very long so you need to replace them often.
Best Electric Charcoal Stove Top Burners
A gas stove top burner is the best way to cook with charcoal because it heats up quickly and evenly. However, they are expensive and require frequent maintenance.
An electric stove top burner is much cheaper and easier to maintain.
There are several types of electric stoves that work well for cooking with charcoal. There are two main categories: induction stoves and solid fuel burners.
Induction stoves have no moving parts which means they don’t produce fumes like a gas stove does. Solid fuel burners, on the other hand, do have moving parts and produce smoke when burned.
There are many types of induction stoves on the market, but many of them are not powerful enough to ignite the coals. We recommend the Duraflame DFI4000-BK Outdoor Party Burner because it is powerful enough to light up standard sized Kingsford Charcoal Briquets.
You would need to test out different burners to find one that works for you.
A solid fuel burner is a good option if you don’t want to spend the money on an induction burner. There are several types of solid fuel burners, but we recommend the Mr.
Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000 BTU Liquid Propane Heater. It is powerful enough to ignite even the largest pieces of charcoal.
Homemade Charcoal Starter Cubes
You can make your own charcoal starter cubes from materials you probably already have in your garage or basement. It is a great way to get free charcoals.
All you need is:
Newspaper: You need several newspapers or other paper products like glossy magazines because they burn cleaner than standard copy paper.
A Bag: You need a large bag or container to hold the coals. It can be a plastic bag, cardboard box, or anything similar.
Make sure it is big enough to hold all of your coals because you don’t want them to overflow. You can also break up the coals once they are ignited so they will fit better in the bag or container.
Duct Tape: This will hold the bag of coals together.
You can use any size bag or container you want as long as it is big enough to hold all of the coals and has a tight seal. Once you have gathered all of your materials, follow these steps to create your own charcoal starter cubes:
Fill the bag about 1/3 full of newspaper. Seal the bag and tape the top shut with duct tape.
Make sure the seal is tight to prevent the coals from leaking out. Add a few drops of lighter fluid to the bag. The fluid will help the paper to burn more efficiently and will speed up the process a bit. Wait about 10 minutes for the fluid to soak into the newspaper. Seal the bag as tightly as you can to prevent any of the coals from leaking out before they are ready. Place the bag on a hard, flat surface and hit it with a hammer to break up the coals inside. The coals are ready to use as starter cubes when they are broken into pieces smaller than a golf ball.
Now that you have your starter cubes, it is time to light them. Place one or several cubes under your chimney starter and light them.
Your chimney should be up to temperature in about 15 minutes and you are ready to start cooking.
Storing and Reusing Your Coals
Once you have your coals ignited, it is time to start cooking. The process is actually very simple:
Place the bottom of the chimney starter on top of the bricks . Add your charcoal cubes to the top of the chimney.
Wait until the coals are glowing red and covered in white ash. This will take about 30 minutes. Pour the hot coals into your grill and spread them out . Place your food on top of the grates and start cooking.
Once you are finished cooking, you need to dispose of the coals. You can either put them in a bucket and dispose of them in your household garbage, or you can save them for later use.
If you choose to save the coals, here is what you should do:
Wait for the coals to cool completely . Place them back inside the bag or the container you used to create the starter cubes.
Place the lid on the container and tape it shut. The bag will keep the moisture out and help to keep the coals from going out.
You can now use these coals as starter cubes for your next grilling session. Just place one or two of the coals under your chimney starter and light them.
The coals should be good for about 8 hours or so of cooking time. If the coals begin to break apart or look like they are too small to use, you can also save the bag of unused coals for the next time. The same rules apply, just make sure the bag is tightly sealed so moisture does not get in and break down the coals.
Sources & references used in this article:
Charcoal starter by R Tessien – US Patent 5,197,455, 1993 – Google Patents
Electric fire starter by WE Davidson – US Patent 3,334,214, 1967 – Google Patents
Fast and easy charcoal starter by W Karpinia – US Patent 4,417,565, 1983 – Google Patents
Charcoal briquette igniter by MH Niemann – US Patent 3,590,755, 1971 – Google Patents
Charcoal lighter device by FB Gerson – US Patent 4,531,507, 1985 – Google Patents
Charcoal starter by MJ Brennan, VD Klawonn, EK Browne – US Patent 3,934,520, 1976 – Google Patents
Charcoal lighter by RS Rymer – US Patent 2,939,773, 1960 – Google Patents
Charcoal igniter chimney with fan by DH Stover – US Patent App. 12/941,758, 2012 – Google Patents
Charcoal starting device by OJ Remines – US Patent 3,377,147, 1968 – Google Patents