We are posting charcoal lighter fluid alternatives because we know you need a way to light those coals when you don’t have any lighter fluid. In this post we will begin with some household alternatives that you can use and touch on store bought as well.
The most reliable method is the use of a chimney starter for this we will assume you don’ have one available. If you grill with charcoal all the time a charcoal chimney is worth the investment.
Household lighter fluid alternatives:
Newspaper: Ball up 2 or 3 sheets and place under your charcoal grate. Pile the coals directly above it and light the paper.
Whiskey*: Any high proof alcohol really
Rubbing alcohol*: Be sure to let this burn out completely before cooking over it.
Cardboard Egg Crate: Take 1/2 of the bottom of the crate, place coals into it. Light opposite corners of the crate. The cardboard will burn slow enough to light your coals.
Doritos: Any heavily seasoned hot chip really. Read our entire post here.
*The liquids on the list should be used in combination with a wadded up paper towel or a few cotton balls. Douse the paper towels or cotton balls into the liquid. Place into your pile of coals and light.
A couple of other things I have tried that did not work are: cooking oil and flour.
B2Q Chimney Starter 5 lb Capacity 76956
B2Q Chimney Starter with Zinc finish, hardwood handle with heat shield. 5 lb Capacity. This chimney starter is 11 inches tall by 11 inches wide
Store bought lighter fluid alternatives.
We have full item reviews up for both of these products.
Got any other things that can light your charcoal in a pinch? We would love to hear about it in our comments section.
aka Sultan of Sizzle
I have been blogging about and selling grilling tool for over 12 years. A Certified Food Safety Professional, KCBS member, award winning writer and have over 10 years experience in the food service industry.
“I have experienced some of the best food this country has to offer and nothing is better than the food that comes off my own grill!”