Get Your BBQ Charcoal Started Quickly with These Fire Lighting Methods

This image shows Charcoal Chimney with lit charcoal

When it comes to starting your fire for cooking, there are several methods to get the job done. Fire starters, charcoal chimneys and even electric Charcoal Starter wands have all got their pros and cons. Let‚take a look at the best method for your next cook.

Note: We recommend all natural fire starters to protect the taste of your food. 


Method 1: Fire Starters under charcoal

A super simple method requiring next to no equipment is just using 3-4 fire starters under a small pile of charcoal. Light the fire starters and place your charcoal directly above the fire starters, as the fire begins to catch gradually add more charcoal until you have the desired amount. This method takes around 20 minutes to complete. 


This image shows Lit charcoals


  • Very little equipment is needed
  • Simple and easy to do


  • Much slower than other methods
  • More labour intensive 

Method 2: A combination of a fire starters and a charcoal chimney


This method is again very simple, simply place 3-4 fire starters underneath a loaded charcoal chimney and wait until the charcoal completely catches. This method should light your charcoal in about 15-20 minutes. You will know your charcoal is ready when flame is shooting out the top. 


This image shows charcoal placed under the lit charcoal



  • Easy and doesn‚Äôt require much effort
  • Set and forget



  • Still a 15-20 minute process 


Method 3: Electric Charcoal Starter wand


The quickest and easiest way to light your charcoal is with an electric charcoal starter wand (CSW). Once you use one of these high-powered wands you will find it very hard to go back to using fire starters. 

The device has two stages, stage one emits a high-powered heat to spark your charcoal, and once sparked put on the second stage which is a high-powered fan. This influx of oxygen will light your charcoal within 2-5 minutes. Making it the best option to cook multiple nights of the week. 


This image shows Charcoal Starter Wand and lit Charcoal


  • Quick 2-5 minute start time
  • Easy
  • No need to buy fire starters ever again



  • The more expensive initial cost
  • Can‚Äôt be left unattended due to power 
  • Requires power 240v


Method 4: Charcoal Starter wand and chimney used together 


Quite possibly our favourite method when lighting charcoal without fire starters is using the charcoal chimney and charcoal starter wand together. 


Simply load your charcoal into the chimney, and then place the CSW into one of the purpose-cut holes for the CSW nozzle. The Flaming Coals chimney and wand were purposely designed to work together for the quickest lighting experience available. 


This image shows Charcoal Chimney and Charcoal Starter Wand


This method will have you charcoal ready within minutes. 



  • Quickest option 
  • No need to buy fire starters ever again
  • Set and forget 



  • Requires power 240v

This image shows Charcoal Chimney with lit Charcoal

As you can see, there are a variety of options when it comes to fire starters and fire starting methods. No option is better than another, it‚which option will suit you best and your circumstances. For example, you might use a CSW at home, but take fire starters out camping. 


We hope this helps! Happy Cooking! 


Check out our range of recipe blogs

Check out our range of firestarters accessories






by: Michael Wilkie