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Best Charcoal Starters & Grill Lighters

Lighting your grill shouldn’t be a chore. Every experienced griller knows that the right grilling accessories can make each task from prep work to clean up a breeze. There are plenty of tools and gadgets to help you make spectacular meals and master the art of grilling. Barbecue grill lighters are just another of these essential grill accessories that you need to keep on hand.

Upgrades in charcoal lighting technologies have made a wide variety of charcoal lighters available. You can still decide to stick with an old and trusted favorite or opt for a new version that delivers greater convenience and fast results. Read on to discover some of the best charcoal starters out there.

Our Top Charcoal Starters

Charcoal grill starters are the device, block of material, or chemical substance that you use to ignite the grill's charcoal briquettes. Once the coals are hot enought, they can be used to grill food. There are several methods for starting a charcoal grill. The one that you use depends upon your experience level, budget, and how much time you have to spare.

Let's take a closer look at some of the most popular charcoal starters.

Chimney Starter

  • User friendly aluminum
  • Ventilation holes
  • Simple fuel; newspaper & charcoal
  • Heats in 15-20 minutes

Lighter Cubes

  • Portable & convinient
  • Easy to light, even when wet
  • Non-toxic & odorless
  • Heats in 20 minutes

Wood Shavings

  • Small, 2oz cup
  • Made of natural, food-grade material
  • User friendly
  • Burns for 15 minutes

Our Top Grill Lighters

Gas grills need a safe and simple lighting method as well. Grill lighters are small, hand-held devices that produce a flame when you press or switch on the ignition mechanism. They operate on a fuel source like a highly flammable gas, with butane being the most common. These grill lighters are perfect for the job and will get your grill going in seconds.

BBQ Lighter

  • Adjustable flame
  • Refillable butane fuel
  • Wallet-friendly
  • Keeps hands safe away from flame

Propane Torch

  • Anti-flare & win resistant
  • Adjustable flame
  • Full user-control
  • Safe measure ensured


  • Light in 2-3 minutes
  • Easy lighting
  • 1500 Degree F Temperature
  • No ligther fluid needed

What to Look for In Charcoal Starters & Grill Lighters?

Some of the most important features to consider when you are looking for the best charcoal starters and grill lighters are ease of use, speed of lighting, durability, and price.

Ease of Use

It’s essential that the grill lighter you select is easy to use. You don’t want to delay dinner because you are struggling to figure out the instructions of an overly complicated lighter. Choose something that you can use comfortably and safely. Look for features like a conveniently placed handle and buttons or switches that are placed in appropriate locations. You should be able to hold the lighter easily, maneuver it into place, and turn it on in a few swift motions and without any trouble.

The product that you purchase also needs to be reliable. It should light quickly with each use, so you can depend on the consistency and quality.


Consider the time that your chosen grill lighter will take to use. If you are grilling in your backyard on a leisurely afternoon, haste may not be as important. In that case, using a traditional charcoal chimney that will take about 15 minutes isn’t a big deal. However, if you are in a hurry and have hungry people waiting on dinner, then you may want to be able to light your grill fast so you can get cooking sooner. It depends upon your preferences, but there is something for everyone.


A well-built lighter that can withstand some use and last a long time is the type of product you want. Flimsy or poorly-constructed lighters may be cheap to purchase, but you will most likely end up spending more money in the end because of the need to replace them so often. Instead, opt for a durable and high-quality lighter that you can use for years.


There are lighters available in a wide price range. The financial investment you wish to make in your grilling tools is your call, but remember to prioritize quality and function. Buying a cheaper lighter could be more of a hassle than it's worth if you need to struggle to get the device to work. Spending a little more money upfront may be the smarter choice if you get a quality product that you can use for years and depend upon to work as it should.

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