The Best Way to Light the Grill? I will probably catch a lot of flack on this one because there are so many options and opinions, but to me the best way to light a grill is with an electric grill lighter. In particular the ElectroLight Fire Starter by Homeright Products.

ElecroLight - 2

I’ve tried just about every product out there. Back in the day I used lighter fluid. Yuck. Then I moved to an electric element starter in college. My jackhole neighbor borrowed it and despite warning him, he left it on too long and it melted. Then I used the chimney starter for many, many years. But once I discovered the wonder of pure lump charcoal, the chimney wasn’t so great. Some of the smaller chunks would fall through the bottom and make a mess. A red hot mess. Now I used an electric fire starter. I’ve used a couple different brands similar to the ElectroLight, but this one lights the fastest.

So what is an electric charcoal starter?

ElecroLight - 5
So pretty!

Simply put it’s an industrial heat gun and a hair dryer combined. Wait, what? A hairdryer? A gun? Can I buy one in California or Massachusetts? Calm down. It shoots incredible heat out of the end to get the charcoal to turn red AND it blows air at the same time like a hair dryer. So once you have fire in the form of that red coal, the blowing air acts like fully automatic bellows and keeps a constant flow of air to feed that fire and make it grow quickly, and I mean quickly:

ElecroLight - Vert 2

But my chimney only takes 15 minutes to get hot. Why do I need this thing to light my fire? Because I can shave 13 minutes off your 15 minutes. I’m not kidding. Here’s a video dad and I took of the process start to finish. That was completely unlit lump charcoal fresh from bag:

No stinky lighter fluid, no dangerous paraffin, no lighters to go searching for. Plug it in, hold the button down for 2 minutes. Did I mention you can do this one handed? Leaves the other hand free for that adult beverage!

If you want one of these, you can buy the grill/fireplace lighter here.

Did that link say fireplace lighter? Yep! Dealing with not so seasoned or even wood that’s a little damp? This bad boy can do wonders around the hearth. In fact, they sent the ElectroLight Fire Starter to me right after I bought a new house with a wood burning fireplace. I used it so much that I had to get another one to take pictures of because mine looked well used, because I used it about 5 days a week for two months straight. I’m not kidding. I LOVE a wood fire both inside and out so when I got my first fireplace, I believe the first load of wood was delivered before my furniture was! And once I started using that fireplace I kept on using it practically every day. The lighter is still in great shape, just not in picture shape. Here is the ElectroLight Fire Starter living up to its name in my fireplace. Not my best pic. Took it with my phone rather than my DSLR:

ElecroLight - FirePlace

Homeright Products sent me ElectroLight Fire Starters and compensated me for this review which is a double win for me because I absolutely love the lighter and use it at least 4 days a week whenever I use my fireplace and anytime I light my charcoal grill. I have two other brands of electric lighters in my house and could use any of them. This is the one I use.

As usual, if you have any questions or comments you can leave them below or email me directly.

Also, you can follow us on our GrillinFools Facebook page and Instagram.

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas, the Original Grillin’ Fool, was sent off to college with a suitcase and a grill where he overcooked, undercooked and burned every piece of meat he could find. After thousands of failures, and quite a few successes, nearly two decades later he started a website to show step by step, picture by picture, foolproof instructions on how to make great things out of doors so that others don’t have to repeat the mistakes he’s made on the grill.
Scott Thomas

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Will you please stop doing these reviews for cool looking products? Every time you do one of these it makes me want one. This time I actually bought the product. You are like a drug dealer and I am a no will-power fool.

I’ve been using the electric loop of heat for a long time. I found you get what you pay for. The $19.99 big box store brand barely lasted a year and it did not like to restart already been used lump. The BGE electric starter was much more expensive, but got much hotter and would eventually start the lump.

This ElectroLight Fire Starter was unbelievable. It lit the charcoal within a few minutes. I was worried it would only light the top of the charcoal, but it pushed the heat down into the pile.
I also like the weighted stand on the bottom. I can let it cool down on the table and not have to worry about it scorching my wood table. I used to have a brick on the table to rest the glowy loop and let it cool down.

I guess I can say thank you for showing me this thing, but I just feel sleazy when I give into my urges.



Kevin, happy to help!

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