6 Best Charcoal Starters

Today we’re diving into the world of charcoal starters. Yes, those magical tools that make firing up your grill a breeze! Whether you’re hosting a backyard cookout or enjoying a cozy night by the fire pit, finding the best charcoal starter can truly elevate your grilling experience. From chimney starters to electric options and even eco-friendly alternatives, we’ll explore it all.

At a Glance:

Best Charcoal Starters

DesignSmoker GrillRetailer
Best Pick1. Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter
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2. Kingsford Heavy Duty Deluxe Charcoal Chimney Starter
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Staff Pick3. BIC EZ Reach Lighter
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4. Char-Broil Electric Charcoal Starter
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Budget Pick5. HomeRight Electro-Torch C900085 Fire Starter
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6. Rutland 50B Safe Lite Fire Starter Squares
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1. Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter

Best Pick
ModelRapidfire Chimney Starter
Dimensions7.5 x 12 x 7.5 inches
Weight2 pounds

Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter The first thing that impressed me about this chimney starter is its sturdy construction. Made from durable steel, it can withstand high temperatures without warping or bending. Its dimensions (7.5 x 12 x 7.5 inches) provide ample space to hold a substantial amount of charcoal for larger grilling sessions.

Using the Weber Rapidfire Chimney Starter is incredibly simple yet highly effective. Just fill it up with your preferred charcoal briquettes or lump charcoal, place crumpled newspaper in the bottom chamber, and light it up! The strategically designed vents at the bottom ensure proper airflow for efficient ignition.

One feature that sets this chimney starter apart is its cone-shaped design, which helps create a natural upward draft ensuring all coals catch fire evenly—a real time-saver when you’re eager to get cooking! Within minutes, you’ll see flames dancing atop your charcoals as they gradually turn glowing red.

Another fantastic aspect is how versatile this tool is—I’ve used it not only for grilling but also for starting fires during camping trips or backyard bonfires effortlessly.


  • Sturdy steel construction ensures durability.
  • Ample capacity holds enough charcoal for large cookouts.
  • The cone-shaped design promotes even ignition.
  • Easy to use and saves time.


  • The handle can get quite hot during use, so exercise caution or consider using oven mitts for added safety.

2. Kingsford Heavy Duty Deluxe Charcoal Chimney Starter

ModelHeavy Duty Deluxe
CapacityHolds up to 7 pounds
Dimensions10.4 x 6.8 x 11.2 inches

Kingsford Heavy Duty Deluxe Charcoal Chimney Starter One of the standout features of this chimney starter is its sturdy construction. Made from durable steel, it can withstand high temperatures without warping or compromising performance. The heavy-duty build ensures long-lasting use, making it a reliable companion for countless barbecues to come.

With a capacity to hold up to 7 pounds of charcoal, this chimney starter is perfect for both small family gatherings and larger cookouts with friends. It eliminates the need for lighter fluid by utilizing natural airflow principles—simply fill it with charcoal, place some newspaper in the bottom chamber, light it up, and let science do its magic.

The design incorporates ample ventilation holes throughout the sides and bottom of the chimney starter to ensure quick and even heat distribution. Within minutes, you’ll have a roaring bed of perfectly lit coals ready for your grill.

Another thoughtful feature is its ergonomic handle that stays cool during use—a major plus when dealing with scorching hot charcoal. It provides a comfortable grip while pouring out the ignited coals into your grill without any worries about burns or accidents.


  • Sturdy steel construction ensures durability
  • Generous capacity holds up to 7 pounds of charcoal
  • Quick ignition within minutes, thanks to optimal ventilation
  • Ergonomic cool-touch handle for safe and easy pouring


  • The larger size may require more storage space compared to smaller chimney starters.

3. BIC EZ Reach Lighter

Staff Pick
ModelEZ Reach
Fuel TypeButane
Length8 inches (20 cm)
Flexible NeckYes
Safety FeaturesChild-resistant, adjustable flame

BIC EZ Reach Lighter to be an excellent choice. Its unique design and thoughtful features have truly impressed me.

The standout feature of this lighter is its flexible neck, which allows easy access to hard-to-reach places with precision. Whether it’s reaching deep candle jars or igniting burners at awkward angles on my stove, the extended reach provided by the flexible neck has been a game-changer.

Safety is paramount when it comes to lighters, especially in households with children. The child-resistant mechanism on the BIC EZ Reach ensures peace of mind by reducing accidental ignition. It requires deliberate pressure on both sides of the ignition button for proper operation.

I appreciate how user-friendly this lighter is. With just one push of a button, I can ignite a reliable flame that stays consistent until I release it. The adjustable flame feature allows me to control the intensity based on specific needs – whether I’m gently lighting birthday candles or quickly getting my grill fired up for a summer barbecue.

While compact enough to fit comfortably in my hand, this lighter offers an impressive length of 8 inches (20 cm), making it easier than ever to maneuver around various objects without fear of burning myself.


  • A long and flexible neck provides easy access to tight spaces
  • The child-resistant mechanism ensures safety in households with children
  • User-friendly operation with consistent and adjustable flame


  • Refilling the butane fuel can be a bit tricky for first-time users

4. Char-Broil Electric Charcoal Starter

ModelElectric Charcoal Starter
Power SourceElectricity
MaterialHeat-resistant plastic

Char-Broil Electric Charcoal Starter in Black truly transformed my grilling experience. Let me take you through its impressive features and benefits.

This electric charcoal starter is a game-changer when it comes to igniting charcoal quickly and efficiently. With just a push of a button, this little wonder generates intense heat that gets your coals glowing in no time. No more struggling with lighter fluid or waiting ages for the charcoal to reach optimal temperature!

The sleek black design not only adds style to my grilling setup but also showcases durability with its heat-resistant plastic construction. It feels sturdy in hand, providing confidence during use.

Using the electric charcoal starter is as easy as pie. Simply place it among the briquettes or lump charcoals, plug it into an electrical outlet, press the ignition button, and let it work its magic. Within minutes, you’ll have perfectly lit coals ready for cooking up some delicious meals.

One feature that stood out was the built-in safety mechanism that prevents overheating and ensures safe operation throughout your grilling session. As someone who values peace of mind while cooking outdoors, this aspect gave me reassurance.

Unlike traditional methods using lighter fluid, this electric starter doesn’t leave any chemical residue or unpleasant aftertaste on the food. It provides a cleaner burning option that enhances the natural flavors of your grilled delicacies.


  • Quick and efficient charcoal ignition
  • Sleek black design with heat-resistant plastic construction
  • Easy to use with a one-touch ignition button
  • Built-in safety mechanism for peace of mind
  • Cleaner burning option without chemical residue


  • Requires access to an electrical outlet for operation

5. HomeRight Electro-Torch C900085 Fire Starter

Budget Pick
ModelHomeRight Electro-Torch C900085
FunctionFire Starter, Charcoal Starter, BBQ Smoker Lighter
Power SourceElectric
Heat OutputChemical-Free Heated Air with Built-In Blower
Cord Length6 feet

HomeRight Electro-Torch C900085 Fire Starte versatile tool has become an essential part of my outdoor cooking arsenal.

The built-in blower generates superheated air up to 1,500°F (815°C), allowing you to start fires without any harmful chemicals. It’s not only better for your health but also ensures that there are no unwanted flavors imparted onto your food.

With its powerful heat output, this fire starter quickly ignites charcoal briquettes within minutes. Say goodbye to waiting around for coals to catch fire—this tool gets them glowing red-hot in no time.

Whether you’re starting a grill, lighting up a smoker, or even getting a campfire going, the HomeRight Electro-Torch can handle it all. Its multifunctionality makes it incredibly convenient for various outdoor cooking scenarios.

Operating this device is as simple as plugging it into an electrical outlet. The 6-foot cord length provides ample reach, allowing you to move around freely while preparing your fire or grill.


  • Chemical-free and environmentally friendly.
  • Quick and efficient charcoal lighting.
  • Versatile for different outdoor cooking needs.
  • Easy to use with a convenient power cord length.


  • Requires access to an electrical outlet for operation.
  • Not suitable for situations without electricity.

6. Rutland 50B Safe Lite Fire Starter Squares

Item Weight4 pounds
Dimensions9.8 x 7.5 x 6.1 inches
Quantity144 squares (Three Pack)

Rutland Safe Lite Fire Starter Squares is reliable. Each square burns consistently for a long duration, giving you ample time to ignite your firewood or charcoal without any hassle. Whether you’re lighting up a campfire or preparing for a barbecue in your backyard, these squares get the job done efficiently.

What sets this product apart from others on the market is its exceptional performance even in challenging conditions like damp wood or windy weather. It’s frustrating when traditional fire starters fail to ignite under adverse circumstances; however, with these fire starter squares by Rutland, that worry becomes a thing of the past.

Another aspect worth mentioning is how easy they are to use. Simply place one square underneath your kindling or charcoal stack and light it up – no need for messy liquids or fumbling with matches! The convenience factor alone makes them worth every penny.

Now let’s talk about quantity—the three-pack option provides you with a total of 144 squares! This means you’ll have plenty of fire starters at hand for multiple camping trips or backyard gatherings throughout the year.


  • Reliable and consistent burn
  • Performs well in challenging conditions
  • Easy to use, no mess or hassle
  • Long-lasting supply with the three-pack option


  • The initial cost may be higher compared to other fire starter options on the market.

Buying Guide: Choosing the Best Charcoal Starters for Your Grilling Needs

As a grilling enthusiast, I understand the importance of having a reliable charcoal starter to kickstart your barbecue sessions effortlessly. With so many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to make the right choice. In this buying guide, I’ll walk you through essential factors to consider when selecting a charcoal starter and recommend one or two top choices that align with your needs.

1. Type of Charcoal Starter
There are two main types: chimney starters and electric starters.
Chimney Starters: These cylindrical metal devices use newspaper or lighter cubes placed underneath to ignite charcoal from below.
Electric Starters: These plug-in devices have heating elements that directly heat up the coals without any additional fuel source.
2. Capacity and Size
Consider how much charcoal you typically use for your grilling sessions.
Look for a starter with an adequate capacity to accommodate your desired amount of charcoal.
Pay attention to its physical dimensions as well, ensuring it fits comfortably within your grill setup.
3. Material Quality and Durability
Opt for charcoal starters made from high-quality materials like stainless steel or heavy-duty aluminum.
Check customer reviews or product specifications for durability indicators such as rust resistance and sturdiness.
4. Safety Features
Look for features like heat-resistant handles, guards, or insulation that protect against accidental burns during operation.
5. Ease of Use and Cleaning
Choose a starter with user-friendly features such as ergonomic handle design or ease of assembly/disassembly.
Consider models with detachable parts that allow for effortless cleaning after each use.
Based on these considerations, here are one or two recommended options:
BIC EZ Reach Lighter
HomeRight Electro-Torch C900085 Fire Starter
Remember to compare prices, read customer reviews, and analyze your specific grilling needs before making a final decision. Happy grilling!


In conclusion, when it comes to firing up your grill or starting a cozy bonfire, having the best charcoal starter can make all the difference. Whether you prefer chimney starters, electric starters, or other innovative options on the market, finding one that suits your needs and preferences will ensure hassle-free ignition and a great grilling experience. Remember to prioritize safety by following manufacturer instructions and taking necessary precautions while handling fire-related equipment. So go ahead, choose your preferred charcoal star

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best type of charcoal starter to use?

The best type of charcoal starter depends on your specific needs and preferences. Options include chimney starters, electric starters, lighter fluid, and natural fire starters.

Are chimney starters difficult to use for beginners?

Not at all! Chimney starters are actually quite user-friendly. Simply fill the chamber with charcoal, place newspaper or firelighters underneath, light them up, and watch as the coals ignite from the bottom to the top.

Is it safe to use lighter fluid as a charcoal starter?

While lighter fluid can be used as a charcoal starter, it’s important to exercise caution due to its flammable nature. Follow safety instructions carefully and consider alternative options like chimneys or electric starters for a safer experience.

Do electric charcoal starters take longer than other methods?

Electric charcoal starters typically heat up quickly compared to other methods such as chimneys or lighter fluids. They eliminate the need for open flames but may require an electrical outlet nearby.

Can natural fire starters produce enough heat for efficient ignition?

Natural fire starters made from materials like wood shavings or wax can generate sufficient heat to ignite your charcoal briquettes effectively while avoiding chemical additives found in other products.

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