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Lighter Fluid? How often do you use it?

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    Lighter Fluid? How often do you use it?

    I’m just curious how often y’all use lighter fluid to start your coals. I’ve heard all the stories about how you should never use it because of the taste or smell. I’ve got a good sense of smell and taste and have never had it affect any of my cooks. I also have a chimney and have used it, mainly for long cooks on my WSM. I don’t do big long 12-14 hour cooks, but if I do a brisket it’s usually a 1/2 a packer for maybe 8-10 hours. I’ve managed just fine using lighter fluid most of the time. And I have also gotten a good 8 hours of heat from one load of coals started with lighter fluid. And for steaks, burgers or something short, I like the convenience of lighter fluid. Anybody here agree with me?

    #2
    Never.

    Comment


    • Panhead John
      Panhead John commented
      Editing a comment
      Why?

    • Attjack
      Attjack commented
      Editing a comment
      Inefficient, stinky, and unnecessary.

    • THE Humble Texan
      THE Humble Texan commented
      Editing a comment
      when I need to start a camp fire. Does it have another use?

    #3
    Reckon th last time I used lighter fluid was likely when Jimmy Carter was Th POTUS.

    So, sorry, ain't got any reliable, recent data to share, so much... lol

    So, how often do I??? Fer decades, median avg. would be 0/100 of th time.

    It works jus fine...

    Ain't settin in no Jedgement, not my place... What works fer yerself, is King when yer runnin th cooker(s)
    Last edited by Mr. Bones; October 23, 2020, 08:59 PM.

    Comment


      #4
      Never ever. Don't like the smell. I do, however like hearing that "Fffwump" sound as the fire catches.

      Kathryn

      Comment


      • Panhead John
        Panhead John commented
        Editing a comment
        That would be gasoline that makes that sound. Lighter fluid only makes that sound if you squirt it on already hot coals and light it.

      • fzxdoc
        fzxdoc commented
        Editing a comment
        Haha, Panhead John. Not the way my Daddy did it.

        K.

      • Panhead John
        Panhead John commented
        Editing a comment
        Oh wow! That just reminded me of a true story. I must have been maybe 4 or 5? My dad was in the backyard fixing to grill something. He used gasoline to start the coals! (This must have been the catalyst for my LF addiction) Anyway, when he went to light it, kaboom! Flames went everywhere and caught the grass on fire! He was running around with the garden hose squirting water everywhere. 😂 Never forgot that.

      #5
      I know this post is early, and I figured I’d get this type of response so far. But honestly, I’ve done many cooks both ways. With and without lighter fluid. For years. I’ve fed many people my cooks over the years, not once has anyone said "Hmmm, did you cook this using lighter fluid?" I think a lot of people here might be "chimney snobs". They would be aghast at cooking with lighter fluid. Has anyone here honestly done a side by side comparison with the finished product and been able to tell a difference? I doubt it. The lighter fluid burns off, it doesn’t linger. I’m more concerned with unlit coal smell while I’m cooking.

      P.S. I’m talking about wetting the coals with lighter fluid, then waiting for 45 seconds or so, then lighting the coals. Then letting them burn for 20-30 minutes until the coals are white ash. THEN cooking over them.
      Last edited by Panhead John; October 23, 2020, 09:54 PM.

      Comment


      • ComfortablyNumb
        ComfortablyNumb commented
        Editing a comment
        You are probably correct, if one lets the fluid burn off prior to cooking. But it still smells until then, and if you put the meat on before it's burnt off a taste can linger. I don't doubt there are snobs, but there are some cheap bastards such as myself!

      • Panhead John
        Panhead John commented
        Editing a comment
        I just saw your post CN. Yes. Of course I always let my coals burn to white ash first. No one ever puts food on immediately after lighting. And I am a multi millionaire who can afford $3.50 for a quart of fluid.LOL
        Last edited by Panhead John; October 24, 2020, 04:12 AM.

      #6
      I use lighter fluid to refill the old Zippo so I can ignite the crumpled up paper in the chimney to start the charcoal.

      Some won't use lighter fluid to start the charcoal because of the smell. Or taste. Or the idea offends them. For me the primary reason is a sheet or two of paper and a Chimney of Insanity are cheaper, easier, and just as fast as fluid. Then come smell, taste, and offense.

      I highly doubt you'll find much agreement. Maybe a Texan or two! ;-)
      Last edited by ComfortablyNumb; October 23, 2020, 09:14 PM.

      Comment


      • Panhead John
        Panhead John commented
        Editing a comment
        Oak Smoke ComfortablyNumb I’m going to bed. I’ve started enough shit for the day. 😂

      • ComfortablyNumb
        ComfortablyNumb commented
        Editing a comment
        Panhead John Well, when the warden says lights out, it's lights out!

      • Panhead John
        Panhead John commented
        Editing a comment
        Dude, I’ve been outta prison for 6 years now, I go to bed when I’m good and ready.

      #7
      I like using a chimney to get a load of coals going. It just seems to be reliable to me. If I'm using a chimney, it just seems to make more sense to use a load of newspaper or a couple lighter cubes to get it going. It's been long enough since I've used LF that I can't really compare the two methods. I'd say if it's working for you, stay with it.

      Comment


      • bardsleyque
        bardsleyque commented
        Editing a comment
        I'm not cheap,I'm frugal!

      • Mr. Bones
        Mr. Bones commented
        Editing a comment
        I'm not cheap, or even frugal....

        I jus prefer to embrace things that can be done fer free, an also embrace Th Mother, an harm her not.

        Plus, I'm partially Scottish, so I'm rather averse to un-arsin me wallet!

      • FireMan
        FireMan commented
        Editing a comment
        I work very hard at lettin people be but, when it comes to LIGHTER FLUID I am the SNOBBIEST PERSON ON THE PLANET EARTH, so there. Stick that in yer old used gas can & light it!

      #8
      Never.

      Comment


        #9
        I haven’t used lighter fluid since I was in my early twenties. I like using starter cubes under a chimney.

        Comment


          #10
          I wish I could understand what " the smell" issue is with everyone. Burnt newspaper has a much more pronounced smell. I don’t even notice lighter fluid. But since this is AR, I know I’m not gonna get any agreement.
          Last edited by Panhead John; October 23, 2020, 09:21 PM.

          Comment


          • Panhead John
            Panhead John commented
            Editing a comment
            ComfortablyNumb You should be a drug sniffing dog then.😂
            Last edited by Panhead John; October 23, 2020, 09:42 PM.

          • ComfortablyNumb
            ComfortablyNumb commented
            Editing a comment
            @Pinhead John Not fair, I still have nightmares about that experience in secondary inspection at the Tijuana border crossing.

          • jerrybell
            jerrybell commented
            Editing a comment
            @panhead John: Why? - Because I know I always have paper on hand. Lighter cubes - easier to store than fluid. They can be tossed in any orientation (up, down, or sideways) into my briquette bin and I don't have to worry about them leaking in my shed, on my patio etc. It's convenience for me, not snobbishness. As I said before, if fluid works for you use it. Do you need validation from anyone here to use what works for you?

          #11
          It’s because we’re all a bunch of snobs who look down on you lighter fluid folks 😂. I’m honestly not sure why I stopped, it was a long time ago. I’ve just gotten used to my starter cubes. If lighter fluid works for you, there’s nothing wrong with that.

          Comment


            #12
            I never use it, not because of smell or flavor, because if you use its properly that's not an issue. I don't use it because it provides no benefit whatsoever. Lighting 15 coals in my homemade tomato can chimney takes 15 minutes, sticking a Weber cube in a pile of 15 coals takes... 15 minutes, lighting a whole chimney with newspaper or a Weber cube takes... 15 minutes, and lighting a pile of charcoal with lighter fluid takes... 15 minutes. If it's what's available I've no problem with it. And, honestly, there's the nostalgia factor of the smell from going all "Suburban Dad Mode" and loading a pile of charcoal up with way too much lighter fluid and lighting it before it's had a chance to soak into the charcoal. That always made for some tasty chicken.

            Comment


              #13
              I. Use. Lighter. Fluid. There. I said it :-)

              I use it to light my lump charcoal I burn to establish a coal bed in my Lang stick burner. When I use lump charcoal in the PK360 I will willingly admit that in my experience, the charcoal chimney lights the coals faster than if I use lighter fluid, so I use the chimney for the PK. But with the Lang, I'm lighting it up at least an hour before any meat goes on it, and I have never once had any problems with using lighter fluid to fire up that lump charcoal for the initial coal bed I put the sticks on at a later time.

              Comment


              • Panhead John
                Panhead John commented
                Editing a comment
                👍👍👍

              • mrteddyprincess
                mrteddyprincess commented
                Editing a comment
                I should say that I use newspaper as the base for the lump charcoal. I put the lump charcoal on the newspaper and then pick it up and slide it into the firebox on the Lang. I use a minimal amount of lighter fluid to start the lump charcoal on the newspaper. I think all of the lighter fluid is consumed in the first few minutes or so of the combustion. By the time I have added wood splits and am burning clean smoke, it's time to put the meat on.

              #14
              I don't use lighter fluid but it has nothing to do with smell. I agree with the point that once it burns off, I don't know if a fire was started with fluid. Once chimneys started getting bigger, I simply found them to be more convenient. I have the timing down - 10 minutes to get the bottom started, dump, put logs on top.

              Comment


                #15
                If the results are fine for you, I wouldn’t be concerned about how somebody else starts their charcoals. I personally don’t use it. My brother in law does. He cooks just fine. That’s how he does it, I just don’t.

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