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Lighter Fluid? How often do you use it?

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    #31
    I don't use it ever because I have had lots of burgers/dogs that tasted like lighter fluid. It may have been the method, the amount, or the timing, but why chance it?

    Before I retired we would occasionally have a cookout at work. There were two cheapo grills kept in storage along with charcoal and LF. Everything cooked always had the smell and taste of the LF, (I did not cook). The last straw for me was when I couldn't even eat a burger because of the taste. So I bought a chimney and told the people cooking that it would save money if they used it and they liked how easy it was. When people started eating the burgers and dogs, they wanted to know where the ground beef was purchased and what brand the dogs were because they tasted so good. I think I sold a lot of chimneys that day when I explained everything to them...

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      #32
      Lighter fluid user here and lots of it, the bigger the blast zone the better.
      I use the zip cubes guess I'm just impatient to get the Keg going, get coals and get the meat on.
      Plus unless I'm burning fossil fuels somehow I'm just not happy.

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      • ComfortablyNumb
        ComfortablyNumb commented
        Editing a comment
        I hear they named an oil patch in Alberta after you....

      #33
      When I was in my early 20's I was on a camping trip and we ran out of lighter fluid. So we had to figure out a way to light the charcoal without. I remember we made a rudimentary chimney using 2 coffee cans and it worked very well. Shortly thereafter I was at a K-Mart and discovered the Weber Chimney. It was a total Archimedes eureka moment. I have never used lighter fluid since.

      The main reason why I won't use lighter fluid is: Why use another petroleum based toxic chemical that is in plastic container that probably won't be recycled when there are so many more ways to light the coals.

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        #34
        My first charcoal chimney was made from a 5# coffee can and bailing wire and later replaced with store bought. Do not recall using "fluid" to start charcoal. Used to use a little "boy scout water" when camping but then I switched to a few pieces of fatwood.

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        • Donw
          Donw commented
          Editing a comment
          Coffee can here for years until they started using plastic to package coffee.

        #35
        Let it burn off, NO problem-O, it has been around for many many years.
        But then I went to Propane and profaned the use of charcoal.
        Now for the BBQ thrill, I use a pellet grill.
        To sear not I hate, I add a grill grate.

        Last edited by bbqLuv; October 24, 2020, 08:16 AM.

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          #36
          The Last time I used lighter fluid was probably 2003 at a tailgate. Buy yourself a chimney, don’t throw away newspaper, and enjoy the taste of your food a lot more.

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            #37
            Unapologetic chimney snob here, and I use cubes rather than the oh-so-pedestrian newspaper. Every time I light my chimney I feel a glorious wave of superiority wash over me. It is absolutely titillating and quite often I will light a chimney just to get that feeling. Sometimes 2 or 3 times a day. If there's a 12 step program for my addiction I don't want to know about it.

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            • Panhead John
              Panhead John commented
              Editing a comment
              CaptainMike After waking up this morning (sans Jack and Coke) I felt pretty bad about being such an arse hole last night with a few of my comments. I issued an apology earlier for the Chimney Snob comment. Your reply has made it all worthwhile! 😂😂😂

            • CaptainMike
              CaptainMike commented
              Editing a comment
              Panhead John we wisecrackers have to stick up for each other!

            • FireMan
              FireMan commented
              Editing a comment
              Yeah, snob it man!

            #38
            I used LF years and years ago when I cooked only with charcoal. Then I went to gassers exclusively for 20 years. But then I got the Orion Cooker which is charcoal fired and requires either Matchlight charcoal or the use of fluid. This is because you need the coals to light fully, evenly, and very fast. No problem with it because the food is sealed inside the "can" and the fire never touches it in any way. Then I returned to charcoal cooking this spring by buying a Weber Performer Deluxe which has the gas coal starter. So no LF needed. BUT I picked up a Smokey Joe two days ago so now I’m at the "to use LF or not" crossroads. Never had an issue with it way back when so I will probably at least try it again. As I recall the key is having the patience to let the coals fully ash to let it burn off.

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              #39
              Never used it.

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                #40
                I stopped using it 5 or 6 years ago. Actually didn't like how it lit the coals.
                I use a chimney and paper - newspaper and/or paper towels. I use a trick that Ted Allen told - I put some cooking oil on the paper! Burns longer :-)

                Comment


                  #41
                  Then lighter smell is a myth, unless you're the kind of, er, challenged cook who doesn't let charcoal ash over before cooking. If you put food on before then, yeah you can get some smell. After the coals ash over... no. It's all burned off.

                  That said, Im a convert to the weber lighter squares which are more reliable, don't give the smell at all and easier/safer to store.

                  PS: I'm assuming here that people don't splash the fluid on, say, the opposite side of the kettle, where it *might* hang around and evaporate for longer since it's not flamed off by the burning coals and thus flavor the cook. But there's no way the lighter fluid is giving off fumes if it's on coals burning at well over 1000F.
                  Last edited by rickgregory; October 24, 2020, 12:18 PM.

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                  • Huskee
                    Huskee commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I agree with you. Troubling fact is there are those folks out there who toss the meat on while the flames are 2' tall and the fumes are in full force. "Flame-broiled" severely misapplied.

                  #42
                  Last time I used lighter fluid was about 10 years ago. Needed to start some wet logs in a fireplace. Other than that, newspaper or weber cubes.

                  Comment


                    #43
                    I never use lighter fluid unless I am making the beet version of Authentic Texas Clam Chowder.
                    Last edited by Willy; October 24, 2020, 01:11 PM.

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                    • Panhead John
                      Panhead John commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Willy I knew you were a smart man, even though we’ve never met. I have found in the last few months that the beet version is by far the most popular......even though a lot of people are still using rutabagas.

                    #44
                    I have not used lighter fluid to start charcoal since the early 90's. The entire point of charcoal chimneys is to NOT have to use lighter fluid. I used to crumple up a couple sheets of newspaper, when I got a paper, under the chimney, and that was all it took to start the fire. Now I use the propane ignitor on my Performer, or a starter cube, or one of the Royal Oak tumble-weeds.

                    The big thing is, as long as that lighter fluid burns off, way before you cook, you are ok. The issue is the guys that squirt it on and start cooking too soon - I've had burgers that tasted like gasoline from those type cooks.

                    I mostly quit buying it because I simply don't NEED it with a chimney, that plus the fumes and off flavor it can contribute.
                    Last edited by jfmorris; October 24, 2020, 02:09 PM.

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                    • Panhead John
                      Panhead John commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Oh yes. You definitely have to get the coals ashed over first. I’ve never done it any other way. I can’t believe some people would actually try to cook right after lighting the coals. I still use my chimney as well sometimes.

                    • jfmorris
                      jfmorris commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Panhead John I often pour out the chimney once everything is lit, and don't wait for it to all be ashed over - I've found that cuts into my cooking time. Another reason not to use lighter fluid would be to start cooking sooner....

                    #45
                    I have not used it in a long time, but I do not object to it. It smells like supper.

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