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SmallBBQr

Fondue Fuel for Lighting Charcoal?

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First off....I know, I know.  Never use lighter fluids as they may soak into the ceramic (I have a steel keg now so not really an issue for me, but I am trying to think universal kamado), but Sterno, or gelled fondue fuel, is simply denatured alcohol in a gel form.

 

Also easy to find gelled fondue fuel in a squeeze bottle.  So it seems that piling up some charcoal, and dipping one or two pieces of the charcoal in fondue fuel or a few drops on carefully placed pieces would be safe enough and easy to avoid ceramic contact as well.

 

Considering the odor that comes off the Weber starter cubes certainly does not seem healthy in any way...certain a hydro-carbon odor, looking at alternatives that are cheaper....in Canada, we certainly do not have the selection of BBQ products available in the USA.

 

Just throwing this out there....BBQing tonight so I am going to try it out perhaps.

 

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A lot of gurus use cotton balls soaked in alcohol, so I would think your proposed method might work.

I'll be curious to see where this thread leads. 

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I use Weber lighter cubes. $3 a pack.

Yeah...that's what I have been using now...but I don't find them at $3 anywhere....usually $4.99 at Canadian tire...I also am disgusting by the smell of them....like burning diesel fuel.

 

Looking for a reliable, cheap alternative.

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First off....I know, I know.  Never use lighter fluids as they may soak into the ceramic (I have a steel keg now so not really an issue for me, but I am trying to think universal kamado),....

 

I recently posted a similar concern on the forum (here).  Interesting point about the Big Steel Keg. I'm trying to get my hands on an Akorn Jr and just realized that I could get away with fuel starter since it has no ceramic.

 

Have you ever tried a gel/liquid starter with your Big Steel Keg?

 

-KCobra

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First off....I know, I know.  Never use lighter fluids as they may soak into the ceramic (I have a steel keg now so not really an issue for me, but I am trying to think universal kamado),....

 

I recently posted a similar concern on the forum (here).  Interesting point about the Big Steel Keg. I'm trying to get my hands on an Akorn Jr and just realized that I could get away with fuel starter since it has no ceramic.

 

Have you ever tried a gel/liquid starter with your Big Steel Keg?

 

-KCobra

 

Nope, never saw the need to use liquid starters in my BKK.  I use paraffin starter cubes I picked up at Lowes, a half or quarter usually does fine unless I am looking for high searing heat and then I might use a couple.  Never noticed any objectionable smell and its like pennies a light.  Don't see ever going back to the days when I drenched a pile of briquettes with starter and lit the old Weber up.

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First off....I know, I know.  Never use lighter fluids as they may soak into the ceramic (I have a steel keg now so not really an issue for me, but I am trying to think universal kamado),....

 

I recently posted a similar concern on the forum (here).  Interesting point about the Big Steel Keg. I'm trying to get my hands on an Akorn Jr and just realized that I could get away with fuel starter since it has no ceramic.

 

Have you ever tried a gel/liquid starter with your Big Steel Keg?

 

-KCobra

 

Nope, never saw the need to use liquid starters in my BKK.  I use paraffin starter cubes I picked up at Lowes, a half or quarter usually does fine unless I am looking for high searing heat and then I might use a couple.  Never noticed any objectionable smell and its like pennies a light.  Don't see ever going back to the days when I drenched a pile of briquettes with starter and lit the old Weber up.

 

 

Do you have any sort of product link?  Anywhere (Canadian Tire, Lowes, Home Depot etc) around here, parafin starter cubes are like $5.00 for 24.  Just find they don't last too long.

 

I like the cotton balls in alcohol route and will go there if the fondue gel test fails...the gel has the convenience factor of placing 1 small dab, 2 dabs, 5 dabs, 1 large dab  etc, safely, easily.

 

I sense a Kamado pizza urge coming on, so will try starting up this evening via fondue and will post a few pics....

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I can't find a link at Lowes for what I bought last year but will go with your numbers.  If it's $5 for 24 and I am cutting them in half most of the time that's about 10 cents a light.  Even if I splurge and throw in a couple whole squares its like 40 cents.  Given what I am burning in charcoal and paying for meat that's not a big concern.

 

And please, take pics of the pizza.  Going to try a couple myself this weekend.

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OK....tried the fondue fuel, and no go....at least for the amount I tried using.  Using any MORE than I tried makes it pointless as the volume would be very high.  Perhaps with a wick of some sort it might work better, but just didn't really catch properly.

 

Like others have suggested perhaps I'll try the alcohol/cotton ball route and I'll keep looking for my optimal solution.

 

(p.s.  Pizza photos in other topic).

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Over the years, I have used fluid, a chimney, stacked stick, electric, paraffin blocks, saw dust cubes....

I recently changed over to MAPP torch, instant fire. Light the fire, come back in ten to fire, close the lid, adjust the vents, come back in 5-10 depending how fast your grill warms to find thin blue smoke most times for me, add your smoking woods, add the grate and get the food.

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