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The only issue I have with fire starters are the price....at least around here, it's ridiculous.  I use any combination of alcohol and cotton balls or MAPP torch, or just newspaper and a chimney if I am doing a "slow and sear" type cook with the charcoal raised up to grill height.

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4 hours ago, SmallBBQr said:

The only issue I have with fire starters are the price....at least around here, it's ridiculous.  I use any combination of alcohol and cotton balls or MAPP torch, or just newspaper and a chimney if I am doing a "slow and sear" type cook with the charcoal raised up to grill height.

I couldn’t agree more. Once I burn through the KJ starters that I bought, I’m going to give cotton balls/alcohol a try, or even paper towels soaked in vegetable oil. I could use my best tequila or bourbon and still save $ over the fireststarters. I also have a chimney but can start the charcoal the same way I do in the chimney and seems to save a step.

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1 hour ago, jark87 said:

I couldn’t agree more. Once I burn through the KJ starters that I bought, I’m going to give cotton balls/alcohol a try, or even paper towels soaked in vegetable oil. I could use my best tequila or bourbon and still save $ over the fireststarters. I also have a chimney but can start the charcoal the same way I do in the chimney and seems to save a step.

I tried some of the KJ fire starters but I think I’ll just go back to the propane torch.

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8 hours ago, CentralTexBBQ said:

back when I used KJ firestarters, and I still have 3/4 of a box left over from my last purchase of a Big Joe, I always divided them in half. They still worked fine. But nothing beats my mini torch and 91% alcohol balls imo.

I have been cutting mine in half as well.

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21 hours ago, JCASI said:

I know the reason for not using the lighter fluids in kamados is so the smell/taste doesn't soak into the ceramics but does a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol not do this? I would think there would still be a smell??

 

 

Personally I think that the whole "soaking into the ceramic and tainting it" is little more than an old wives tale. Maybe if you used bunker fuel or used engine oil to start your fire, but who would do that?

Alcohol burns because it is so volatile. Does anyone seriously think that you going to be able to detect any traces of anything that volatile after it's been exposed to  cooking temperatures for hours??

What about the thousands of people that use isopropanol (rubbing alcohol) to clean the surfaces when they are changing the felt gaskets?

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I agree.  I think nowadays, for legal reasons etc, they always have to give warnings in the most conservative way possible to avoid any/all possible stupidity that could result of a misunderstanding.  i.e. never underestimate the stupidity of a large group of people!!  Individual people are smart - groups and large populations tend to drop the average waaaay down on the IQ scale for some reason (at least in my experience).

 

Could you use starter fluid to light a kamado, if carefully applied to a few select pieces of lump and being careful to not spill any on the ceramic...I am positive this would be fine.  But guaranteed, if you gave instructions to do this, someone will still dump started fluid all over and then say the manufacturer said you could use starter fluid.  Perhaps repeated use could allow some contamination, but like you said, the high temps tend to burn that off.

 

I don't think the isopropyl alcohol is much a concern as it burns so cleanly anyways and has little toxicity.

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1 hour ago, A.O. said:

So then what is in the Kamado Joe starters if not some sort of accelerant or lighter fluid type of thing? 

 

It's also just not in liquid form that will easily get on the ceramic in some way that will impact it.  

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So I was in TSC today and thier special of the week was firestarters for $2.99 so I bought a box. compared them with a box of the Kamado joe starters and I would say they were identical, just a different box!

 

 

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