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All time favorite fire starter


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Can't really remember seeing a post on these, but I truly love them $6.98 a box at Home Depot. Really happy with how they work. I like to build a small fire and let it develop slowly,  pretty much regardless of my target temp, so I mostly just use one placed in a depression in the center of my lump pile. Light it, set the vents, shut the lid, come back in 40 to 50 minutes and I  am almost always on target. On the occasions where I cook pizza, I use two tumble weeds one towards the front and one towards the back, temp is usually at 500 -550 within 20 minutes or so  ( helpful hint; not a good idea to leave your kamado when doing a high heat cook like steak, Pizza, etc, over the years I have been on this forum and others, I have seen a number of folks leave and come back to their kamados,  only to find them at thermonuclear temps)  I used to use BGE fire squares but like the way these work better. they are wood slivers held together by paraffin all natural, with no additives.  If you haven't tried them, IMO, they are worth a try. Happy Cooking. 

 

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1 minute ago, John Setzler said:

I still like the square particle board versions of these better.   They are all wood/paraffin also but they are a good bit cheaper than these.

Yeah, that's what the BGE squares I used to use are like, and yes you can find them for less. Even with the extra coin, I still like these. Probably because there a bit longer and therefore burn a bit longer. At 6.95 for 16, I can afford them, but who knows with inflation, could be $12 a box within in a month. 

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1 hour ago, keeperovdeflame said:

Yeah, that's what the BGE squares I used to use are like, and yes you can find them for less. Even with the extra coin, I still like these. Probably because there a bit longer and therefore burn a bit longer. At 6.95 for 16, I can afford them, but who knows with inflation, could be $12 a box within in a month. 

 

I had some similar to these but they only burned for a few minutes... these starter blocks i have burn for 10+ minutes.. I typically cut them in half

 

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I like the tumbleweeds for starting a camp fire, a fire in the pit etc.  I like fat wood for starting my wood stove but for the kamado I prefer by far 2 cotton balls soaked in alcohol.  Can't beat the price and they perform well.

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On 3/2/2022 at 10:14 AM, MikeRobinson said:

My fire-starter of choice is a chimney starter, which I light using a propane torch.  Once the flames are shooting up from the top, the coals are dumped into the firebox.

That technique works well and gives you an instant moderate, to moderate high heat fire. However, if you want a low heat to low moderate heat fire you don't want to light all your coals at the same time. A starter in the middle of the pile and fed low to moderate air will develop slowly and allow you to hold the temp in the 200 -300 range. 

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20 hours ago, MikeRobinson said:

My fire-starter of choice is a chimney starter, which I light using a propane torch.  Once the flames are shooting up from the top, the coals are dumped into the firebox.

Doing something like that makes me nervous, especially in cold weather. Dumping a bunch of hot coals in a cold ceramic grill seems risky. I like to let the grill and accessories heat up with the charcoal.

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6 hours ago, jtemple said:

Doing something like that makes me nervous, especially in cold weather. Dumping a bunch of hot coals in a cold ceramic grill seems risky. I like to let the grill and accessories heat up with the charcoal.

There is truth in this statement. The worst thing for your ceramic components IMO is rapid temp change extreme cold to hot or hot to extreme cold. I remember a post on our forum years ago, when one of our Canadian brothers removed a hot deflector and set in on  the metal patio table he always used for that purpose, however,  forgetting it was covered with snow. Cracked that bad boy right away. 

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In a couple of cooks, I laid a nest of charcoal and then chimney-started a small amount of charcoal that I then dumped in.  It worked out okay.  But, this is not my typical cooking scenario.

 

Therefore ... I do not disagree with any of these dissenting opinions.

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On 3/1/2022 at 1:49 PM, keeperovdeflame said:

Yeah, that's what the BGE squares I used to use are like, and yes you can find them for less. Even with the extra coin, I still like these. Probably because there a bit longer and therefore burn a bit longer. At 6.95 for 16, I can afford them, but who knows with inflation, could be $12 a box within in a month. 


 

I used to buy the BGE squares too until I found these

 

https://www.rona.ca/en/product/xtraflame-firestarter-wax-and-sawdust-48-pk-417748-01675000

 

I’m quite sure you can find these in your neck of the woods

 

 

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I got one of the Looftlighter knock-offs sold on Amazon for Christmas and it has worked better than I ever thought.  It's perfect for lighting lump in my Akorn.  It probably takes less than a minute.  I also have a fireboard drive and fan, so I just use the electric starter, then let the fireboard bring me up to temp then hold it.  It's almost a set it and forget it process.  I don't remember the brand of the knockoff, but will add that when I get back home.

 

Cheers

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On 3/4/2022 at 9:58 AM, cmiller said:

I got one of the Looftlighter knock-offs sold on Amazon for Christmas and it has worked better than I ever thought.  It's perfect for lighting lump in my Akorn.  It probably takes less than a minute.  I also have a fireboard drive and fan, so I just use the electric starter, then let the fireboard bring me up to temp then hold it.  It's almost a set it and forget it process.  I don't remember the brand of the knockoff, but will add that when I get back home.

 

Cheers

Looftlighter is what I use currently. If it ever quits on me, I may get a grill gun or some other sort of torch. Mine is about 18 months old and shows no signs of slowing down.

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