How Much Lighter Fluid Should I Use?

Okay, we realize it's fun to squirt lighter fluid all over a live fire, but beyond being generally unwise for you and those around you, it won't help food cook. In fact, it'll impart a chemical flavor non-lighter fluid fans probably won't appreciate. Take control of your fire, Grillmaster, no cheating.

Squirt lighter fluid gently (no squeezing the life out of the bottle) onto the first layer of coals, then wait a minute or two for it to sink in. If the fluid doesn't sink in, it'll burn off the second you light it and you'll need to keep reapplying. Then repeat with the second and third layers, if using. And of course, make sure they're fully hot and glowing before tossing food on the grill or all you'll taste is charcoal.

Alternately, follow the advice of many of our Grilling Gods, ditch the fuel altogether and invest in a charcoal chimney. This sturdy steel cylinder will incubate those coals or wood chips to a perfect orange under a bed of newspaper so you don't have to douse them with flammable liquid.

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