5 Best Electric Charcoal Starters (2023 Review)

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Ready to use a magic fire stick to light your charcoal? We’re here to help you choose the right electric firestarter for you and your budget.

In this TheGrillingDad.com article, you’ll learn:

  • Which electrical charcoal starters are worth it
  • How to Use an electric charcoal starter
  • And much more!
charcoal which has just been set on fire

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Best Electric Firestarters

  1. Best Overall Electric Firestarter: Looft Lighter X
  2. Best Corded Option: Towallmark Electric Charcoal Starter
  3. Best Hot Coil Starter: Big Green Egg Electric Charcoal Starter
  4. Best Cordless Runner-Up: Bison Airlighter 520
  5. Best Budget Tool: MIGI Wolf Electric Charcoal Fire Starter

Our Electric Charcoal Starter Reviews

As you begin looking for the best electrical charcoal starter, you will most likely notice that there are quite a few to choose from. This can decide on which one to purchase much more challenging.

The following five electrical charcoal starters are some of the best on the market today. This means that no matter which one you choose, you cannot go wrong.

Pick #1: Best Overall:  Looft Lighter X

The Looft Lighter X may be the most expensive electric charcoal starter on this list, however, if you want a high-quality fire starter, you cannot go wrong with this one. The Looft Lighter brand has been in the business of making your grilling experience easier for many years.

The greatest feature of this particular electric charcoal starter is that you do not have to hassle with finding a plug for it. This is because this fire starter wand is completely cordless but still packs the same amount of power.

Although it takes a couple of hours to reach a full charge, it should then last for several grilling sessions before needing to be recharged. Additionally, it only takes a few seconds to light and reaches temperatures up to about 1200℉.

This is the electric firestarter that I have and use at home.

Looft Lighter X | Next Generation Cordless Charcoal Starter
$299.00
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01/27/2023 08:28 am GMT

Pros:

  • Conveniently cordless
  • Gives you enough power for several sessions
  • Reaches high temperatures in seconds
  • Easily portable

Cons:

  • More expensive than other models
  • Needs to be charged before use

Pick #2: Best Corded Option: Towallmark Electric Charcoal Starter

For those who are more budget conscious, the Towallmark  is a better choice for your grilling needs. With the same high quality as the Looft Lighter X, this  charcoal starter is a corded version that is much less expensive.

Because the Towallmark is a corded version, you will need to ensure that you are near an electrical outlet before using it.

Just like the Looft Lighter X, this version also reaches temperatures up to 1200℉ in a matter of seconds. The difference is that you do not need to charge it beforehand, just plug it in and you are ready to go.

Towallmark Electric Charcoal Starter
$43.99
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01/27/2023 07:23 am GMT

Pros:

  • Heats up quickly
  • Long electrical cord for convenience
  • Operates strictly on hot air

Cons:

  • Needs an electrical outlet to operate
 

Pick #3: Best Hot Coil Starter: Big Green Egg Electric Charcoal Starter

When it comes to quality, most people know that the Big Green Egg brand has that and more to offer on all of its products. The electric charcoal starter is no different in providing a high-quality starter for your grilling session.

This firestarter is different from the others on this list since it is a hot coil charcoal starter. This means that the starter has to be touching the charcoal for it to operate properly.

The great thing about this charcoal starter is that the heating element is small enough to fit into hard-to-reach areas, while the handle is longer for convenience. This means that you can operate the starter without being at risk of burning your hands at the same time.

Big Green Egg Electric Starter
$74.99 $64.99
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01/27/2023 07:13 am GMT

Pros:

  • Provides about 600 watts of power
  • A long handle means your hands stay clear of high temperatures
  • Small element fits into hard-to-reach fireboxes

Cons:

  • The electrical cord is only 3 feet long
  • Heating time is much longer than hot air versions

Pick #4: Best Cordless Runner-Up: Bison Airlighter 520

The Bison Airlighter 520 is a quality electric charcoal starter that is featured as one of the best cordless options on the market. While the Bison brand has been developing various grilling accessories for many years, the Airlighter starters may be one of the best.

This cordless option is a great choice for those who want the convenience of not having to plug it in and who want to save some money. The Airlighter may be extremely powerful, but the price tag is relatively reasonable.

The Airlighter 520 operates using butane and can reach high temperatures in a matter of a few seconds. Additionally, on a single charge, the Airlighter can light around 30 times before it will need to be recharged.

BISON AIRLIGHTER 520, Cordless Fire Starter
$138.02
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01/27/2023 07:19 am GMT

Pros:

  • Cordless for convenience
  • The multi-mode switch allows you to run either the heat or blower or both
  • One charge lasts through several grilling sessions

Cons:

  • Requires butane canisters

Pick #5:  Best Budget Tool: MIGI Wolf Electric Charcoal Fire Starter

If you are looking for one of the best electric charcoal fire starters without the hefty price tag, look no further than the MIGI Wolf brand. This model is reasonably priced to fit just about any budget without sacrificing quality.

The MIGI Wolf charcoal fire starter may not have the same amount of power that other models have, but it works great for getting your fire going in seconds. You also can purchase this model in a variety of colors.

This electric charcoal starter can reach temperatures of about 1100℉ which means that it has the power to get your grill going in a few seconds. The MIGI Wolf also features a safety switch which must be depressed for the device to operate.

MIGI WOLF Electric Charcoal Fire Starter
$49.99
Buy Now On Amazon
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/27/2023 07:23 am GMT

Pros:

  • Less expensive than other models
  • Features a safety switch
  • Comes in a variety of colors
  • Lights coals in a matter of seconds

Cons:

  • Must be near an electrical outlet
  • Does not boast as much power as other models

What is an Electrical Charcoal Starter?

Most people who have grilled on a charcoal grill from time to time or even more often know that there are several ways to light the coals. Whether you have used lighter fluid or a charcoal chimney, you may be looking for an alternative.

An electric charcoal starter is a much simpler and safer option for you than both of the above-mentioned methods. This is because an electric starter operates using either hot air or hot coils that heat up to ignite the charcoal.

Keep in mind that electrical charcoal starters operate using electricity, so you will need to have an electrical outlet near your grill. Although there are cordless options out there, you will need to ensure that you have it charged efficiently before use.

Overall, an electrical charcoal starter is a great alternative to using a lighter fluid that can leave a chemical taste on your food. It is also much safer to use than a chimney since they do not produce an open flame.

You can read our entire guide on what an electric firestarter is and how they work in detail.

How to Use the Different Types of Electric Charcoal Starters

Whether you choose to purchase a hot air or hot coil starter will be entirely up to you, there are specifics that you should consider about each type of starter. Knowing how to use the different starters may help you determine which one is right for you.

Hot Air Electric Charcoal Starter

The hot air electric charcoal starter does exactly what the name suggests, which is that it blows hot air onto the charcoal briquettes to ignite them. This type of starter comes equipped with a heating element that is designed to heat the air coming into the unit and then blow it out onto the coals.

With this type of charcoal starter, since the hot air blows directly onto the briquettes, it can reach into the crevices that may be missed otherwise. This will cause the entire pile of charcoal to ignite instead of just a few areas.

It is worth noting these don’t work as well with lump charcoal as they do with briquettes. 

Hot Coil Charcoal Starter

A hot coil charcoal starter relies strictly on a steel coil that is heated by passing an electric current. Once the steel coil is heated, then you can apply it to your charcoal briquettes to cause them to ignite.

Keep in mind that the hot coil charcoal starter has to be applied directly to the charcoal briquettes, which can cause them to become scratched or damaged much easier than its alternative. 

Related >> How To Keep Your Charcoal Grill Lit

What to Look For in a Charcoal Starter

When it comes to finding the best type of charcoal starter that will suit your needs the best, several factors ought to be considered. Many of these factors are designed to help make your grilling experience go more smoothly overall.

Price

As you are looking for a charcoal starter, let’s be honest, most people first look at the different prices to determine which is better for them. This is often because they would rather spend their money on food and other parts of grilling.

However, it is important to keep in mind that in most cases price can be synonymous with quality. If you want a starter that is going to stand the test of time, you may need to shell out a bit more cash in the beginning.

Ease of Use

Starting your charcoal grill should be the easiest part of your grilling experience overall. When looking for the best way to light your coals, you should consider how easy it is to use so that you are not spending too much time trying to light them up.

Durability

Another factor you should consider before purchasing a charcoal starter is how long it will last in the long run. The last thing you want to think about is having to purchase a charcoal starter over and over again each grilling season.

Electric Firestarter Maintenance Tips

Once you have decided to purchase an electric charcoal starter, you will need to consider how to maintain it. Doing regular maintenance on the starter is necessary if you want it to last more than one season or a grilling session.

For example, for both types of electric starters, you will need to ensure that you have rolled the cords up correctly every time. This is because one of the most common reasons for the failure of these devices is frayed cords that can keep the starter from operating properly.

Another factor you should consider is that leaving your electric starter outside is never a good idea since various types of weather can damage the starter. These types of starters are not designed to withstand heat and humidity as well as other types of inclement weather.

Doing a periodic inspection of your electrical charcoal starter is another way to keep your device working properly. You should ensure that all of the screws on the device are intact and that there is no visible damage to the unit itself.

Finally, if you have a hot coil device, you will need to periodically clean the coil to remove any leftover residue. Keep in mind that you should not use anything abrasive so you do not cause any damage directly to the device.

Ready for another new toy? Check out our reviews of the best charcoal grills!

Shawn Hill

Shawn Hill

Hey, I'm Shawn and I run this site. With a wife and 7 kids, I get most of my grilling practice from feeding my own family. I'm here to help you learn more about grilling, smoking, and backyard BBQ! With almost a decade of manning the grill and helping over 25,000 aspiring grill masters, you're in great hands! I've tried just about every type of grill, accessory, and gadget you can imagine. Because of that, I am here to help guide you to the best of the best and help you save time and money by avoiding the junk.

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