If you’re tired of finding newspapers for that charcoal chimney and want to avoid lighter fluid, an electric firestarter is a great option.
In this TheGrillingDad.com guide, you’ll learn:
- What an electric firestarter is
- If they’re actually worth it
- And much more!
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What Is An Electric Firestarter?
An electric firestarter is a device that uses electricity to start a fire. It’s a portable and convenient way to start a fire without needing matches or lighter fluid.
Electric firestarters can be powered by batteries or by plugging them into an electrical outlet. They’re often used for camping, for starting a fire in a fireplace or wood stove, and many people use them for lighting their charcoal.
Folks opt for an electric firestarter so they don’t have to hassle with finding newspaper to stuff under their charcoal chimney or deal with any lighter fluid.
How Does An Electric Firestarter Work?
You need to think of these electric fire starters as if a vacuum cleaner and a toaster had a baby. 😅
These magic wands (and they do look like wands) push super-heated air (about 1200°F) out of the tip to energize your coals, wood, or other fuel sources. You simply press the tip of the electric fire starter to the charcoal and press the switch.
The contact between the device and the charcoal will throw a few sparks at first. From there, you can pull the electric fire starter a couple of inches away from the coals to allow the super-heated air to bring the oxygen needed to create a flame.
There are older models that look like a really hot coat hanger. Those work similarly but they don’t blow any air. Instead, they light the coals by being really hot while you hold it on your coals.
Benefits of Using An Electric Fire Starter
First and foremost, having an electric fire starter on hand can make lighting a charcoal grill easier than ever before. By eliminating the need to use lighter fluid – which can leave behind a nasty chemical taste on your food – you can enjoy better-tasting barbecued food without having to worry about safety concerns associated with using flammable liquids near open flames or hot surfaces.
In addition, when using an electric starter, you will be amazed at how quickly it gets your charcoal up to temperature, which means you can start grilling sooner rather than later.
They also generate more consistent heat compared to other methods since they distribute heat evenly throughout the coals when turned on, ensuring that your food cooks evenly every time.
The best part is electric lighters are often cheaper than buying lighter fluid over time, making them a more cost-effective option in the long run as well.
They also save you around the house since they can be used on all sorts of flammable materials. You can use them in your
- Fire pit
- Wood-fired oven
- Wood stove
They are a safe and convenient option for camping trips, saving you a lot of frustration and time starting fires or grills.
Is it Safe to Use an Electric Fire Starter?
Another great thing about using an electric fire starter is that it comes with several built-in safety features which make sure that everyone stays safe while grilling.
For instance, if the unit gets too hot during operation then an automatic shut-off feature kicks in which will immediately stop the flow of heated air until conditions are safe again.
There are also several sturdy guards built into each unit which prevent potential burn risks due to contact with hot surfaces during use. These features combined make sure that everyone stays safe while getting their grill started quickly and efficiently every time!
If you do, however, get burned, make sure to follow these steps from WebMD.
Are Electric Firestarters Worth It?
Depending on whether you go with a corded or cordless option, you’re looking at spending anywhere from $17 (coat hanger models) to $300 (light saber models). With the cost in mind, it’s hard to say if they’re worth it.
I have one and I rarely use it. To be fair, though, I’m usually using my pellet smoker or my Masterbuilt Gravity 560 which neither need an electric lighter. When I use my Weber Kettle, I will use my Looft Lighter X if I’m using briquettes. I’ve found that electric lighters don’t work as well with lump charcoal.
If you’ve got the extra money and don’t want to deal with lighter fluid, they’re worth it. But they’re definitely a splurge and not something you need to have to grill great food.