Lighting your fire with charcoal
Whether you are stacking your charcoal in a pyramid shape, allowing airflow between the briquettes and applying starter fluid, (which we don’t recommend, as it leaves a bad taste on your meats if not used correctly) or an electric starter, there are many ways to light your fire. We now have charcoal that lights itself, chimney starter where you place the coals in the chimney and move them to the grill when ready or even paraffin starters that extremely odorless and smokeless. No matter how you approach the charcoal it usually takes approximately 25 – 45 minutes to get the fire right prior to cooking. You never want to start on a fire that is too hot. If the coals are bright red, you should wait. What you are looking for is for the charcoal to have any even coating of gray ash around the briquette. If half your briquettes are gray and half black you will have an uneven heat flow and make it more difficult to get that even desired cooking temperature. Continue to work on your fire.