Charcoal Lighters

To start your charcoal, traditionally you would use a charcoal chimney, which can be a tedious and timely process.  Charcoal lighters are a relatively new product to the grilling world.  By using a charcoal lighter, you can bypass this step altogether and light your coals directly in your grill. We’ll cover three unique lighters at three different price points. They’re all made by reputable companies and are of high quality, so it’ll come down to which one serves your grill needs the best. Let’s get started.
 
Product Feature
Looftlight
  • Electric w/ 9 ft. cord
  • 60-second light time
  • Eco-friendly
JJGeorge
  • Propane
  • 45-60 second light time
  • No spark
Kamado Joe
  • Electric w/ 6 ft. cord
  • Extended heat time
  • Cost effective
 
  • 60-second light time
  • Electric (9’ cord)
  • Uses hot air instead of a flame or conductor
  • Eco-Friendly
The Looftlight Charcoal Lighter is top of the line in the charcoal lighter industry. I would argue it is also the most unique on this list. It’s an electric lighter with a 9’ cord, so you may need an extension cord depending on how your grilling set up is. Being electric, it’s eco-friendly, as you’re not burning up propane or gas to light your coals.
 
Let me break down exactly how the Looftlighter works. All you so is plug in the lighter, place the tip of the wand directly on a coal and hold down the start lever. You’ll hear the lighter start up and within a few seconds, hot air will being to emit from the wand and heat up the charcoal until it starts turning red. At this point, you just move the lighter a little ways back to distribute the embers and slowly move the lighter back in to where you started.
 
The Looftlighter is the most expensive lighter on this list, but I would argue it is the best. Is it worth the money? We’ll get to that in the conclusion.
 

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  • 45-60 second light time
  • Uses propane, therefore cordless
  • No air blow = no sparks
  • Propane not included
The JJGeorge is the only lighter on this list that uses a flame to light your charcoal. This contraption is basically a blowtorch specifically designed for lighting charcoal. You attach a bottle of propane, and it has a self-ignitor, as well as an adjustable flame. I was concerned about the cost-effectiveness of this lighter, as you’ll have to supply propane for it as needed. However, you’ll be able to get roughly 100 lights from a single bottle. Even if you grilled every day out of the year, you’d only spend about twelve dollars on propane to use this lighter. It comes in at a reasonable price, and the use of flame is very reliable as opposed to some electronic ignition methods, so this could be a very cost-effective option, as well as a reliable one.
 

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  • Extended heat time
  • 6’ cord
  • Unique
  • Learning curve
  • Cost-effective
The Komodo Joe Charcoal Lighter is a unique lighter. You place charcoal on top of the coil at the end of the lighter, plug it in, and the coil begins to heat up. Over the course of five to ten minutes, your charcoal will being turning red and heating up. With this method, it requires a little more patience and a little skill. You have to be careful to not melt the handle and position the lighter just right under the charcoal. To be able to plug and leave for five minutes could be seen as a benefit to some people. Just exercise caution!
 
The cord is somewhat short, and you may need to run an extension to accommodate your grill set up. This lighter comes in at the lowest cost, and the longer wait time and short cord may be small sacrifices for the cost.
 

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Conclusion

All three lighters are unique and of high quality, but it’ll come down to which lighter best serves your needs or priorities. If you’re up to spending the money, the Looflighter is the best lighter on this list. Although you’re okay with keeping up with propane, or don’t have close access to an outlet where you grill (either at home or camping, etc.), the JJGeorge is the best route for you. If you’re wanting a cost effective and electric alternative to chimney starting, the Komodo Joe is your best option.
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Brian Canada

Brian Canada

Founder and creator of Big Grillin. Since early adulthood, Brian has enjoyed grilling and smoking a variety of foods. Brian’s mission is to share his grilling knowledge and help others enjoy grilling as much as he does.

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