• How to Light a BBQ

    How to Light a BBQ

There’s no experience quite like the pleasure of grilling food in the open air, but if you’re new to the world of barbecuing, getting the BBQ started might seem a tad daunting. No worries, you’re in the right place! This guide will walk you through the steps to light a BBQ safely and efficiently, ensuring your grilling experience begins on the right note.

Safety First

Before delving into the process, it’s paramount to keep safety in mind. Always light your BBQ in an open area away from trees, shrubs, or any flammable objects. Ensure you have a water source or a fire extinguisher nearby in case of unexpected flames.

Choose Your Fuel

The method you employ to light your BBQ depends primarily on the type of fuel you’re using:

Charcoal: Briquettes or lump charcoal are popular choices. Briquettes burn steadily and are great for longer BBQ sessions, while lump charcoal tends to burn hotter and quicker.

Gas: Propane or natural gas are common fuels for gas BBQs. Ensure you have a full tank and that all connections are secure.

Lighting a Charcoal BBQ

Materials Needed:


  1. Create a Charcoal Bed: Pour the charcoal into the BBQ grate, piling it into a pyramid or mound shape. This arrangement allows for better air circulation, aiding in even burning.

  2. Using a Chimney Starter: Place some scrunched-up newspaper or a lighter cube at the bottom of the chimney. Fill the chimney with charcoal and light the newspaper or cube. In about 15-20 minutes, the coals should be ashed over and ready. Pour them into the BBQ grate and spread them evenly.

  3. Without a Chimney Starter: Nestle a lighter cube or two within your charcoal mound and light them. Allow the charcoal to burn until it’s covered with grayish-white ash. This can take approximately 30 minutes.

  4. Spread the Coals: Once the coals are uniformly ignited and ashed over, use BBQ tongs to spread them evenly across the grate.

Lighting a Gas BBQ

Materials Needed:

  • Propane or natural gas source
  • BBQ lighter or matches


  1. Check Connections: Before lighting, ensure that all connections between the gas source and the BBQ are secure.

  2. Open the Lid: Always open the BBQ lid before turning on the gas to prevent gas buildup, which could result in a dangerous flare-up.

  3. Turn on the Gas: For propane BBQs, open the valve on the top of the tank. For natural gas BBQs, turn on the supply valve.

  4. Ignite the Grill: Turn the BBQ’s control knob to the highest setting and use the BBQ’s ignition button to light the grill. If your BBQ doesn’t have an ignition button, you can manually light the grill using a long BBQ lighter or match.

  5. Preheat the Grill: Once lit, close the lid and allow the grill to preheat for about 10-15 minutes. This will help achieve those desired grill marks on your food.

Final Tips

For Even Cooking: Ensure the coals or burners produce a uniform heat across the grill. Adjust coals or control knobs as necessary.

Maintain Your Equipment: Clean your BBQ regularly to ensure it lights up efficiently every time. A buildup of grease can affect performance and safety.

Stay Attentive: Once the BBQ is lit, never leave it unattended. It’s not just about safety; it’s also about cooking the perfect meal!

Lighting a BBQ can be a straightforward process when you know the right steps to follow. With practice, you’ll master the art and be on your way to grilling perfection. So, the next time you’re looking to fire up the grill, follow these steps and relish the joy of outdoor cooking!

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