Starting a barbecue with charcoal can be a little challenging sometimes. More and more people do not like to use the lighter fluid or starter blocks anymore because of the chemicals. A charcoal chimney starter is easy to use like you can read in our how to start a charcoal grill without lighter fluid, but some people do not like the use of them because of the newspaper that can blow away and they can get pretty hot.
The next option we discuss here in our electric charcoal starter reviews is the use of an electric charcoal starter who are becoming more and more popular to use.
We look at features like safety, Watts, Handle, Cord etc to provide you with all the information to choose the charcoal starter that fits your needs.
Top 5 electric charcoal starters reviewed:
Table of Contents
1. looftlighter electric firestarter
2. Grill Dome Rapid-Lite
3. Char-Broil SureFire Electric Charcoal Starter
4. Charcoal Companion Electric Charcoal Starter
5. Brinkmann Electric Charcoal Starter
looftlighter electric firestarter
The looftlighter electric fire starter is without doubt one of the most popular electric charcoal starters.
This starter does not not use a flame, but a stream of hot air that according to the manufacturer reaches 1256 degrees Fahrenheit. There are over 170 ratings on Amazon with an average of 4.2 out of 5 stars.
There was one user who described the looftlighter as a blow dryer on steroids and I think that is a good description.
I just have seen a few problems with the durability of this electric charcoal starter. Read our in depth review when it is ready to see if this is what you are looking for since the price is higher compared to some other products.
Better Grill Rating: 4.4
Grill Dome Rapid-Lite
With 600 watts this grill dome Rapid-lite electric charcoal starter gets your grill started in about 8 minutes.
The double loop that this design has increases the contact surface between the charcoal and the heating coil.
The coil is made of stainless steel and this makes it last longer of course.
Spread a layer of coal on the grill add the grill dome rapid lite and add more charcoal on top of it.
After about 8 minutes you can remove it and wait for the rest of the charcoal to start.
Better Grill Rating: 4.3
Char-Broil SureFire Electric Charcoal Starter
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This electric charcoal starter is called the Char Broil SureFire electric charcoal starter.
With its 600 Watts it is a little lighter than than the grill dome rapid lite.
The heating coil is also form stainless steel but is just straight.
The plastic handle will keep it cool to touch. The cord is a little short so you probably need a extension cord for this electric charcoal starter. see our recommendation at the bottom of this page.
Better Grill Rating: 4.2
Charcoal Companion Electric Charcoal Starter
You definitely need a extension cord for this electric charcoal companion charcoal starter made by Char-Broil.
The cord is to short to reach any outlet you have while in the grill. I could not find the Watts for it, but assume it is about the same as the other charcoal starters, around 600 Watts.
The claim is this it will start your charcoal in about 10 minutes and I read that that is pretty much right on the dot and many even mentioned it takes only 8 minutes.
Better Grill Rating: 4.3
Brinkmann Electric Charcoal Starter
Brinkmann electric charcoal starter is made of stainless steel and a heat resistant handle.
The cord is 2 foot long, so we have to recommend again the use of a quality extension cord.
Since the shape is not bend like some other brands you have to have it buried diagonal in the charcoal.
This can be a problem if you only use a little charcoal maybe.
For the rest this electric starter works as expected from a company like Brinkmann.
One person uses it to light her fireplace logs and that works good she says,
Read our full review as soon as we are done.
Better Grill: 4.4
How to use an electric charcoal starter
The most used and safest way to start your charcoal with the help of any electric charcoal starter is to make sure that there is no technical problem with the charcoal lighter. Check the wiring and make sure these are okay.
Now build a pile of charcoal big enough stick your whole burner part in there. Make sure the handle is not straight above it but place the starter in an angle.
Now all you have to do is plug it and wait till the charcoal starts to burn. After that remove your charcoal lighter and place it on a safe place where it can cool of.
If you use this method there is not much that can go wrong. Just remember my recommendation about the extension cord if you have to use one.
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Never exceed the time that is given in the manual. I think this is a safety features to prevent the handle and or cord from getting to hot and maybe melt.
If you have to walk away and leave your electric charcoal starter, make sure to use a timer. I read a story about a bad fire that got started with leaving an electric charcoal starter unattended.
Also make sure that you have a place to put the electric grill starter after use in the Charcoal because it is still hot and needs to cool of.
The use of a quality extension cord is a must since most starters come with a real short cord that most of the time does not reach the outlet.
We found a high quality 12 gauge extension cord that came recommended form 260 people with a 4.8 star rating.
Have a look at all our Grilling accessories we reviewed for you