Looft Lighter vs. Traditional Lighting Methods

Using a Looft Lighter is up to 5 times faster than starting your charcoal with lighter fluid or starter cubes. With the Looft Lighter you start a fire in 60 seconds and thanks to the airflow your charcoal will get grey and grill-ready if you continue using the Looft Lighter for only 3-5 minutes.

Minutes from start to grill ready:

Looft Lighter
5 min

Chimney Starter
15 - 20 min

Lighter Flud / Starter Cubes
20 - 25 min

Looft Lighter

Our innovative electric charcoal lighter is a game-changer for the grilling industry. This easy-to-use product produces a flame in less than sixty seconds, which is incredibly fast compared to other fire-starting tools on the market. Its thin and compact design is also just as efficient since it is perfect for simple storage indoors. Looft offers two types, our original plugin lighter and wireless battery-powered lighter.

We recommend starting out by lighting smaller pieces of charcoal, allowing the glow to spread gradually to the larger parts without over-charring. This process will also produce a more even finish throughout the charcoal pieces. After placing the lighter directly on the small amounts of charcoal, you should pull it off once they are ignited. Carefully hover the product above the remaining charcoal, allowing it to continue to heat. At the same time, the glow spreads amongst the remaining pieces.

The heat setting will turn off after 2 minutes if you’re using the Looft Lighter X. Then the fan setting alone will further spread the glow. It is such an effortless and quick process! As soon as you see an even flame going in your charcoal, you are ready to get started grilling.

The charcoal lighter was influenced by a vacuum cleaner and carefully crafted to reach temperatures of up to 1200°F, an ideal heat for starting charcoal. Looft’s founder, Richard Looft, came up with the idea for this product after a mishap at a family barbecue in which his grilled chicken tasted far too much like the lighter fluid that he used to start his charcoal. He tested out an idea using a vacuum cleaner and charcoal-filled toaster. And voila! His method worked and was soon brought to life with the formation of Looft’s electric charcoal fire starter.

Electric fire starters have grown in popularity in recent years, primarily due to their straightforward use and versatility. Not only can you use our lighter for charcoal grills, but you may also use it to start fireplaces, smokers, pizza ovens, and outdoor fire pits. It is a safe and simple method to avoid excess exposure to smoke. They are definitely an excellent and functional tool to keep on hand in your home, whether you grill occasionally or just about every week. Read more here


Chimney Starter

The first charcoal chimney starter was invented back in 1960 by three pitmasters - Garner Byars, Hugh King, and Lavaughn Johnson, as an alternative to lighter fluid. It is a much safer method that does not affect the overall taste of the food through harsh chemicals found in petroleum-based lighter fluid. Their invention has since become a staple for grill masters who whip us tasty barbecue food.


  1. This cylinder-shaped device is placed on top of lighter cubes, newspaper, or even wood chips on the grill.
  2. The chamber is then filled to the brim with charcoal to ignite the flame over time.
  3. The whole process takes about twenty to thirty minutes to start the charcoal. Although, certain charcoal chimney starters on the market may provide a faster experience.

Since the device has handles, removing the product off the grill is easy and safe without the risk of burning your hands. They are also super simple to clean and may be used as often as necessary. You may find charcoal chimney starters at most home goods stores in addition to online retailers like Amazon or Walmart. Read more here


Lighter Fluid

Lighter fluid is a popular tool for starting charcoal since it is fast and straightforward. The fluid contains flammable substances, such as petroleum, to create the fire over a bed of charcoal. When done correctly, this method takes approximately five to seven minutes, which is significantly shorter than using a chimney charcoal starter. You may have to reapply the liquid a few times after the initial start to maintain the flame.

Do you need lighter fluid for charcoal?

While this fire starter is a commonly used method, there are several pros and cons to using the chemical. One of the downsides to using this product is that it contains harmful chemicals, including butane (a type of liquid petroleum gas). It can infuse into different foods while cooking, leaving an unpleasant taste or residue. While most lighter fluid varieties contain petroleum, some on the market incorporate alcohol or plant-based oils as a more natural alternative. These lighter fluid substitutes may be much safer to use since they do not feature damaging chemical bases in their formulas.

Although it is important to note that if lighter fluid is misused, it can lead to severe injuries and burnt food. Worst case scenario kids are involved. It has actually been considered one of the leading causes of grilling related accidents over the years, with some individuals even burning off their eyebrows by overdoing it on the lighter fluid. The product should never be added to hot burning charcoal as it will result in a flare-up within seconds. Additionally, the petroleum featured in the lighter fluid can create an oddly flavored residue on food when overused.

If you decide to use this method for starting charcoal, after all, be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle carefully. Following the recommended steps will ensure the best possible results (and to keep your eyebrows safely on your face). Read more here