How To Light a Small Charcoal Grill? – 3 Easy Techniques With Simple Steps

If you are venturing into the hobby of grilling, you have to understand the different ways of lighting a small charcoal grill. There are several ways in which you can learn how to light a small charcoal grill. Please take a look at them.

Prepare The Grill

Prepare the grill by following these easy steps:

Step 1

Remove the lid and the great from the grill. The bottom rack or grate needs to be removed and cleaned off all the ashes and residue (if already cleaned, there is no need).

Step 2

Open the vents in the bowl and place new charcoal in the grill. The charcoal should be completely dry. Even damp charcoal will not readily catch fire, and if it does, it will create a tremendous amount of smoke rather than heat.

Use a Chimney Starter

The most efficient way to light a small charcoal grill is using the chimney starter. There is a variety available in the market. Check out the steps of lighting a small charcoal grill using a chimney starter.

Step 1

Place newspaper at the bottom of the chimney starter. Place it on the charcoal grate.

Step 2

Fill up the chimney starter with charcoal and light the newspaper on fire. Wait for the charcoal to be lit entirely. How do you understand that it is fully lit? Simple. Just wait for the charcoal to be covered by a thin layer of white ash.

Step 3

After that, you can start cooking after rearranging the lit charcoal. Be careful with the hot charcoal and use long tongs to arrange them.

Note: Make sure that the charcoal is lit and the newspaper is wholly burnt before you start cooking.

Using Lighter Cubes

You can use lighter cubes to light the charcoal grill too. Follow the steps provided here.

Step 1

Make the charcoal pyramid in the middle of the grate. Insert a few lighter cubes in the mix. Lighter cubes are sold separately. You can use any one of your preferred lighter cubes.

Step 2

Take a long match or a lighter and set the lighter cubes on fire. The lighter cubes burn fast, setting the charcoal on fire quite easily and quickly.

Step 3

Wait for the charcoal to be fully lit and covered with a thin layer of white ash. Also, make sure that the lighter cubes are fully extinguished or burned out before starting the cooling process.

Step 4

Arrange the coals in the manner that you want. You can use both the direct and indirect cooking methods as you want. Be cautious because the charcoal is flaming hot. Do not burn yourself by accident. We always recommend using long tongs.


We hope that you have been successful in learning how to light a small charcoal grill. It must have been not easy if it is your first time. However, practice always makes perfect and having a clear guide with step by step process helps streamline the procedure a lot.