As you know, there are many ways to light your kamado grill. Just to name a few that I bet will be familiar to you, a propane torch, heating loop or a fan-powered heat stick (heat gun). I’m sure you have even fired up your grill, like I have in the past, by using newspaper and matches to light your starter chimney. There are plenty more methods that I’m sure I have not mentioned. I, personally, have only used three, a heat gun, starter chimney and lighter squares….which brings me to the point of this post.
I want to take a few minutes of your time to tell you about my favorite method and why. First, allow me to brief you on the others. The heat gun works well, but it has a few drawbacks. It’s electric, or at lease the one I have is and it must be plugged in. You must monitor it while using. Then you have to let it cool down in a safe place.
Now, the starter chimney works nice. It get’s the grill up to temp quickly, which I like. However, I find it just a little cumbersome.
My method of choice, starter squares! If you haven’t used them, I suggest you give them a try. Here’s why:
- One starter square will provide a flame for a little over 8 minutes. The box states each will provide a flame for 8 to 10 minutes. I tested the theory and sure enough, the flame lasted 8 minutes and 22 seconds. I felt that 8 to 10 minute statement is very fair being that there are so many variables that can affect the burn-time.
- The squares are non-toxic and from my experience they do not impact the flavor of the food.
- The box states they will light even when wet, so I tested that too. I ran a square under water for 2 minuets then lit it on fire. It burned the same as if it were dry.
Now, let’s talk about brands and costs. I have used Kamado Joe and Big Green Egg lighter squares in the past, both work very well. However, a fellow kamado owner recommended I try Rutland Safe-Lite Starter Squares because he liked the price and quantity. This is what I discovered:
- The Kamado Joe and Big Green Egg starter squares have 24 squares and the price varies between $6.99 and $9.99 a box.
- The Rutland Safe-Lite Starter Squares, I purchased at Ace Hardware, contained 144 squares for $16.99 per box.
So, in my book, the winner is….Rutland. They are cheaper and only cost $.12 per square. Plus, you get a large box so you don’t have to buy them as often. I highly recommend you try them. I don’t think you will be disappointed.