HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >

Discussion

Matchlight charcoal

I love cooking with charcoal...When I go to Publix here in Florida I always choose Kingsford... I also see that Kingsford has a "matchlight"... Is Matchlight the same as the regular Kingsford that has been soaked in charcoal lighter fluid??? (And charging much more)?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. Yes. It is just charcoal soaked in lighter fluid.

    If you like cooking with charcoal, I highly recommend picking up a chimney and cooking with hardwood charcoal. Better flavor, cheaper than "match light", and you don't have that lighter fluid smell. With a $10 chimney, it's just as easy as matchlight too.

    16 Replies
    1. re: Klunco

      +1. Royal Oak is a very popular charcoal, and is found at Walmart for about $6, depending on your location. You can pick up a chimney starter at Walmart as well. Finally, you'll need something to light the chimney - I like the small Weber starter cubes. They're odorless, and don't smoke heavily like oil sprayed/dipped paper toils.

      1. re: jdmfish

        A few pieces of newspaper work perfectly fine to start a starter. Buying a starter to start a starter seems a bit over the top.

        1. re: tommy

          Like I mentioned, there is far less smoke by using the starter cubes. Furthermore, they Bryn hotter and lump is usually ready for use a good 5 minute before the newspaper method. Additionally, these starter cubes cost around $3 for 36 of them.

          Guess I don't see how its "over the top". Burns hotter, quicker, odorless and smokeless.

          1. re: jdmfish

            Well you sure told me. Thanks.

      2. re: Klunco

        (+1) I agree the chimney starter is the way to go.

        I like to use Kingsford.
        What I do is use newspaper that has been wetted with a teaspoon or two of vegetable oil (Alton Brown tip) or newspaper and a handful of crap hardwood charcoal on the bottom topped with a full load of briquettes.

        Light and come back in 15 minutes..

        1. re: dave_c

          i don't even think the oil is really needed, chimney starters are just that easy. i can't believe i every messed around building lil piles of charcoal inside the grill.

          1. re: j8715

            Your right, it isn't necessary, however not all chimney starters have the same volume. Some are larger than others, and the oil soaked/sprayed paper towels, newspaper, etc. helps slow the burn so the the lump can ignite in larger chimney starters.

            1. re: jdmfish

              ah i see. mine is fairly small since i am usually grilling for two.

            2. re: j8715

              I've found that drizzling a little oil on the newspaper helps a lot with chunk charcoal, but is not needed for briquettes, which are much easier to light. Anyway it's a penny or two worth of oil, so whatever type of charcoal you use, why not have some insurance.

          2. re: Klunco

            Why do you use a chimney? Why not just spread the charcoal over the grill first, then light it? Isn't it easier (and safer) than trying to spread burning briquettes?

            1. re: mucho gordo

              this is what i used to do and no, it is not easier. the coals never light evenly and you end up with some ashed over, some still black and you have to move them around.

              the chimney you just light, walk about for 10 minutes or so, then pour it into the grill.

              1. re: j8715

                Were you using Matchlight when you did it? When you pour it onto the grill does it spread evenly? I light both ends and the middle and, by the time the flames die down, all coals seem to be engulfed.

                1. re: mucho gordo

                  no, never used match light.

                  i haven't found it to be hard to pour them out of the chimney evenly.

                  so much less fiddlingy. just wad up a few pieces of newspaper under the thing, light and dump. i had thought they were just a gadget that didn't really do anything, but i wouldn't go back.

                  1. re: j8715

                    mg: IME with chimneys, you really don't have to do much more than lift the chimney off, let gravity do its work and only retrieve a few strays

          3. Wow.Thanks Kunco.......Quick response...Thanks...I am in south Florida and have a wonderful outside bar...I spent many bucks to have a built-in gas grill but I still go back to my $89 Weber charcoal for the best food......My new boyfriend thinks I am nuts

            1 Reply
            1. re: HotMelly

              You are so not nuts! Besides the great flavor, your Weber is so much more controllable than many other grills. You can have hot, warm, or anywhere in between, and flare-up are quickly extinguished just by putting on a lid! I cooked dinner for seventeen last Sturday, and had three Weber kettles going at one time. Everything was great. Do as others have suggested here... avoid the matchlight and also any other lighter fluids, get a chimney for starting (Bada Bing is right, the Weber seems to be the best), try some different charcoals to see what you like. Kingsford is a good briquette, but because it has binders, etc. to form that briquette it does have "impurities" that some do not like. Lump is all natural, but often burns hotter and faster. That could be ok for you, you'll just have to try some. It's cooking, not rocket science (and with a chimney, no longer with rocket fuel, hehe), so try whatever you want! If you want any more help, ideas, etc., stop over at bbq-brethren.com... the guys there will answer any questions you might have. Tell 'em Cheez sent ya!

            2. I avoid chemical starters of any sort. I second the suggestion that you get a chimney starter. And especially if you're cooking for more than 2, go find a Home Depot or Ace Hardware that sells Weber equipment. The Weber chimney is a bit larger than most, and it's made of better metals (will not rust into uselessness after one season). It's not significantly more expensive, either.

              About charcoals, keep in mind that briquets have various amounts of non-combustible fillers (Kingsford is rather high in these) so you end up with more ash than when you cook with hardwood "lump" charcoal. The advantage is to briquets, however, if you want a slower and somewhat cooler burn, as in cooking whole chickens or brisket. I keep both briquets and lump around for various cooking tasks.

              1. i remember my dad trying it a few times back when i was a kid..i think around when it first came out..
                but we didnt use lighter fluid..we didnt like the taste of the lighter fluid on the food..so we didnt use it much after that

                i remember my dad and grandfather pretty much only using an electric charcoal starter..

                2 Replies
                1. re: srsone

                  My dad always used a cardboard egg carton full of briquettes with a good spritz of fuel ===== Homer J Simpson mushroom cloud.
                  Hammy

                2. The only thing worse than Matchlight would be starting your charcoal with diesel fuel.......
                  The only thing worse than Kingsford is....................I can't think of one.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Uncle Bob

                    and i know what diesel fuel tastes like........(dont ask)

                  2. We've got the gas, charcoal hibatchi and green egg running all summer. Each with their own function and place in our outdoor food enjoyment. Much like the spice rub we love or the wood plank, how we cook outside is a function of taste preference and recipe. I don't have a preference as long as it tastes really good.

                    1. I'll use a little accelerant, but I let that smell burn off before I put the food on. never burns off with the matchlight. you can make your own chimney starter out of a large metal (coffee) can and a few basic tools.

                      1. The only use I know of for Matchlight charcoal is on a picnic at a park or such when you don't want to take a big bag of charcoal and lighter with you and carry the remainder home. You buy a small bag and lay it in the grill and light the entire contents. 30 minutes later, after the light fluid has burned off and the coals are hot, you can cook.

                        I use Royal Oak and a chimney at home.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Kelli2006

                          for the picnic you can always re-fill a vial of Ernest Lazlo Scalp Treatment with lighter fluid (paint thinner or kerosene has less residual odor IMHO), cuts the burn-off time. (oh wait that's a method a friend's mother used for open containers of scotch on long road trips - she wasn't driving) but same principle.

                          I like to store my charcoal and hardwood bits in one of those tight fitting galvanized bucket and lid mini-trashcan things where the handle locks the lid in place (about 18 inches. what 47 cm tall?). transports well and I can leave it outside.