We assume without chemicals, right? And by "best," it really depends on your definition. Cheapest method, how fast to ignite, the best value, etc.
Here are some time-proven ways to light BBQ charcoal.
- Paper (newspaper, paper towel, etc.) soaked in cooking oil. This pretty much tells you everything. Place the oil-soaked paper on top of the charcoal, light it, then, when fully ignited, place some large chunks on top of it.
- Natural Fire Starter: We say 'natural' as we try to avoid harmful chemicals. You can make your own with food-grade wax and wood chips, buy commercially available online, or through your We Love Fire expert.
- Blow Torch: Any blow torch will do, but some are specifically designed for this purpose. Here is an example: Amazon.com : JJGeorge Grill Torch Charcoal Starter : Patio, Lawn & Garden.
- Electric Starter: These are basically a bare electric coil or element you place under some charcoal for a few minutes. While inexpensive, they tend to have a short life span depending on how long you leave them to heat up the Charcoal. Amazon.com : Char-Broil Electric Charcoal Starter : Patio, Lawn & Garden
- Chimney starter: This is a time-proven and inexpensive method. You can make your own, but they are affordable and available everywhere. As its name implies, it is basically a 6-inch single-wall tube with holes at the bottom to let air circulate. You add some charcoal on the top and crumpled newspaper at the bottom, and voila! Your charcoal is ready in a few minutes.
- Looftlighter: This is a relatively new innovation in the BBQ world. It works exceptionally well and gets your charcoal lighted up in a couple of minutes or less. It is a series of encased electric elements with a blowing fan built into the handle. It superheats the air to 1200F, which means the device does not have to come in contact with the Charcoal. It comes corded or battery-operated. While somewhat expensive, they tend to last a long time. LOOFT LIGHTER I