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Lighting your barbecue

How to light a BBQ

The process for lighting a barbecue depends on the type of barbecue you have. A charcoal barbecue is the most manual but is made easier by various lighting aids. Electric and gas barbecues are much simpler, though there’s an art to making sure they reach the perfect temperature.

Lighting a charcoal BBQ

Lighting a charcoal barbecue is a more manual process than lighting other types, but doesn’t have to be difficult. You can attempt to light it with no assistance, but we recommend using specialist lighting aids for the best results. The rule of thumb is that charcoal heats up faster but briquettes stay hot for longer. 

Either way, you should always use lighting aids, such as Weber’s lighter cubes, to light your barbecue. These products are designed to make it as easy as possible to get your barbecue to temperature. This is the safest and easiest way to achieve red-hot coals. Weber also offers various charcoal products. 

Lighting is easy with the Rapid Fire Chimney Starter:

  1. Measure out the amount of charcoal specified in the recipe using the briquette scoop (which was included free with your Weber charcoal barbecue) and pour into the Chimney Starter.
  2. Light three lighter cubes on the coal grate.
  3. Position the Chimney Starter over the cubes.
  4. Wait until flames appear at the top of the Chimney Starter. This is a sign that the coals are glowing.
  5. Shake the glowing coals into the grilling baskets (beware of sparks!) That’s it!


Lighting a gas BBQ

Gas barbecues don’t require any lighting materials except their gas fuel. Compared to charcoal, they are easier to light, but it’s important to get the process right to make sure that you reach the optimum temperature for grilling.

This is the best way to heat up your gas grill for the perfect barbecue:

  1. First open the lid, then the gas cylinder valve.
  2. Turn the front/first controller to ‘high’ and wait two to three seconds for the gas to accumulate in the ignition chamber.
  3. Next, press the igniter button. The burner should start burning immediately the first or second time you press it. As soon as the first burner heats up, turn the following burners to ‘high’ too.
  4. Now close the lid and preheat the barbecue to the desired temperature.
  5. Place your food on the cooking grate. Adjust the gas supply to the burners to the temperature specified in the recipe and required for the cooking method.


Lighting an electric BBQ

Lighting an electric barbecue is simple. You don’t need to use any fuel or lighting aids; you simply plug the barbecue into a socket, turn the controller to ‘high’ and just let it heat up for 25 minutes with the lid on. It won’t be long before the barbecue is at the perfect temperature for cooking.

Our tip: Always use a barbecue thermometer to measure the core temperature of the food and ensure it’s cooked to your liking.