There are several ways to light a Big Green Egg and each have their own benefits/merits as well as disadvantages. Below will walk you through all of the ways I’ve tried throughout my 10+ years of egging.
Ways to Light Your Big Green Egg
- Electric Starter
- MAPP Torch
- Wax Starters
- Charcoal Chimney
- Oil Rags
- Weed Burner
Electric Charcoal Starter
My first charcoal starter for my Big Green Egg was an electric charcoal starter similar to the one on the left. I believe mine was a BGE brand version that came with the egg at the time of purchase as part of a package deal.
- Pros: Reusable & fairly cheap – this Char-Broil version is only $18 – and you can buy these at Lowes or Home Depot
- Cons: Need an electrical outlet nearby. Burns out within a year if you are a serious user
After going through about 3 of these in the first 2 years, I moved on to other ways to light my egg.
The Looftlighter was a serious upgrade from the electric charcoal starters I had been using. It lights your charcoal within a few seconds as compared to several minutes with the electric charcoal starters.
- Pros: Fast lighting. Easy to Use
- Cons: Needs electrical. Burns out after a year of serious usage
For a $75 lighter, I was very happy with it’s performance & speed. However it melted the tip after about 6 months (lighting 1-2 eggs per day) and the warranty does not cover those sort of issues.
Mapp Torch Kit
The Mapp Torch Kit was my next stop after my Looftlighter burnt out. Note – the canisters will not be shipped by Amazon – but you can purchase at your local Lowes/Home Depot.
- Pros: Easy to use. Fast. Long Life
- Cons: Hard to determine volume of gas remaining. Can get expensive based on how long you let it burn
The Mapp Torch is my go to for lighting my eggs these days. It’s fast, clean, easy to use and relatively low maintenance. I go through about a canister every 9-12 months (I date the bottoms to determine how fast I’m burning fuel).
Wax Fire Starters
Wax fire starters come in many different variations and sizes. The one I use most is the Rutland squares version because they are much cheaper then any other and do the job just the same. That said, I have to remember to order them from Amazon. Otherwise I’ll pickup a fire starter cube pack at the grocery store.
- Pros: Great for travel. I only take these when travelling.
- Cons: Slow starting. Need to always have on hand. Sometimes takes more than 1. Needs longer burn time to get rid of smell.
I use these exclusively when I travel with my eggs & also when lighting my eggs at home when I can’t be standing over the eggs with the Mapp Torch. Very handy when lighting multiple eggs at once.
Charcoal Chimney Starter
The charcoal chimney starter is another way to light your Big Green Egg – especially helpful if you already have one of these laying around from another BBQ pit.
- Pros: Reusable & can be bought at most grocery & hardware stores
- Cons: Slow. Storage can be an issue. Need safe place to light
I’ve used this method in the past with success – it’s tried and true for sure. It works but it’s slow. And having a safe place to light and store the chimney can be an issue at times.
Greased Paper Towels
Greased paper towels are another option that you can use to light your egg. And with anything out there, you can chose from a variety of methods. The one I typically use here is after a long brisket or pork butt cook, I save the drippings from the pan in a jar and stuff with paper towels. Those towels can then be added to your egg and used to start the fire.
- Pros: Economical and uses resources you might already have on hand.
- Cons: Messy & requires storage usually in a fridge.
The weed burner option for starting your egg is the big brother version of the Mapp Torch – they work very well but are probably overkill if you have just one egg and not another use for the weed burner.
- Pros: Works very well – fast. Can use for other things like burning weeds.
- Cons: Storage of the weed burner and your propane tank. Probably overkill for the BGE.