The Rocky Mountain Ace Stores are approximately 150 Ace Hardware stores throughout Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico that work together to enhance their helpful service and community involvement.
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Helpful advice from your neighbors at Ace

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The Right Way to Light Charcoal

Come on baby light my fire!

You know that it would be untrue. You know that I would be a liar. If I were to say to you, I’m tired of lighting my charcoal fire. With apologies to The Doors, I honestly cannot say that I am tired of lighting my fire. In my grill, of course.

Why? Because of how I light it!

No, I no longer used the tried and true, but dangerous method of lighter fluid. Yes, there have been improvements made in lighter fluid over the years, but I guess I still have the visions of my dad lighting our old grill: Make certain the grill is not under a tree, or within 50 yards of your house. Have a fire extinguisher and first aid kit handy! Douse the charcoal with lighter fluid. Add a little more. Couple more squirts couldn’t hurt. Light a match. Fire in the hole! Throw the match in and run! Run fast. Run far. Ah the adrenaline rush. The thrill of the Hollywood-style explosion and oh, the flavor of the steak. Those petrochemicals! Yum!

So, several years ago I switched to using a chimney starter. Just crumple up some newspaper, pour in the charcoal, light the paper. The charcoal would light right up. No chemicals. Easy, but kind of slow, and a bit difficult to dump the chimney full of burning charcoal. Besides, I no longer have a newspaper laying around.

Now I use the Looftlighter! The what, Brad? Isn’t that what you use to scrub your skin? No, that’s a loofah, this is a Lighter named for its inventor, Richard Looft. The Looftlighter is an amazing electric lighter, that is sort of a cross between a toaster and a hair dryer. In under a minute, with no chemicals, with no flame, you can have a charcoal fire burning.

It's really very simple to use. Just touch the end of the lighter to the charcoal for a few seconds, watch for a glow and few sparks, then pull the lighter back just a bit and let it fan the glow in to flames. Then you’re done, and the charcoal is burning.

What’s even better is that the Looftlighter works on wood as well as charcoal. Use it to light kindling in your home fireplace or your patio fire pit. Again, quickly, easily and without open flames or chemicals.

There are a few drawbacks. For one you don’t get that yummy petroleum by-product taste on your food, and you don’t get that fireball that can be seen from space in your backyard.

But, you can learn to live without these.

Looflighters are available at your local Ace Hardware store. Check with the helpful folks there, and ask them for a demo. Many of our stores have grilling demos throughout the summer months and they’d be glad to show you how quick, easy and safe Looftlighters are to us. When you ask them, tell them Brad Nale sent you!