Since you’ve landed on this page, you’re probably like us in our dislike of using anything unnatural in our barbecue.
Not only are chemical laden fire starters bad for your food and health, they’re not great for certain types of barbecues either, particularly kamados.
Luckily, technology has advanced and you don’t need to pour lighter fluid on your charcoal anymore. You don’t even need a flame or to buy pressurized gas refills.
When you’re looking for the best electric charcoal starter you’ll find two main types.
The first is your standard element on a stick that heats up and ignites the charcoal on touch. These are usually a more budget-friendly choice.
The second is a wand that blows super-heated air to get your coals going. They’re more expensive but work faster and generally cool down quickly for an even safer alternative.
In this review, we’ll cover both types of electric fire starters. Lets get going.
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Now, this is in no way the cheapest thing on the list. It’s actually pretty darn expensive. But, if you’re after the best then the Looftligher X is it.
Looftlighter were the original when it came to electric fire starters that blow superheated air to get your charcoal going.
But, the power cord is of course a bit annoying when you’re lighting a non-electric bbq and just won’t work on the road.
This X version ups the stakes again with a battery powered wand.
It reaches 1200°F in 60 seconds, takes 2 hours to charge, and, one charge should give you at least a few lights before it needs recharging.
There’s no flame, just really hot air. Lump charcoal gets going in about 5 minutes. And, the whole thing only weighs 2 pounds so you can definitely take it with you tailgating or camping too.
What We Like About the Looftlighter X
What We Don't Like About the Looftlighter X
If the price of the Looftlighter X is out for you, you can still get the same high-quality product in the corded version for a fraction of the cost.
The Looftlighter 1 is the world’s best-selling electric charcoal starter.
It gives you the same 1200°F in 60 seconds, takes the same amount of time to light your charcoal. And, you don’t need to worry about charging it.
You will need access to an electrical outlet to plug it in though. The cord is 9.8 feet long.
Reliable, high-quality and really effective, the Looftlighter 1 definitely isn’t second best.
What We Like About the Looftlighter 1
What We Don't Like About the Looftlighter 1
MIGI WOLF Electric Charcoal Fire Starter
Cheaper again but still a decent and effective option is the MIGI WOLF Electric Charcoal Fire Starter.
It doesn’t get quite as hot as the Looftlighter. But, it’ll still get lump going in around about the same time.
Simply plug it in, press the button and hold close to what you’re trying to light.
The warranty’s the same 2 years as is Looftlighter’s. And, there’s a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
So, if you’re looking for decent quality at a good price, the MIGI WOLF is a great option. You’ve got a choice of colors too.
What We Like About the MIGI WOLF Electric Charcoal Fire Starter
What We Don't Like About the MIGI WOLF Electric Charcoal Fire Starter
HomeRight Electro-Torch Fire Starter
Even cheaper still, the HomeRight Electro-Torch Fire Starter has dual temperature buttons to heat up to an impressive 1500°F.
It’s not as fancy as the more expensive options. But, the build quality is still very respectable and it lights lump in a similar 5 minute time frame.
The HomeRight Electro-Torch doesn’t come with the same good warranty. But, there’s many happy users as well as us, and, at it’s price, it’s probably going to be a cheaper alternative than nasty chemical-laden firestarters anyway.
What We Like About the HomeRight Electro-Torch Fire Starter
What We Don't Like About the HomeRight Electro-Torch Fire Starter
Char-Broil Electric Charcoal Starter
Great for anyone looking for a really really cheap electric fire starter option. Or, those who just prefer it old school, you can go the good old Char-Broil Electric Charcoal Starter.
Instead of superheated air, it’s your standard heating element.
Simply hold it to your charcoal and it’ll heat it up and get it burning with no flame, gas or chemicals needed.
The handle on this Char-Broil is great for charcoal grills but is a bit of a struggle in deeper kamados.
You’ll still need access to power. But, it’s very reliable and totally unbeatable for the price.
What We Like About the Char-Broil Electric Charcoal Starter
What We Don't Like About the Char-Broil Electric Charcoal Starter
NutriChef Premium BBQ Grill Starter
With a larger heated surface area than the Char-Broil, the NutriChef Premium BBQ Grill Starter gets your fire going a little quicker than most coil options.
Yes, the price is that little bit higher too. But, it’s still a relatively cheap option that’ll save you money over buying regular fire-starters.
With a 600 watt heating element, it’s powerful enough to start lump charcoal. And, although you’ll still need to wear gloves, the heat shield does do a bit for keeping the temperature on your hand down.
As with the other element based starter options, you’re looking at about 15 minutes to get charcoal going.
But, good quality for a decent price, the NutriChef Premium BBQ Grill Starter is definitely worth it.
What We Like About the NutriChef Premium BBQ Grill Starter
What We Don't Like About the NutriChef Premium BBQ Grill Starter
Big Green Egg Electric Starter
For a purpose-built element-style electric lighter for kamados, you can’t go past the Big Green Egg Electric Starter.
The narrow element is small enough to fit into the firebox well while the longer handle keeps your hand further away from the heat.
The BGE Electric Starter will work with any brand of kamado.
The only major downside is that the cord is a very short 3 feet so you’ll most probably need to run an extension as well.
For the price, we’d choose the Looftligher 1 over this option. But, it might still be a good solution for you!