Grilling Tips and Techniques
Instant-light briquettes are not a good idea. Neither are briquettes doused with lighter fluid. Although it will be safe to eat, the food you cook over fuel-started briquettes can pick up a chemical taste. Instant-light briquettes are made from pulverized charcoal and mixed with additives to make them easy to light and to keep burning. Hardwood charcoal, or charwood, lights faster and burns hotter and cleaner than briquettes. That means whatever you cook over it tastes better, too.
The easiest (and healthiest) way to ignite a fire is with a chimney starter―a large can open at both the top and the bottom. A wad of newspaper is packed into the bottom; a grill-load of charcoal goes on top. Put one match to the paper and in about 15 to 20 minutes you're ready to cook. The can, available at hardware stores, has a sturdy handle that makes it easy to pour the ash-covered coals into the grill.