How to Start Your Woodfire Grill


Props to my brother-in-law who showed me this technique years ago.  This is so simple.  It requires no fire starters, no lighter fluid (please never use that), and no blow torch.

What you need: wood/charcoal, paper towels, oil (I typically use vegetable but could be any kind)


Step 1: Wrinkle paper towels in form as shown here at base of pit or grill


Step 2: Arrange the paper towels criss-cross


Step 3: Cover the paper towels with oil


Step 4: Arrange wood or charcoal over the oil covered paper towels.  I like to build a stack of coals with some space in between for good airflow.  This is key, you can’t just dump a bag of charcoal over the paper towels because then you won’t have any airflow to encourage the fire to build.


Step 5: Light paper towels



Step 6: Let the fire build

Step 7: Let the fire go until you have hot ambers and place food over the fire to cook!


Note: it will take some trial and error to be able to estimate how many coals or wood pieces you will need depending on what your grilling, of course you can add on top of the ambers, you’ll just have to wait longer for the the coals to be ready

Also note: If you are using a big green egg (as I am here) or any ceramic style grill remember to open the bottom vent as shown here


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