How to Start a Fire with a Charcoal Lighter

The Oklahoma Joe’s® Charcoal Lighter is an excellent tool for lighting charcoal briquettes, lump charcoal, wood chips, chunks and logs in firepits, charcoal grills, drum smokers and offsets. The lighter has a long neck to reach down into the firebox of a drum smoker or all the way to the back of an offset smoker. It attaches directly to a 1-pound universal propane tank and with a wide nozzle and 20,000 BTUs, will get your fire started very quickly. 

Here are some guidelines on how to operate our charcoal lighter, along with some safety tips.

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Step 1 Of 8
1. First, remove the cap from the gas intake. The cap guards against dust, pollen and insects.
2. To install the propane tank, apply a little pressure and rotate clockwise.
3. Once the tank is installed, turn the orange dial to the low setting with a very slight turn to the left.
Hot TipStarting the lighter with the dial on high will blow out the spark.
4. To open the flow of gas, press and hold the safety mechanism up and squeeze the trigger. You cannot squeeze the trigger unless the safety mechanism is in the up position.
Hot TipThe safety mechanism prevents squeezing the trigger and engaging the flow of gas unintentionally. If the lighter is dropped or comes loose, the gas flow shuts off and the flame immediately goes out.
5. Press the start button on top to spark the lighter.
Hot TipThe flame burns extremely clean and emits a blue flame with no yellow. It can be hard to see when outdoors. You’ll know it’s lit when you hear the hissing of the gas.
6. Once lit, turn the orange dial all the way to the right for full power.
7. Direct the flame over or under whatever you’re lighting. If you’re lighting a wood fire, holding the lighter underneath the wood works well. With charcoal briquettes, you may want to aim it above the center of the charcoal pile. Hold the lighter in place or move it around to light surrounding wood or briquettes for a minimum of two minutes, building a sustained fire.
8. When you’re done, release the trigger, twist the tank off and replace the cap.
Hot TipIf the lighter is engaged for two minutes or longer, the flame hood will be very hot, and the tank will be very cold. You may want to wear gloves to protect your hands from burning or freezing.
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