Looftlighter: a must have bbq accessory – no more need for firelighters!

A few days ago, I tried out a new method for lighting up the Big Joe, the looftlighter. If you are looking for a new must have accessory for bbq then this is it – it makes getting a grill started an absolute cinch and takes no time at all – we couldn’t be more impressed!

When my eldest son was 12 months old my wife found him breaking open a pack of paraffin firelighters and munching on them. Fortunately she got to him quick enough that he didn’t swallow anything and after an eventful morning spent in the hospital – an occasion my son loved, being fussed over, lots of bright lights and cables – my wife swore that she would never allow firelighters in the house again.

Unfortunately it was the only way I had found to successfully light up the Big Joe, so the firelighters were moved to the bike shed until I could find another solution – I used a webber chimney full of charcoal with a couple of firelighters underneath until the coals had lit before pouring them into the charcoal in the bbq. The whole process took around 10/15 minutes just to get the coals lit, and then another 20-30 minutes to get the bbq heading up to temperature.

This all changed recently when Marcus Bawdon of Country Wood Smoke suggested the looftlighter (can be bought here). I had a quick look at the videos, asked a few more friends what they thought, made my mind up and showed it to my wife – it was the first bbq thing she had ever jumped at buying!


A couple of days ago I decided that the time was right to try it out. I hadn’t cooked in the Joe for a few weeks* (my wife has just given birth to our second little boy) and decided it could do with a good hot burn to clean it up. Here is how it went…

…WOW – it blew our minds with how effective it was, lighting a charcoal bbq couldn’t be easier and no more firelighters need ever to be bought again! (It will light up a fire in the house just as easily if not more so)

I still can’t believe that it in less than 90 seconds we went from this…


…to this…


*one of the best things about ceramic bbq is the way they retain moisture, resulting in tender, juicy results – if you run your finger along the inside of the ceramics during even high heat cooks, you will notice how slick it feels. The downside of this is if you ever go a couple of weeks without cooking you will return to see little areas of mould growing. But, it is nothing to worry about, just throw a load of charcoal in, light it up, open top and bottom vents to full and leave to burn itself out. The result the next morning will be a pile of dust, which brushed down leaves a perfectly clean Joe. I would recommend doing this every few months anyway. 

This was taken an hour into a burn out…


…a pretty clean grill already. A little brush down and it is pretty much as good as new!



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