Alternatives to Lighter Fluid: Biomass Firelighters

Last month I wrote about greener ways to grill and one of the suggestions was to skip the lighter fluid. Taking my own advice, I was scoping out the household goods section of my neighborhood grocery store last weekend when I saw these biomass firelighters.

Made by the environmentally conscious company If You Care, these firelighters are made from FSC-certified wood and 100% non-GMO vegetable oil. Unlike lighter fluid and other similar products, they do not contain toxic petroleum distillates, which produce volatile organic compounds and increase ground-level ozone. To better explain the materials and benefits, the company has also produced this graphic product lifecycle:

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To use, just place 3-4 cubes on top of charcoals or wood and light on the fractured side of each cube. In addition to grills, they can also be used for fireplaces, wood burning stoves or outdoor fire pits.

Another alternative to lighter fluid, charcoal chimneys are metal cylinders that use only newspaper and a flame to get a fire going. Have you tried firelighters or chimneys? Which method do you prefer?

(Images: 1. Lauren Zerbey, 2. If You Care)