15 Best Electric Charcoal Fire Starters for 2021

by Chris Johns | Updated: August 15, 2021

Best Electric Charcoal Fire Starters

An electric charcoal fire starter can get your charcoal burning quickly, without paper, dangerous lighter fluid, matches, and hardly any effort.

These handy electric devices can be used over and over again, eliminate the risk of dangerous flare-ups, are impervious to wind, and do not introduce unwanted flavor into your food.

To help you get started quickly (pun intended), we’ve found the 15 best electric charcoal fire starters on the market for you to choose from.

The 15 Best Electric Charcoal Fire Starters in 2021

Below is a list of the best electric charcoal starter options available in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the U.K.

We start with a comparison table of the top 5. Click on the name to read reviews and check prices, or skip ahead to read the entire list by clicking here.

Best Electric Charcoal Starter Reviews

Here are the complete reviews of the 15 best electric charcoal fire starters in 2021. Keep reading after the reviews for a guide on what to look for when choosing an electronic charcoal starter.

1. Looftlighter Electric Firestarter – Best Overall Choice #1

Looftlighter Electric Firestarter

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The Looftlighter Electric Firestarter gets the fire going fast. Really fast. Like, 60-seconds fast.

That’s because this Looft hot air gun puts out 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit of heat, without relying on open flame, lighter fluid, or matches.

The Looftlighter Electric Firestarter weighs a mere two pounds and features a fast-cooling aluminum heat shield, an integrated bottle opener, and a 10’ cord. In total, the wand is 17.8” long, so your hand is always a safe distance from the hot coal bed.

2.  BISON BA001 520 Airlighter – Best Overall Choice #2

BISON BA001 520 Airlighter

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The BISON BA001 520 Airlighter is a cordless, rechargeable electric fire starter – and it’s quite a performer. This unit puts out a whopping 2,600 degrees Fahrenheit of flame and holds enough butane to stay lit for 15 minutes.

That’s efficient, especially when you consider that the BISON BA001 520 Airlighter lights coals in under one minute.

Extra features include durable stainless steel construction, stay-cool technology, a built-in twin-bulb flashlight, and a bottle opener.

BISON AIRLIGHTER 520, Cordless Fire Starter, Charcoal Starter and Lighter, Grill Starter, Campfire Starter, Butane Powered with Built-In Blower
367 Reviews
BISON AIRLIGHTER 520, Cordless Fire Starter, Charcoal Starter and Lighter, Grill Starter, Campfire Starter, Butane Powered with Built-In Blower
  • Cordless fire starter. Jet flame and fire propagating fan can light fires anywhere
  • Rechargeable electronics using standard USB. Provides 30 minutes of air boost
  • Refillable butane fuel tank provides 15 minutes of burn time

3. HomeRight Electro-Torch Fire Starter

HomeRight Electro-Torch Fire Starter

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An ultra-low price tag, 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit of hot air output, the ability to produce white-hot embers in under three minutes. What’s not to love about the HomeRight Electro-Torch Fire Starter?

This hot air blower gets extra points for its two-year warranty.

I also like that the HomeRight Electro-Torch Fire Starter comes with an adjustable power setting and a one-press on/off switch. No need to hold down an ignition button for three straight minutes!

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HomeRight Electro-Torch C900085 Fire Starter, Charcoal Starter and Lighter, BBQ Smoker, Grill Starter, Chemical Free Heated Air with Built-In Blower
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HomeRight Electro-Torch C900085 Fire Starter, Charcoal Starter and Lighter, BBQ Smoker, Grill Starter, Chemical Free Heated Air with Built-In Blower
  • HOT AIR FIRE STARTER: The Electro-Torch fire starter allows you to easily light your charcoal barbecue, wood burning...
  • A GREAT GIFT IDEA FOR GRILLERS AND CAMPERS: Looking for the perfect gifts for him or her? The Electro-Torch fire starter is a...
  • DUAL IGNITION SWITCH: Ignites your charcoal grill or wood fire pit in less than a minute! Apply more heat to have a roaring...

4. Char-Broil SureFire Electric Charcoal Chimney Starter

Char-Broil SureFire Electric Charcoal Chimney Starter

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The Char-Broil SureFire Electric Charcoal Chimney Starter is one of the most affordable electric charcoal starters on my list.

This charcoal chimney starter is essentially a high-powered (500 watts) heating wand with a handle and a looped heating element. It does not work as quickly as a hot air starter. However, this design frees up your hands so you can continue prepping while the starter works.

If you’re looking for a hands-free design with an affordable price tag, check out the Char-Broil SureFire Electric Charcoal Chimney Starter.

Char-Broil SureFire Electric Charcoal Starter
318 Reviews
Char-Broil SureFire Electric Charcoal Starter
  • UL Listed
  • Provides hot coals in minutes
  • No lighter fluid taste

5. MIGI WOLF Electric Charcoal Fire Starter

MIGI WOLF Electric Charcoal Fire Starter

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The MIGI WOLF Electric Charcoal Fire Starter earns extra points for its ultra-low price tag, high heat output (1,100 degrees Fahrenheit), and ease of use.

Stand-out features include an 18” handle, an integrated bottle opener, and a casing that cools to touch in seconds.

Did I mention that the MIGI WOLF Electric Charcoal Fire Starter is a hot air starter that gets fires going in under 60 seconds?

MIGI WOLF Electric Charcoal Fire Starter, Igniter Grill Starter Super Quick BBQ Lighting Indoor or Outdoor Update for 60 Second Charcoal Lighter Blower Fireplace Campfire (Rosered)
612 Reviews
MIGI WOLF Electric Charcoal Fire Starter, Igniter Grill Starter Super Quick BBQ Lighting Indoor or Outdoor Update for 60 Second Charcoal Lighter Blower Fireplace Campfire (Rosered)
  • 【 Fastest Firestarter】 It update design which is fastest charcoal starter in the world, producing a 1,100°F airstream...
  • 【Advanced Safety Protection】Red start trigger has a built-in safety feature, must stay depressed to hold temperature,...
  • 【Easy To Use 】Pull the button, the product starts working. Release the button and the button automatically bounces back.

6. Big Green Egg Electric Charcoal Starter

Big Green Egg Electric Charcoal Starter

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With its simple design, 600-watt heat output, and low price tag, the Big Green Egg Electric Charcoal Starter is another worthy electric fire starter.

This unit features a rounded heating coil and a heat-resistant handle. One limitation is that the cord is only three feet long. So I recommend hooking it up to an extension cord.

I give the Big Green Egg Electric Charcoal Starter high marks for its efficiency, simple design, and budget-friendly price tag.

Big Green Egg Electric Starter
188 Reviews
Big Green Egg Electric Starter
  • Light your Big Green Egg super fast with no fuss
  • Plugs into any electrical outlet (110v)
  • Put in charcoal , plug in , minutes later your grill is started

7. Grillmark Electric Charcoal Starter

Grillmark Electric Charcoal Starter

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The Grillmark Electric Charcoal Starter is a budget-friendly electric charcoal starter that stands out for its simple design, ease of use, and speedy ignition.

This unit features a 500-watt electric heating element that gets fires going in under eight minutes.

The cord is relatively short, and the unit does not come with an on/off or automatic shut-off feature.

Despite these limitations, the Grillmark Electric Charcoal Starter stands out for its low price tag, ease of use, sturdy build, and it’s efficiency.

8. Char-Broil Electric Charcoal Firestarter

Char-Broil Electric Charcoal Starter

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If you’re looking for an efficient, no-nonsense design, check out the Char-Broil Electric Charcoal Firestarter.

This electric starter puts out 550 watts of heat and features a heat-resistant handle that’s attached to a looped heating element.

This electric charcoal starter works quickly and efficiently, but you’ll want to have an extension cord on hand to give you a little more reach. Despite that limitation, the Char-Broil Electric Charcoal Firestarter stands out for its ultra-low price tag, ease of use, and rugged design.

On Sale
Char-Broil Electric Charcoal Starter
2,265 Reviews
Char-Broil Electric Charcoal Starter
  • Generates 550 watts at 120 volts for lighting briquette piles
  • No matches or fluid needed
  • Get hot coals in minutes

9. Premium Electric Charcoal Starter

Premium Electric Charcoal Starter

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The Premium Electric Charcoal Starter was specifically designed with Big Green Egg and Kamado-style grill users in mind. However, any charcoal griller will find this unit useful.

What makes this 600-watt electric charcoal starter unique is its curved handle and adjustable height bracket.

These features keep your handle away from the flames and allow you to adjust the angle of this Premium Electric Charcoal Starter.

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Premium Electric Charcoal Starter Products Perfect for Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe & Weber Kettle Grills - Adjustable Height, 600 Watt Strong and A One Year Warranty - Great for Lump Charcoal
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Premium Electric Charcoal Starter Products Perfect for Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe & Weber Kettle Grills - Adjustable Height, 600 Watt Strong and A One Year Warranty - Great for Lump Charcoal
  • Charcoal starter designed for Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe & Weber Kettle grills
  • No need for dangerous liquid charcoal starters
  • Works best as a lump charcoal starter

10. Ipalmay Fast Electric Fire Starter

Ipalmay Fast Electric Fire Starter

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The Ipalmay Fast Electric Fire Starter stands out for a few reasons.

To start, it has an extra-long 6.6” cord, 1,500 watts of power, and a built-in thermal safety switch, which cuts off power when overheated.

The Ipalmay Fast Electric Fire Starter turns coals white-hot in only 60 seconds, so it is incredibly efficient – not to mention highly affordable.

I also like that a one-year warranty backs this hot air blower.

ipalmay Fast Electric Fire Starter, Igniter Charcoal Starter Quick Fire Lighter,BBQ Charcoal Grill Tool Lighting
54 Reviews
ipalmay Fast Electric Fire Starter, Igniter Charcoal Starter Quick Fire Lighter,BBQ Charcoal Grill Tool Lighting
  • 【Product specifications】 - 2.6” wide, 17.8” long; Extra long 6.6" ft cord easily reaches most outlets; 2.23 lbs, 1500...
  • 【Chemical Free】 - No fluid, no propane, simply plug this fire starter into a standard outlet and fits all fireplace...
  • 【Safety Design】 - The built-in thermal safety switch cuts power to the unit when overheated and will automatically reset...

11. Stanbroil 600W Electric Charcoal Starter

Stanbroil 600W Electric Charcoal Starter

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At first glance, Stanbroil 600W Electric Charcoal Starter seems like any other electric starter.

It has a stay-cool handle, 600 watts of heat output, and a simple, no-nonsense design. Its crowning feature is the forked stainless steel heating element.

Round heating elements work, but they don’t like to stay embedded in coals. So unlike other starters, the Stanbroil 600W Electric Charcoal Starter stays in place and comes into contact with more charcoal thanks to its triple-ring design.

The result: lump charcoal lights evenly and efficiently – and your electric fire starter stays put.

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Stanbroil 600W Electric Charcoal Starter - BBQ Tool Replacement for Big Green Egg, Kamado Joe, Weber Kettle Grills/Charcoal Grills
  • 【Product Specifications】- Measures 5.7 by 3.15 by 11.8 Inches, Cord Measures 37.8 Inches.
  • 【Safety Design】- 110V Charcoal starter, longer handle to keep your hand safely away from heat; metal plate grips side of...
  • 【Produces Hot Coals in Minutes】- Triple-Ring design enables heating element to have direct contact with more coals for...

12. Ivation Premium 500W Electric Charcoal Starter

Ivation Premium 500W Electric Charcoal Starter

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The Ivation Premium 500W Electric Charcoal Starter stands out for its intelligent design.

This 500-watt electric charcoal grill starter comes with an extra-long 16” angled handle and an adjustable setting plate.

These features protect your hands and allow you to use this electric charcoal lighter with any grill.

A bonus is the double-forked heating element, ensuring that the Ivation Premium 500W Electric Charcoal Starter stays buried and can light charcoal briquettes evenly.

Ivation Premium 500W Electric Charcoal Starter – Quickly & Easily Ignite BBQ Grills Without Lighter Fluid or Matches – Double-Ring Design with Longer, Angled Handle Safely Heats in Just 6 Minutes
949 Reviews
Ivation Premium 500W Electric Charcoal Starter – Quickly & Easily Ignite BBQ Grills Without Lighter Fluid or Matches – Double-Ring Design with Longer, Angled Handle Safely Heats in Just 6 Minutes
  • POWERFUL, RELIABLE ELECTRIC IGNITER – Designed to Deliver More Heating Power in Less Time, Device Plugs In to Quickly...
  • CLEANER & SAFER THAN COMBUSTIBLES – Uses Electricity Instead of Lighter Fluid or Matches to Provide Super Hot Coals without...
  • FIRES UP FAST EVERY SINGLE TIME – Double-Ring Design Enables Heating Element to Have Direct Contact with More Coals for...

13. NutriChef Premium BBQ Grill Starter

NutriChef Premium BBQ Grill Starter

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The NutriChef Premium BBQ Grill Starter is one of the most affordable electric charcoal starters on my list, but it’s also one of the best charcoal starters available.

This electric charcoal starter features 600 watts of heat output, a five-foot cord, a comfortable, stay-cool handle, and a three-pronged heating element.

The heating element is 19.5” wide, so it covers a lot of ground, stays in place, and heats lump charcoal quickly and evenly.

Upgraded NutriChef Premium BBQ Grill Starter, Fire Ignition, Reusable Electric Charcoal Starter, Campfire, Fireplace, Outdoor Cooking Equipment - 600 Watt, Black (PKCHALT5)
472 Reviews
Upgraded NutriChef Premium BBQ Grill Starter, Fire Ignition, Reusable Electric Charcoal Starter, Campfire, Fireplace, Outdoor Cooking Equipment - 600 Watt, Black (PKCHALT5)
  • SAFETY FIRST: The electric grill starter eliminates the need for lighter fluid and therefore ultimately reduces the risk of...
  • SIMPLE TO USE: The grill starter gets your grill going quickly and effortlessly with just the click of a button. The simple...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT & POWERFUL: Weighing in at less than 3lbs., the barbecue grill starter features a 600-watt high-powered heating...

14. BBQsmokerMods Electric Charcoal Fire Starter

BBQsmokerMods Electric Charcoal Fire Starter

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The BBQsmokerMods Electric Charcoal Fire Starter works with any grill, but it was specifically designed for top-access, Kamado-style grills.

Its distinguishing feature is the long handle that is bent at 60 degrees. This allows you to safely place the electric charcoal lighter deep into the coal – and safely remove it once the flames roar to life.

If you like simple design and an affordable price tag, check out the BBQsmokerMods Electric Charcoal Fire Starter.

Electric Charcoal fire Starter for Big Green Egg/Kamado Joe by BBQsmokerMods EFS-60
27 Reviews
Electric Charcoal fire Starter for Big Green Egg/Kamado Joe by BBQsmokerMods EFS-60
  • Fast, safe and non-toxic way to start charcoal
  • Specially designed for Big Green Egg
  • Fits other bbqs & kamados

15. 21st Century Electric Charcoal Firestarter

21st Century Electric Charcoal Starter

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The 21st Century Electric Charcoal Firestarter is a budget-friendly unit that earns a hat tip for its simple design and efficiency.

There’s nothing particularly unique about this electric charcoal starter – and that’s the beauty of it. It’s simple, tough, and gets fires going in minutes.

The 21st Century Electric Charcoal Firestarter doesn’t have many bells and whistles, but it doesn’t claim to. It’s built to be used and abused. And that’s why grillers continue to use it.

How does an electric charcoal starter work?

An electric charcoal starter is essentially a high-powered heating wand with a handle and a looped heating element.

A hot-air electric coal starter comes with a built-in fan and blower. Cool air is pulled into the wand, heated to searing temperatures (over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit), and then blown out through the end of the wand and onto your charcoal.

How do I use a hot air electric charcoal starter?

A hot-air electric charcoal starter is essentially a supercharged hair dryer that works by blowing concentrated hot air out of a cylindrical tube.

To use it, gather a tight bed of charcoal (or gather it in a chimney starter) and sandwich the heating element inside the stack. Now plug in the starter and wait a few minutes. You’ll have white-hot light coals in eight to ten minutes.

Here is a video demonstrating how an electric charcoal starter works:

Electric grill starter vs chimney

Charcoal chimneys have long been the charcoal-starting choice for grillers. They’re affordable, built to last, and significantly speed up the grilling process without relying on electricity. So these are ideal for camping and tailgating.

More recently, grillers are making the switch to electric starters because they produce white-hot charcoal in minutes. An electric charcoal starter eliminates the need for lighter fluid or matches to get your fire going. Plus, they are impervious to wind interference.

Why should I buy an electric charcoal starter?

No other fuel source provides the same rich, smoky flavor of charcoal. The trouble, of course, is that cooking with charcoal grills takes patience and a little trial and error. And here’s where electric fire starters come in.

Electric charcoal starters transform charcoal bricks white-hot in minutes, eliminate the need for matches and caustic lighter fluid. And since you’re not using flame or gas to produce heat, you do not introduce unwanted flavor or chemicals into your charcoal bed.

What to look for in a good electric charcoal starter

Before you purchase an electric charcoal starter, consider the style and manufacturing quality of the unit, your budget, and the additional features listed below.

Ease of use

Charcoal starters are all effective and quite easy to use. However, some require more patience and hands-on work than others.

Starters that use a heating element rely on direct contact with charcoal to get the fire going. Not a difficult process, but it does require you to get your hands dirty.

Cordless hot air starters give you the freedom to work from any angle. You don’t have to sandwich a heating element inside a tipping Jenga pile of charcoal! The downside, of course, is that they rely on a battery.

Electric hot air starters work quickly and do not require you to make direct contact with coals. However, you must still contend with a power cord.

Heating time

Electric charcoal starters get the fire going in under 10 minutes. Hot air blower units work quickly and typically produce similar results in half the time.

Cord Length

The power cord length may be important to some shoppers, but personally speaking, it isn’t a huge determining factor for me. Extension cords are cheap, and I always have one lying around the house.

And even when I’m working with a unit with a six-foot cord, I find it’s safer to give myself plenty of slack. So I typically use an extension cord, no matter what unit I’m working with.

Price

Electric charcoal starters start at around $25 and climb to $100. If you’re on a tight budget, shop for a hot coil type starter. They may not work as quickly as a hot air starter, but they are practical and cost-efficient.

If you have a little more cash to play with, there are plenty of excellent hot air starters that fall into the $35-$100 price range.

Heat-resistant handle

Having a heat-resistant handle is essential because your electric charcoal starter is in direct contact with flames. Just as important, though, is the length of the wand and handle. The longer the handle, the cooler your electric starter will be.

Discard the dust

A clean grill is a powerful grill. So no matter what style of charcoal starter you choose, you can increase airflow and create a more efficient, hotter burning bed of coals by discarding ash and dust that gather in the bed of your grill.

A freshly cleaned grill and an electric charcoal starter? That’s a perfect combination.

What is the best electric charcoal starter to buy?

If I had to choose only one electric charcoal starter, it’d be the Looftlighter Electric Firestarter.

Looftlighter designed an affordably priced electric charcoal starter that is incredibly easy to use. And it works fast. Like 60-seconds fast!

This hot air electric starter puts out 1,100 degrees Fahrenheit of heat, weighs only two pounds, and comes with many cool features.

These include a fast-cooling aluminum heat shield, an integrated bottle opener, and a 10’ cord. In total, the wand is 17.8” long, so your hand is always a safe distance from the hot coal bed.

4.7/5 - (21 votes)

Chris Johns is the founder of The BBQ Report® and has been an avid barbecue fan for over 20 years. His mission is to make grilling and smoking the best food possible easy for everyone. And each year, he continues to help more people with grilling, smoking, and barbecue recipe recommendations.