Reuse This Empty Kitchen Staple To Make Lighting Your Charcoal Grill Easier

There's nothing better than lighting up the old charcoal grill and cooking some deliciously charred food for your family and friends on a cool evening in early summer. However, there's also nothing worse than prepping your food and building your charcoal pyramid only to discover that you're out of lighter fluid and unable to get your grill started. Now you have two choices — go to the store and buy more or think of another way to light your grill. Luckily, there's an easy trick you can use to get your charcoal going without lighter fluid (which tends to leave residue on food and affect its flavor anyway). The best thing is that, to do it, all you need is something that is probably in your recycle bin right now: a leftover egg carton.


For this trick, you'll need to find an empty cardboard egg carton. Cardboard is a naturally flammable material, and cardboard egg cartons are shaped in a way that allows for great ventilation and helps your charcoal light quickly. Plastic and Styrofoam cartons should be avoided because they emit toxic fumes when burned.

How to make an egg carton into a grill starter

To use an egg carton to start your grill, first open the carton and fill each of the little craters where the eggs once sat with pieces of charcoal. Then, simply set the entire charcoal-filled carton in the bottom of your grill and light the cardboard in several places. Next, gently place the lid of the egg carton over the charcoal without closing the carton completely and wait as the cardboard burns and your charcoal lights. If you really want to get some flames going, instead of just adding one layer of coal, you can stack a whole pile in your egg carton, like one Redditor on the lifehacks forum of the website recommended. Also, if you'd like to use less cardboard, you can cut your egg carton in half (so there are six egg holes instead of a dozen) before filling it with coal. 


Besides being a perfect fix for when you run out of lighter fluid, this egg carton hack is also great when you need to grill on the go because it can help save space and is more convenient than lugging around a bottle of lighter fluid. So, next time you want to barbecue while road-tripping across the country in your RV or during breaks on the trail while taking a solo-backpacking trip, make sure to pack a couple of egg cartons along with your charcoal just in case.