Starting your fire
If you have a gas or electric grill all you have to do is flip a switch, but for a charcoal or wood fire, there's a bit more work.
For starting charcoal, lump, and wood we recommend you avoid liquid fire starters as they often leave a bad taste in the meat. A great alternative is wax starters which light easily, burn clean and leave no smell or taste.
To use simply place a starter on the bottom of the grill or below wood that is stacked slightly above the starter. Light the starter and build a pyramid of charcoal around and over the starter. Within 15-20 minutes you should have a nice fire ready for grilling or smoking.
Another alternative that can be used with or without wax starters is using a chimney. Chimneys concentrate air flow for easy lighting without the need of lighter fluid. Simply place a wax starter or ball of newspaper below the chimney, light, and within about 15 minutes you'll be able to remove the chimney and have a nice bed of coals ready to go.
You can also use an electric charcoal starter. These are convenient and work very well but one word of caution: don't let these units go for more than about 15 minutes as they can create a very hot fire and actually melt the electrical cord causing a secondary fire hazard!
If you are cooking over an open fire, such as a campfire, it is also recommended that you use wax starters, or the charcoal/chimney method to create a base of hot coals. Do not use Duralogs as they are not safe for cooking as stated on their packaging.
Wax starters, chimneys, and electric charcoal starters can all be found at your local hardware store or online here.