Here’s how to make DIY Fire Starters: Only requires two unexpected items!
Now that the weather is warm and summer is about to begin everyone is grilling. I love the smell of BBQ. Even when it’s my neighbors doing the grilling, the smell reminds me of camping as a child. I love it when my neighborhood smells like a campground.
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My husband is a grill master! And I am so thankful for that! 😉 Check out the food he grills and tell me if your mouth doesn’t start watering!
Smoked Honey BBQ Baby Back Ribs
(This is my all-time favorite food ever!)
(this is a close second place)
(A delicious twist on a traditional recipe)
My brother is also an amazing cook. Check out this Cedar Plank Smoked Salmon he made on his grill.
When we were newlyweds my husband exclusively used a gas grill. While there are many advantages to a gas grill (mainly time) he rarely uses it and now uses charcoal more often.
Charcoal is a bit more time-consuming, but the taste is worth the wait.
It can be a bit tricky to start a charcoal fire. There are many methods and tools. Seth first used a charcoal chimney when he started smoking food.
Then he started buying fire starters because they worked a lot faster. He figured he could make his own a bit cheaper and after a few Google searches, he experimented with several different ways to make them at home. He tried using different combinations of dryer lint, egg cartons, paraffin (canning) wax, cardboard, and other flammable materials. These were a bit tedious to make–trying to dip a ball of dryer lint shoved inside an egg carton into a pan of melted wax– not so easy.
Finally, he decided to see if the easiest and most basic of materials would work: cardboard and paraffin wax. And sure enough, they worked great!
I helped him make these one evening. It took less than 10 minutes to make over 30 fire starters. I figured up the cost of making these at home and found that they cost less than 3¢ a piece!! That is really just the cost of the wax because I’m assuming anyone can find cardboard for free (we did).
If you bought a box of fire starters off of Amazon and broke down the cost of each one individually they would cost around a quarter a piece. Sometimes a bit less and sometimes a LOT more depending on the brand.
The other amazing thing about these homemade fire starters is that they are safer than lighter fluid and don’t contain any chemicals.
We used cardboard that was plain with no words and free from any inks or dyes. We also bought a box of gulf wax. You can buy Gulfwax Paraffin Wax from Amazon but it will cost you more than if you buy it from a store. Amazon will run closer to $10 a box. We bought ours from Walmart for around $3 for 3 bars.
The box of wax contained three bricks. We melted one brick in a super fancy double boiler (or maybe just stacking a pot inside a skillet half full of water).
We cut the cardboard into squares about 2 in. x 2 in. but we didn’t measure–they were rough cuts (after all we are just going to be setting them on fire).
Once the wax was melted we removed it from the heat and started dipping the cardboard. We completely submerged the squares into the wax then let the excess wax drip back into the pan. FYI: a dentist pick worked great for the dipping. A fork or tongs would also work.
We let them dry on wax paper overnight, but a couple hours would be enough.
We store them in a gallon baggie and pull about three squares out every time we need to start a fire.
We have only used these in a grill but I imagine they would work great in a campfire or fireplace as well.
That’s it! Super easy and saves a LOT of money!! More money for ribs, steaks, hamburgers, and pork chops!
What’s your favorite way to grill?