The Claim:

“Our popular Natural Charcoal Starters come in boxes of 24 convenient squares. They light easily and are odorless and tasteless, with no chemical aromas or residue. Plus, they’re clean, safe and ready to use without the need for any lighter fluid – saving you money and providing a much better result!”

Product Information:
The Big Green Egg Natural Fire Starters come in packages of 24 non-toxic flammable blocks used to ignite your charcoal. The blocks are made of sawdust and paraffin. They do not contain any chemicals, are odorless, and do not impart taste on to your food.

Why I Bought My Natural Fire Starters:
Everyone who owns a Big Green Egg needs a way to ignite the charcoals. When I first got my Egg, these Big Green Egg Natural Fire Starters were my method of choice. I didn’t know too much about the other methods of lighting charcoal at the time, and this is what the Big Green Egg dealer recommended. I used the Natural Fire Starters exclusively for over a year, until I purchased the Electric Coal Starter (read my review of that product here). Overall, my experience with this product was positive. I still keep a box of the Big Green Egg Natural Fire Starters handy just in case I need them.

What’s Good About Natural Fire Starters:
The Big Green Egg “claim” is pretty accurate. The Natural Fire Starters are incredibly easy to use; stick one into your pile of natural lump charcoal, light it, leave your Egg open, and walk away. Pretty straightforward, and after about 10 minutes your charcoal is lit and you are able to adjust your Egg to the proper cooking temperature. There is no discernable odor or flavor imparted on the food when I use these to start the grill. If you’ve ever eaten food that’s been cooked over coals started with lighter fluid, you know how important this is. There is also almost no possibility for injury when using Natural Fire Starters, unlike several other methods of lighting charcoal (including the Electric Coal Starter). In addition, if you don’t have an electrical outlet near your grill you need a reliable way to start your grill. I use these Natural Fire Starters to light my Big Green Egg when there is no outlet nearby, and they work perfectly.

What’s Not So Good About Natural Fire Starters:
I have two complaints about the Big Green Egg Natural Fire Starters. My first complaint is that the initial fire on the block is easily blown out by the wind. I have to leave my Egg open while using the Fire Starters, so any windy day requires me to baby sit the grill for a few minutes until it gets going. My other complaint is that the Natural Fire Starter is not a reusable resource. I buy 1 box, and I get to start my grill 24 times and that’s it. When I run out of blocks, I need to make a trip to the store (which really bugs me). The main reason I switched to the Electric Coal Starter is so I don’t have to ask myself, “do I have a starter block?” before each cook.