We recommend you use our Japanese Charcoal starter pan for smaller grills for your binchotan. It is easy to light and takes the hassle out of getting your coals hot.
- Place binchotan into your pan by standing pieces upright. Be careful not to make the pieces too long as they can fall out.
- Light the gas stove and place pan on top.
- Wait till the coals are red hot (turn them half way through) (8-10 minutes)
- Transfer the hot coal into your grill and cover with additional binchotan if required.
- Wait till all the binchotan is lit before cooking. This allows for the grill to insulate the heat and burn at a consistent temperature. (+-5 minutes)
Another method is to light with a propane/butane mix blowtorch for smaller Hida Konro grills. The Japanese also tend to also use this method. Available at most hardware and cookware stores.
- Fill the grill about halfway with charcoal
- Light blowtorch and wave evenly over charcoal
- Once the charcoal is alight add a few more pieces
- Start cooking
If using firelighters please avoid chemical based lighters. Build your African binchotan into a pyramid shape and light your binchotan in your grill. Once lit add additional binchotan and wait till fully lit.
For larger grills you can use a chimney starter as you would use making a regular braai or fire. Place your binchotan into the top of the chimney starter and light using your natural fire lighter at the bottom filled with scrunched up paper. This method is suitable for outside lighting only.
Once the binchotan is lit transfer it to your Konro or Hibachi. Be careful not to let the binchotan fall out.