This blog is about our travels in our solar powered "Airstream" and living off grid, in our passive solar home, near Bancroft, Ontario, Canada.

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Monday, 22 June 2015


In winter we burn a lot of wood. In summer we have a lot of charcoal barbecues. We light a lot of fires.

We've been using the Green Egg brand of starters for our BBQ and have been happy with the efficiency of the product. Unfortunately they are not available in Bancroft.

I bought these "Zip" starters at Canadian Tire but was disappointed with the fumes they emitted. They did fine lighting the charcoal but the house and deck were filled with this heavy chemical smell.

So we decided to make our own and have been quite pleased with how they work. We started off cutting old egg cartons into two slot containers.

Next we filled them with wood shavings from the mill.

Once filled we poured candle wax over the shavings.

When we want a barbecue we place the fire-starters  into the bed of charcoal and .......

ignite them using our propane torch. 

At first we have a lot of smoke until the charcoal ignites but the smoke does not have the heavy chemical smell of the "Zip" starters.

Soon we have reached the correct temperature and the barbecue is ready to cook whatever food we desire. Since the "Egg" holds the heat long after the fire goes out we often put vegetables for tomorrow's supper on to slow cook while the barbecue slowly cools. This way we save energy and only have to reheat the food the next day.

If you do a lot of charcoal barbecuing it's easy to make your own fire-starters.

Thanks for stopping by and safe travels everyone.

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