We highly recommend using a charcoal chimney to start your fire. A chimney starter is a metal cylinder with a grate mounted inside. Place newspaper under the grate and the charcoal on top, light the newspaper. Using newspaper as a starter is not only fast and efficient it doesn't leave an aftertaste on your food. Once the newspaper has fully burned and the charcoal appears lit (look for an orange color deep inside the chimney starter), the charcoal can be placed onto grill or cooking device. Please keep in mind that chimney starters become very hot, always wear heat resistant gloves during use. If you are using starter fluid, begin with a pile of approximately 2 pounds of hardwood charcoal. Follow directions on the start fluid container for amount, light immediately, then keep grill uncovered until ready to cook. As coals begin to glow orange (usually 10-15 minutes), spread them out in an even layer. For a hotter fire, add more charcoal.