Barbecuers and Charcoal Grillers Rejoice: Behold, the Looft Lighter

Hate using lighter fluid, butane torches or chimney starters with your charcoal grill or BBQ? Enter the Looftlighter.

Looftlighter demo video by Jason Perlow (courtesy of

Now, I realize this is a technology blog, but sometimes I have been known throw a post in here or there that indulges my foodie lifestyle as well. The thing is, I was so impressed with this product, the LooftLighter, that I thought I would share it with my Tech Broiler readers. And well... it's technology, so I think it will pass editorial muster.

I'm sure many of my readers grill and barbecue with charcoal or like to go camping and own fireplaces, but find themselves having to use matches, lighter fluid, butane camping torches, or chimney lighters.

These traditional methods can be a real pain in the neck sometimes, particularly this time of the year when wood or charcoal can be damp from all the cold and rainy weather, or if there is some wind blowing. Some methods, such as the chimney lighter, can be time consuming and also very dangerous. Also, using lighter fluid is very bad for the environment.

And we know that as manly, fire wielding guys which like to occasionally return to our caveman roots, being nice to the environment not only makes us responsible adults, but it's also great for attracting women. Because they are all into that stuff these days.

Enter the LooftLighter ($79) which recently made its way from Scandinavia to the US. While it has been in Europe for five years, It has only been appearing in various specialty catalogues over the last few weeks. You can also buy it at various online retailers such as Amazon.

Basically, the product resembles a handheld hair dryer, but blows superheated air at the wood or coals at 1,250 degrees Fahrenheit. Within 60 seconds, you'll start to see very dense lump charcoal spark, and go to full ignition within 3 minutes, as you'll see in the video above.

I'll note that In this particular video we were dealing with damp lump charcoal and a very cold, moist environment outside. If you were using something like Kingsford briquets in the middle of spring or summer on your charcoal grill, you'd have ignition in like a minute.

Obviously, the only drawback to using this product is you'll need a long power cord and electricity where you are. So if you are in a remote area such as a camping site, you'll need to plug it into a generator or an RV. But I can see loads of American males grinning about the possibilities of this new environmentally-safe toy.

Do you own a Looftlighter yet? Talk Back and Let Me Know.