Charcoal lighter fluid

Charcoal lighter fluid is a volatile mixture of petroleum distillates sold to kickstart the ignition of charcoal in a barbecue grill. It can be used with lump charcoal or briquettes, and briquettes such as Kingsford's Match Light brand are available with lighter fluid added.

The use of lighter fluid is somewhat controversial -- the substance is highly flammable and toxic and is said to impart an unpleasant flavor to food cooked on it. Using denatured alcohol ("methyl hydrate", "methylated spirit") instead of commercial petroleum-based lighter fluids avoids this problem. Petroleum-based charcoal lighter fluid is illegal in some jurisdictions due to its potential to cause photochemical smog by means of evaporation of its volatile organic compounds. A common substitute is a chimney starter.

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