Could You Make Your Own Firelighters For Garden Barbecues?


Elsewhere on this site you can find information about how to make your own charcoal in your garden. In this article, however, we'll look at the possibility of making your own firelighters, to make it easier to get your barbecue going in a more eco-friendly way.

A barbecue can be a lovely and fun option in almost any garden. Barbecues can be a great way to enjoy yourself with friends and family, and to make the most of sunny, warm weather and enjoy your outside space. If you like to have a lot of barbecues each summer, you might like to consider making your barbecues more sustainable, affordable and eco-friendly by making the things you need to light your barbecue and cook your food yourself using materials that you could potentially source from your garden.

Wood shavingsWhat Do You Need To Make Your Own Firelighters?

Really all you need to make firelighters is wood chip/sawdust and an oil, wax or resin. The first is obviously readily available from most gardens – even where there are no trees in a garden, there are often still shrubs that provide such woody material as is required. A wood chipper will make it easier to break down the material, though a simple paring knife is sufficient for a small quantity.

When it comes to the oil, wax or resin which will make the wood chips more flammable and allow you start a fire or barbecue more easily, there are a number of different options. If you have a pine tree in your garden, for example, you could harvest the resin from that. If collecting the resin is not an option for you, then you can simply use wax or even just vegetable oil to hold the wood/ sawdust together into small 'cakes' that can be used to easily start your fire.

How Do You Make the Firelighters?

To make simple firelighters, simply:

  • Create sawdust, wood shavings, wood chips...
  • Collect resin or ready vegetable oil or wax.
  • Heat your oil, fat, wax or resin gently in a pan.
  • Throw in your wood shavings/ sawdust.
  • Combine the materials well, making sure all the woody material is fully coated/ saturated.
  • Spoon the material out of the pan and press into cake/muffin trays or similar moulds.
  • Allow to cool then knock them free and store carefully in a dry place.
  • Use to light a barbecue or fire in your garden.