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With the brief spell of good weather that we had recently, on our way home from a shopping trip, we decided to have a BBQ when we got home, and then remembered that we were a bit low on BBQ charcoals. So stopping at a garden centre on the way home, the only charcoals that we could find were these Big K Instant Lighting Charcoals for £4.50 a bag, and I purchased 2 x 2kg bags.
When I got the bags home, I sort of assumed that they would just be a bag full of loose BBQ charcoals that you just put on the BBQ. But when I opened one bag up it contained 2 brown paper packets of charcoals inside. I was just on the verge of ripping open one of the packets in order to dump the charcoals out on to the BBQ when my wife noticed mention on the packet about putting the whole packet as is on the BBQ (perhaps I should have read the instructions beforehand!!). It seems that you just needed to place a packet of these charcoals in your BBQ and light it rather than opening it up and dumping the coals out. Each packet contained 1kg of lumpwood charcoal, where the brown paper of the packet had been impregnated with a sort of lighter fluid/aid. So apparently no need for any fire lighters etc to get the BBQ going.
Admittedly, I was a little sceptical at first as to how this would all work, but I placed the packet in my BBQ, lit 2 corners of the packet and let it burn. The instructions state that the charcoals should be hot enough to cook with in about 15 minutes. So ideally, from previous experience, what I need to look for are grey charcoals with no flames to ensure that they were hot enough and ready to cook with.
As the packet started to burn away, there was a fair amount of smoke, similar to that that you would normally get from using a fire lighter. But as the packet burns away, the level of smoke actually subsides to leave you with a layer of burning charcoals in your BBQ. And sure enough, after about 15 minutes, these were the charcoals going grey with no flames, clearly showing that the BBQ was now hot enough to cook with. So the instructions were fairly accurate in terms of timing. Of note and to be fair, there are very comprehensive instructions on the bag to ensure that you do everything correctly if you follow them. So if you are a total novice to BBQ'ing, just follow the instructions and you can't go wrong.
In terms of the quantity of charcoals provided, I actually found that one 1kg packet did provide enough charcoals to cook a BBQ for a family of 4 with ease. They provided plenty of heat and lasted well, but I imagine if you were cooking for a party of people, 2 packets of charcoals should suffice.
In summary, I suppose I sort of bought these by mistake, not realising exactly what they were. But they are so 'idiot proof' to use, that you would be hard pushed to fail to get your BBQ lit. They are easy lit and burn well, and initially coming in a brown paper packet, there is no mess when you are initially getting your BBQ set up. All you need is a match to get them going. So a 5 star recommendation overall for these Big K Instant Lighting Charcoals.
Review also on Ciao under Randal1.
We were lucky enough to get a nice dry day last week and as I have a large garden out the back of my house I thought I'd have a bbq and invite friends and neighbours round, before the weather changed again to it's usual dull grey or rainy days.
I popped to the garage and bought two packs of these Big k barbaque lighting charcoal as I have bought them before and they are really easy to use as I'm not very good at lighting barbeques with the charcoal and these have everything you need to get your barbeque going nice and hot ready for the cooking.
The bags cost £3.99 at my local Savers garage and I buy two at a time as I have a large barberque which is for great for cooking lots of food for family and friends.
The bags are clean to use with no mess, you just light the bag and leave it to ignite the charcoal as it is impregnated with lighting fue., so once you have lit the bag just stand back and let it smoke like mad and leave it until the smoke has gone away and the charcoal is glowing, there is no need to fan it or poke it just light and leave until it's ready to cook with.
I have to admit that sometimes there is lots of smoke with these but I usually light it then go inside until the smoke has gone away which takes around ten to fifteen minutes, don't try and cook before this time or your food will taste of smoke.
These are not for children to use so make sure an adult lights this and stand well back do not put your hands near the bag when it's lit as lots of times the charcoal looks cold but isn't and can burn.
Don't leave these outside incase it rains either as it will make the bags soggy and they won't light but the bags will tear and the charcoal will spill out and then you can only use it once your barberque is lit with another bag.
All in all these save the hassle of having to build a barberque fire and they are quick lighting which is great for if friends are arriving as you can light just before they are due and cook once they arrive, there is no mess and the charcaol burns away to a light dust which can be binned once it has gone cool .
They are affordable and can be stored in a dry cool place for when you need them, I have bought four at a time from online and from the garage when they are on offer and used them the year after if the weather hasn't been great as they keep well in my garage.
Hope we get some more nice weather then I can have another barberque.
Now that the weather has become a lot warmer and its starting to actually feel like Summer I've been planning my next barbecue and weather-permitting hope to be able to put one on at the weekend. I'm a relative newcomer to the world of barbecueing having attended plenty in the past but have only recently become the owner of one and whilst my Kettle Drum barbecue is basic in design the few times I have used it has resulted in some delicious food being produced and I can't wait for my next al-fresco cooking session.
My barbecue isn't a fancy, overly-fangled top of the range gas affair so I have to buy charcoal to add to its drum in order to create enough heat to cook my food and having absolutely no idea of what I was actually looking for when I was buying bits and bobs for my first barbecue I put myself in the capable hands of a Morrisons employee who recommended the subject of this review, the Big K Instant Lighting Charcoal.
I've used Big K each time I've put on a barbecue and thankfully it hasn't let me down, sold in packs of either 2 or 4 they essentially are paper-bagged packets of charcoal which when lit burn down to leave a surface of hot charcoal and ash that generate heat. I bought the 2 pack as my first purchase just to try them out and to see what I thought and paid just under £5.00 for the bag containing 2 x 1kg inner packets. The idea behind these is that each of the bags contain charcoal which has been impregnated with a flammable substance, the corners of the bag when set on fire burn through to the inner charcoal and as the bag burns up it leaves its contents in the drum of your barbecue.
It takes around 15 minutes for the charcoal and ash to heat to a level where food can be safely cooked through and for me means that I don't have to mess around using charcoal briquettes and fuel, you can add additional briquettes or charcoal if you so choose but a single kilogram bag was plenty for me when I cooked for four of us and all in all I found this to be a reliable, convenient and mess-free way of getting charcoal into my barbecue and getting it hot enough to cook food on. The charcoal bricks themselves are of different size, some small and some large and once spread around the interior of my drum they burned easily without the need of additional help, they generate plenty of heat and once cooled down are easy enough to dispose of, it is a messy job cleaning out a barbecue but that comes with the territory of owing one anyway and isn't anything to complain about.
The inner bags are made from thin brown paper and are stitched along the tops to stop any of the contents from falling out. They're not the strongest bags in the world and I certainly wouldn't recommend them being left outside as I imagine they would disintegrate within no time and I tend to keep my spare bags in their original outer packaging. There are clear and easy to read instructions printed on the outer bag and I followed them without any problems, the charcoal bags themselves catch fire easily and, more importantly, stayed lit and the brown paper burned away easily with only a few remnants remaining in my barbecues drum.
There are clear warnings printed on the packaging which are important to follow but really come down to common sense anyway. For a barbecueing novice such as myself these saved me a lot of hassle and whilst they are probably slighly expensive when compared to buying charcoal bricks and flammable liquid individually the fact that they were convenient and provided me with exactly what I wanted means that I'm happy to continue buying them in the future. Because the weather is so tempremental and can't be predicted I prefer the handiness of these for the times when I want to throw an impromptu barbecue and don't have to go rushing out buying things seperately and when they're not in use they're easy to store away with no fuss or chance of causing any mess.
I got exactly what I wanted when I bought these and am happy to recommend them to other people. They made my first-ever barbecue a success and I have continued to use them and will buy them again in the future, five stars as a rating from me, there's no reason to deduct any stars from my score and overall Big K's Instant Lighting Charcoal gets the thumbs up from me. Thanks for reading my review.
Please note that this also appears on ciao under my username.