Match light charcoal review

Are these briquettes 'easy lighting' and 'ready to cook in about 10 minutes'?

Consumer Reports magazine: June 2012

The claim. “Easy lighting,” says the manufacturer of Kingsford Match Light Instant Charcoal Briquets, which are sold already infused with lighter fluid. “Ready to cook in about 10 minutes.” But Match Light’s website has plenty of gripes from users for whom the claims proved wrong. Among the kinder complaints: “ruined my dinner” and “did not light!!”

The check. We followed the bag’s instructions: Stack briquettes, light with match, spread briquettes, and cook. We also lit standard charcoal briquettes after squirting them with lighter fluid.

Bottom line. We saw the light, using three matches to start the coals at three different points. Although we tested outside in cold weather, the coals were almost ready to cook in 10 minutes. (So were the other coals we squirted with lighter fluid.) So why the complaints? Could be because some people don’t follow the bag’s fourth instruction: Close tightly after use. When we warmed some briquettes, letting their lighter fluid evaporate, they no longer lit with just a match. It would be helpful if the product bore a use-by date, letting buyers know how long coals stay effective in an opened bag.

Editor's Note:

A version of this article appeared in the June 2012 issue of Consumer Reports magazine with the headline "Putting Match Light Charcoal to the Test."

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