Start Your Fire with FireStarters!

One of the benefits of outdoor writing is you receive a lot of free products to test. I developed a policy 30 years ago that has worked well over the years. If I like the product I write about it. If I don’t like the product I don’t write about it.

Sitting here this afternoon enjoying a roaring fire in our Vermont Castings wood stove, I want to tell you how I started the fire.

I used no paper and very little kindling. After tossing in several sizeable logs on top of a couple pieces of kindling (hardwood pieces gathered from a local sawmill), I slipped two small packets of the product called FireStarters under the kindling, and lit them up.

They roared to life and continued burning for a long time, fully igniting my wood and getting a great fire going. Each FireStarter packet – the size of a matchbook – burns at 1500 degrees for about 10 minutes.

Grate Chef produces FireStarters, and sent me three packages to try. Each package contains 6 FireStarter packets. I have started fires with a single packet, but two get things going even faster.

This product is designed to work in charcoal grills, fireplaces, pellet stoves, and campfires, lights even when wet, is odorless, tasteless and environmentally safe, according to the information on the packet.

You just place one or two packets underneath your logs or charcoal and light one corner of the packet. For outdoor use, I think the waterproof feature would be especially good. And I especially like the fact that by using fire starters in your grill you do not have to use lighter fluid.

I’m going to get more of these, to use in my grill this summer.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.