Ok, so maybe that just doesn’t make you jump to your feet and run to do this – but hold on for a minute! What if I told you that you could make these with stuff you throw away in your trash? I know you are thinking “come on….trash??”
A couple of years ago, we started making our own fire starters. First, we were running out of them; and, second, we hated paying the high prices for the chemical ones.
We bought the electric heating element fire starter for our Big Green Egg, but since we grill in all kinds of weather, we decided that running the electrical cord in the snow and rain might not be the smartest thing we would ever do. I don’t know about you, but a little bit of bad weather wasn’t going to slow down our grilling!
Ok, now that I convinced you to make your own (which only takes about 15 minutes by the way!!!), what are the next steps?
How do you make homemade fire starters?
Start by saving your dryer lint. No joke.
Gather a couple of the cardboard egg cartons that you were going to toss in the trash. If you normally buy the styrofoam cartons, just switch it for cardboard for a few weeks. We buy the eggs in the cardboard containers, so it’s just trash/recycling to us.
The only thing we had to buy was unscented wax. Here is the link to the one I bought, but you do not need 10lbs!!! I also use this wax to make batik fabric, so I just use the leftovers for the firestarters.
I had an old, beat-up pan that I dedicated to my wax melting. Do not spend much money on this. My local thrift store sells used pans for a dollar or two. It is a lot easier to use a dedicated pan that trying to clean the wax out of your nice kitchen ones.
Prepare the Homemade Fire Starters
Place the cardboard egg cartons on a foil (or Wax paper) covered cookie sheet. The foil is going to catch any excess wax that will spread from the bottom of the egg carton. Trust me, it is much easier to throw away a piece of foil than it is to clean up melted wax on your wife’s cookie sheets (don’t ask me how I know that!)
Place a little ball of dryer lint inside each egg container.
Melt 1-1 ½ cups of wax in the pan with the stove top burner turned to low. Slowly melt the wax and carefully pour it into the egg carton. You’ll want to cover the dryer lint, but you do not need to fill up the egg carton. A little will go a long ways!
Remember, the wax is pretty warm and will seep through the cardboard a bit. The foil will protect the cookie sheet. No worries. It hardens within a couple minutes.
Once the wax completely hardens, cut the cardboard egg carton apart and store them in a gallon-sized ziplock bag. We use these for grilling and we bring a few for camping as well.
Super easy. Super fun. And super useful.
Homemade Fire Starters
- Cardboard egg carton
- Dryer lint
- Place balls of lint the size of a golf ball in each egg section of the egg carton. Place egg carton on an old cookie sheet or something you don't care about if it gets wax on it.
- Melt wax over low heat in an old pot.
- Pour wax over egg carton being careful to not overflow.
- Allow the wax to harden at room temperature and cut apart.