ABA Product Review Specialist, Michael Rose, road-tests the Flaming Coals Electric Starter Wand


The Looftlighter had a short but extremely memorable life here in Australia. At one point it was the hottest item in town and a must have for any serious Australian BBQ enthusiast. Then it all went downhill very rapidly, was put on sale and photos of Bunnings receipts began to flood everyone’s Facebook feed (again). Shortly after that the Looftlighter would disappear from the Australian market all together leaving those who missed out left to cry into their chimney starters.

But surely it couldn’t all end right there for the Wand style Charcoal starters in Australia, could it?

Luckily for us, the good folk over at BBQ Spit Rotisseries have produced a wand style charcoal starter that leaves the Looftlighter back where it belongs – in 2014!

After much research the team at BBQ Spit Rotisseries came up with a concept that took all the good aspects of the Looftlighter and improved on them and then threw in a few other unique features that will make any Looftlighter owner wish they never did screen-shot that Bunnings receipt.,

The core concept is the same, elements inside the wand are heated and when the fan pushes the air past the elements it gets hot and passes out the front nozzle – A bit like a hair dryer on steroids. The extremely hot air is then able to quickly fire up charcoal, wood, chips or anything else you point it at literally in a matter of minutes.

There are two major differences on the Flaming Coals Electric Starter Wand. The first one is that there is 2 different settings controlled by a switch (not a button, mind you). The first is called the ‘heat’ setting and it will run the fan a little slower but the heat level will be at the wands maximum and you use this setting right at the start to get the fire going. Once the charcoal, chips, wood, etc starts to get going you then switch the wand into ‘Fan’ setting. In this mode the wand will be a little less hot but the fan will be switched to high, pumping the oxygen right into those flames. I was sceptical at first, thinking why not just stick with the hottest setting? But after seeing how the 2 different modes worked together I was sold on the idea and I can now get charcoal going much quicker than I ever could with the Looftlighter.

The second major difference is the nozzle. The Looflighter has a round opening whereas the Flaming Coals wand has a flat, thin, wide opening which condenses the heat output into a ‘beam’. This means the heat isn’t being sprayed out all over the place but instead it concentrates that heat output for maximum effect. There is a side by side comparison of how this works if you want to see for yourself – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g45KtMn3Fiw

Many might argue that a chimney and some fire-starter cubes are more than sufficient but I would suggest that they haven’t considered the other useful things this wand can do. For instance, I use mine to stoke my fire in my offset when needing to give that fire a quick boost or if a log is being stubborn and wont combust. Its also super handy for bullet smokers as you can poke it inside the door and give that charcoal basket a quick blast which is particularly handy when you’ve just added a few more briquettes.

I honestly cannot recommend this wand highly enough. Its pretty much ‘point and click’ and within minutes you’re ready to go and because you’ll never need to buy firestarters again, its really good value for money.

Check out the Flaming Coals Electric Starter Wand at www.bbqspitrotisseries.com.au