If you are accustomed to grilling more than 2 times a week, you will know that lighting up the charcoal can become a real chore really quickly.
Fiddling around with charcoal starters or lighter cubes and chimneys can not only be annoying but also be really really time-consuming.
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With that in mind, I have been on the lookout for an alternative lighting method that can cut this hassle out for a more enjoyable barbequing experience.
That is when I found these two competing products. So Looftlighter Vs Eggniter, which one is right for you?
Let’s take a look:
Looftlighter Vs Eggniter – Which Suits You Best?
At the heart of it, these two products from two competing brands run on the same working principle and employ the same basic design.
Quick Comparison Chart –
|Manufacturer||Looft Industries||BIG GREEN EGG|
|Material||Aluminum, Metal||Steel and plastic|
|Item Weight||2 Pounds||2.27 Pounds|
|The Hallmarks||Lights all fuels, Versatility, Quick cooling system, 1200°F in 60 sec & Easy to use||Quality material, Custom design, Superior Performance, Switch automatically & Giftable|
|Price||Check on Amazon||Check on Amazon|
Blow hot air into charcoal until they are lit. So no matter which brand you choose you are going to get a similar experience in terms of coal lighting time.
Regardless, it is still important to know the subtle differences that you will not really notice on the spec sheet or marketing materials. These differences will dictate your entire adventure with each of these products.
The Looftlighter for starters is a heat gun on steroids. It has only one option and one button that either turns the device on or off.
You just need to stick the head of the device onto the charcoal at an angle and press the switch. Within 60 seconds the Looftlighter will reach temperatures of up to 1200 degrees F and light a small portion of your charcoal.
You then need to move the head away just a couple of inches while pressing the button so that the fire can spread a little bit.
Finally, you cover the lit part with the rest of the charcoal until you have a bed ready to cook on.
This process on the Looftlighter is made simpler with its 9.8 feet long cord. This cord is long enough to reach the power sockets even quite a bit far from your grilling location. No extension cords are needed.
Looking at the Eggniter, you might think this is just another Looftlighter that has been repainted to match the Big Green Egg aesthetic. You could not be more wrong. What really sets the Eggniter apart is the fan mode.
While the Looftlighter works only on or off, the Eggniter in the middle has a fan mode. The method to start the fire will start the same.
But as soon as you get the small lit part on the bed, you can adjust the Eggniter to the fan settings and move the head away from the coals and blow fresh air.
This will make the fire spread more naturally with your hands being a good distance away. However, the Eggniter’s biggest shortcoming is that it only comes with a 6-foot cord.
Meaning you will need to have a power socket within 6 feet of your kamado grill for ease of use.
As a result, which one will suit you best depends entirely on your grilling location and setup. If you have a power socket close enough or do not mind using an extension, the Eggniter with its fan mode and a bit cheaper price is the easy win.
The Looftlighter, on the other hand, is the better choice for those who do not have a power socket 6 feet close and like the silver and black aesthetic of the Looftlighter better.
Now let’s move on to the full reviews of these two products:
Looftlighter X Charcoal Starter In Detail
The original firelighter from the brand Looft created waves in the market when it first came out. To this day, it remains a worthy option for everyone who does not want to deal with charcoal starters and chimneys.
- 9.8 Ft power cord
- Incredibly easy to operate
- Setting stand doubles as a bottle opener
- Aluminum heat shield for better protection
- Can reach 1200 degrees F in just 60 seconds
|Item Weight||2 Pounds|
|Product Size||17 x 4 x 4″|
With its promise to cut down on charcoal fire starting time by up to 75%, the Looftlighet employs an ambitious yet brilliant design. The glorified heat gun does its job comfortably in a small amount of time. The operation is shockingly easy!
Aside from the aluminum heat shield, the setting stand design is pretty revolutionary. It was originally made so that you can set your Looftlighter down on any surface after operations without damaging the surface with its super high heat.
But the creators were smart enough to design this stand in a way that it doubles as a bottle opener. With how common bottle openers are in barbecuing scenes, this move works wonders to cut down clatter.
The handle is where I started to have complaints about this product. It sticks out of the head straight at a 180-degree angle and thus makes holding the lighter a bit uncomfortable. You can get used to it with time but it is still worth mentioning.
- Starting charcoal is very easy and quick
- Stand doubling as a bottle opener is brilliant
- A long cord makes the connection to the wall easy
- The handle design is uncomfortable
- No 220 V option for users outside of North America
- The tip of the product may melt over time with sustained use
Also Read: Eggspander Vs Adjustable Rig – Which Will Work Best For You?
Eggniter Fire Starter In Detail
The barbequing industry giant Big Green Egg, came out with the Eggniter following a similar “heat gun to light coals” method. And while it does make an improvement on Looftlighter in certain aspects, other aspects see a downgrade.
- 6-foot power cord
- 3 power settings (Off/Fan/On)
- The switch automatically resets to OFF
- Angled handle for more comfortable operation
- The aluminum heat shield is painted black for better looks
|Material||Steel and plastic|
|Item Weight||2.27 Pounds|
For any owner of the iconic Big Green Egg, the Eggniter is a perfect match. It brings all the ease and time savings from the Looftlighter while its green and black design looks like a match made in heaven for any BGE.
Remember how I complained about the straight handle on the previous one? Well BGE solves it with this perfectly designed angular handle. This handle design combined with the fan mode makes holding the Eggniter close to the coals a lot (and I mean a lot) easier.
Another carryover from the Looftlighter is the setting stand. It is just as effective here because it also doubles as a bottle opener. Eggniter even undercuts Looft in price by almost 30%. So this seems like an overall better product than the Looftlighter right?
Well, it would be, if not for the shorter cord. I can’t for the life of me understand why BGE chose only a 6-foot cord for a product that obviously benefits from having a larger cord. But that might just be me!
- Matching aesthetics with the BGE grills
- Just as easy and quick as the competition
- Fan mode makes lighting the coals even easier
- The angular handle is a fantastic design choice
- The power cord is a bit too short
- No 220 V option for users outside of North America
- The black paint in the heat shield may chip off with time
Also Read: Egg Genius Vs Flame Boss 400 Vs 500 – Which Is Right For You
What Are The Similarities Between Looftlighter And Eggniter?
As you might understand by now, these two products are such close competitors only because they have so many similarities. But if you really want to know the exact similarities explicitly, this section is for you.
Below are the factors where the Looftlighter and Eggniter share most of their similarities:
Both of these products use the same exact methodology to light charcoal. They both use a power cord to blow incredibly hot air at the coals. Meaning they just turn the electric energy from the wall into heat energy. This heat is then transferred to coals.
And coals being coals, under the sustained heat energy, they light up. Both of the products do this without lighting up any flames themselves.
Neither uses any kind of flammable gas or chemical. It’s all just electricity turning into heat with air as its vessel.
While both have a slight difference in terms of using method, they take approximately the same time to light charcoal up. That time is around 1 to 2 mins from pressing the button to seeing ignition on the coals.
Nevertheless, to build a proper fire, you will need around 5 minutes of active effort. That is cut down from the traditional 20-25 minutes it takes using a chimney starter or starter cubes.
A product that is meant to be used for at least a few years should always be built with materials that can withstand the test of time. Fortunately, both of these lighters are made with the same durable plastic and aluminum.
They are both equally sturdy and durable in the long run. Neither will give up on you after just a few months of use (if you do not receive a faulty unit that is).
Region of Use
As you know, different regions of the world use different voltages on their mains. These two products only work on 120V mains that are used mostly around North America.
So American and Canadian users might be fine but if you are a resident of the rest of the world where 220V is more common, you might want to look elsewhere as none of these products have a 220V version.
Oh, and you should under no circumstances connect a 120V appliance to 220V mains. This will definitely damage the appliance and if you are unlucky, it may even set off a fire.
Also Read: Best Rotisserie For Big Green Egg (Top 4 Picks)
What Are The Differences Between Looftlighter And Eggniter?
Aside from the basic principle, a lot sets these two products apart too. If not for those, this would not be much of a comparison, would it?
The Looftlighter goes for a sleeker look and thus employs a handle that sticks straight out of the aluminum shaft. While the Eggniter tries something a bit different with its angular handle design.
In my experience, the angular handle is definitely superior as with sustained use you may even develop a cramp in your wrist with the 180-degree handle of the Looftlighter.
We really do not pay much attention to the power cord lengths on our electrical appliances and that is really fine for all regular things.
However, when it comes to something that you are primarily going to use outdoors, cord length matters.
Not everyone has power sockets lying around their backyard, and Looftlighter thinks of that because they include a 9.8 feet long cable. Which will be adequate for almost all users.
Meanwhile, the Eggniter only comes with a 6 feet cable and it is the biggest imperfection on this otherwise perfect product.
The fan mode is basically a mode that blows air without the heating element. Lit charcoal thrives off the oxygen in the air and the Eggniter smartly utilizes this by including a fan mode. Excluded from the Looftlighter, this fan mode is there to blow on the lit coals so that the fire may spread faster.
The Looftlighter and Eggniter can both be often found on sales and discounts but those are subject to availability. Under regular conditions, the Eggniter is around 30% cheaper than the Looftlighter.
Now everyone perceives price differently so I can’t really say much about that but if you want the cheaper product, Eggniter is the way to go.
YouTube: Big Green Egg Charcoal Storage 101 You Must Know
Big Green Egg Eggniter Problems
Now let’s suppose you are considering a Big Green Egg Eggniter, there are a few common issues that have plagued users that you should know about.
These issues are not widespread enough to avoid this product completely, but it is still a good idea to stay on top.
With the blower working in full force, it does take around 2 minutes to get the coal lit. But some users have reported that their Eggniter shuts off after around 30 seconds of operation.
This has only plagued a small number of users but if you do face this issue, contact BGE to get a warranty replacement.
No warranty through Amazon
Another issue that users had to find out the hard way. If you buy the Eggniter through Amazon, you will probably not get the full warranty.
BGE only honors warranty when the product is brought through their authorized resellers and Amazon, as a third-party seller, does not fall under that category.
Aluminum Shaft Discoloration or Melting
The aluminum heat shield comes with a black finish on the Eggniter and this black finish is not very heat resistant. After a few months of use, the top part will possibly discolor and turn into silver.
Another issue is when you stick the shaft into lit coal and do not move it away fast enough, the tip of the aluminum shaft might melt. So be careful about how close you are holding the thing after the coals are already lit.
Neither of these issues changes anything functionally though and you can keep on using the Eggniter with a slightly discolored or melted head shield so they are not huge problems.
Looftlighter Charcoal Starter Problems
Much like the Eggniter, the Looflighter also has a few problems. Albeit they are a lot rarer than the Eggniter issues.
Aluminum Shaft Melting
As the Looftlighter has a silver shaft without any touch of paint, it will not face the same discoloration issue, however, aluminum is the same on both so if you are not careful, the tip may melt on the Looftlighter too.
This is potentially more probable here because there is no fan setting and you have to hold the lighter closer to the coals.
After a couple of years of use, a lot of users reported that the coil that blows air has died. If this happens under warranty (2 or 3 years) you can easily get a replacement unit.
How Does the Eggniter Work?
The Eggniter works by converting electrical energy into heat energy. It will take electricity from your mains and use that electricity to power a coil and a motor. The motor will bring in air from the surrounding and the coil will heat that air up high enough to light coals.
Now once you point that heat toward a bed of coals, it will work pretty much like fire (even though there is none). Charcoal is mostly made of carbon and they are filled with chemical energy.
The fire or in this case hot air surrounding a piece of coal will transfer their heat energy into the charcoal. The charcoal will then use that heat energy to ignite.
That is the basic principle of how the Eggniter Works.
How Does the Looftlighter Work?
The Looftlighter works in the exact same way as the Eggniter, turning electric energy into heat energy and using that heat energy to light up the charcoal.
If you want to know more details, read “How Does the Eggniter Work?” part of this article.
If fast charcoal lighting is what you need, these two products both excel at that. After all, who wants to wait around for their grill to kick up? Either of these products offers fantastic value for money and is sure to satisfy your fast lighting needs!