I must say friends up here in the north country use everything from mice to paper bags full of crushed charcoal etc etc. I heard horror stories on trying to get coal lit, but I'm finding it really easy and have allot of practice. I'm using a quart tin can with both ends cut off, with a vee cut on the bottom to light it. Newspaper on bottom , handfull of wood pellets, and a handfull of rice coal on top. I set it on the stoker, with fan and stoker running start the newspaper with a lp torch and 2 minutes later pull the can out and add more rice on top. Found it youtube, seems to work great. Of course the tin can works for maybe two lights and its hosed!!!!!!
So what is a better way? I figure 2 to 2 1/2 minutes for rice is pretty fast, but this is my first year ever heating with coal so any better ideas would be appreciated. Though with the warm days and cool nights I'm getting allot of practice, that and a teenage daughter and her 1/2 hr showers i am loving this coal boiler! Did I say LOVE it. well i do