"Light the Bag" is for the barbecue, but it isn't charcoal - it's 100 percent mesquite and hickory wood chunks broken into 1 to 3-inch chunks with a light coating of paraffin wax. You simply place the bag on the grill, light the corners with a match (no lighter fluid needed) and wait for glowing hot coals. The Flame Flavor folks say this barbecue product can be used in a gas grill with only 2 percent light ash vs. 23 percent heavy waste from "chemically laced cooking fuels." The 3.5-pound bag retails for $2.29 and can be purchased at Ream's, Kathy's Natural Foods, Good Earth Natural Foods, several IGA stores and Macey's.
Don Russell (married, five children at home, ages 14-4): "Using a prepackaged bag of little hickory chunks coated with a thin layer of paraffin was a new and unique barbecue experience. This is an awfully convenient item but just isn't one we'll probably buy again. It's rather expensive and yielded us a taste that seemed only a notch above the `ho-hum' level. Light the Bag is a viable and welcome alternative to charcoal but doesn't seem to be a product destined to revolutionize backyard barbecuing."Edyth Jensen (married, three children and two grandchildren at home): "The only things that impressed us about this product are the amount of heat it provided and the smell of the burning wood. It reminded me of the mountains and an early morning campfire. If we use this again that is what we will do with it - take it for campfires."
Nihla Lake (married, four children at home): "We tried the mesquite wood chunks and all the neighbors knew it. If not enough air is allowed to circulate underneath the sack, you can put up a great smoke screen for a while. Once we got it under control and could see again, we tossed on some spareribs. They came out very tasty - if you like mesquite, which most of our family didn't. Even though these are convenient, we probably won't buy them again."
Linda C. Tingey (single mother, four teenage boys at home): "Our barbecue was rained out!"
Rich Firmage (married, three children, oldest 8 years old): "I love to barbecue and do it year 'round rain or shine. I used to only use brickettes but have been converted to a gas grill. In the directions that we received, it said that you could use these with a gas grill. It didn't say how, so I just put some of the chunks under the grill part on top of the lava rocks. After about 10 to 15 minutes, my whole back yard and most of the neighbors' were filled with smoke. The wood just smoldered and smoked. After 20 minutes I gave up, took the wood chunks off, poured water over them and cooked my dinner as usual. I probably didn't do it right, but I didn't know what else to do. I might try these again if someone tells me how to make them work on my gas grill."
Bill Allred (single): "So what's up with this weather we're having in Utah? I couldn't wait to try this new mesquite wood `light the bag' stuff on Sunday. I lit the four corners of the bag and then the rain started. We had to cook the ribs in the oven. I've got a mound of wet mesquite wood out on the grill just waiting for the sun. I'll have to read the other reviews to see how this stuff works. I like the idea."
Conclusion: Who would have thought the whole July 24th weekend would be rained out? We like the idea of chemical-free wood for the barbecue. We still need to get the hang of making fires without a quart of lighter fluid, and Flame Flavor needs to give us better directions for use on a gas grill. Is it worth it? We're not sure.