Back about 1998-1999 there was a web site that showed a short video of the winner of that years’s charcoal grill contest at the annual picnic of some college’s physics department. I am afraid I don’t remember what college; I just happened to find the site while browsing the internet, watched the video half a dozen times, and then moved on.
It seems that a few years earlier at the picnic a couple of the physicists got into a discussion about who could, from a cold start, have a charcoal grill lit and fully ready to cook the food. I believe a few beers were involved as well. They held a competition, and the debate was settled for the year.
The loser was not happy about the results of the first contest, and the following year arrived at the annual picnic prepared for a rematch. He did win the competition, using some relatively exotic equipment and materials.
Well, things just sort of escalated from there, and some of the other scientists and graduate students also entered the fray so that for a few years there were several entrants to this contest.
The web site had this video that lasted all of 10 seconds, and showed the entire cycle from initial ignition to fully involved charcoal and beyond of the winning entry for that last year. As I remember it, the winner’s equipment and materials included a standard, very inexpensive, stamped steel and wire charcoal grill, some ordinary charcoal briquets, some copper tubing, a valve, some magnesium shavings, a tank of liquid oxygen, and a remote electrical ignition system. My general impression was that not only was the charcoal burning well at the finish, so was the grill.