I've become a proponent to cooking outside. It is cooler, the kitchen does not get messy and people congregate. There are outdoor gas burners, but charcoal is the standard way to do it at home. Charcoal is used to grill, deep fry, saute and simmer.
It was a big deal to me when I figured how to light the hardened charcoal without smoking out the entire neighborhood. First get some dried out coconut husks, pulled apart into a nest. The husks act as a starter.
Ahn, the girl that lives next to us said that back in her town in the Northeast, they use plastic bags or even a used tire to start the charcoal. There is plenty of coconut husks, so that's what I've been using. Maybe I'll use plastic bags when I get back to coconut-less Seattle to recreate that authentic flavor.
Then top with a dozen chunks of charcoal.
Light some newspaper and shove it in the hole under the charcoal/coconut husk mound.
The husks will catch quickly and start the charcoal.
As soon as the husks are burning, get a fan and briskly fan the flames until the charcoal lights up.
Let the charcoal burn a bit and...
cook with some nice even and smoky heat.