• July 21, 2024

How to start a log burner fire that’s long lasting, according to wood stove expert

With winter just beginning and the nights drawing in early, what better way to spend chilly evenings than being nestled up next to your wood-burning stove?

For those who are already the proud owner of one of these contraptions, or are considering making a purchase, they will not be disappointed as a wood burner is a superb addition for heating the home and acts as an impressive focal point.

Aside from cleaning log burner glass, the most tricky part of owning a log-burning stove is starting the fire and keeping it going.

There’s nothing more annoying than looking forward to a nice cosy fire, only for it to quickly burn and fizzle out after lighting it. 

If you’re wondering how to start one and make it “long-lasting”, Five Ways Fires have shared their top tips.

Before you can even think about building the fire, there are a selection of things that are needed to set up a “roaring fire”.

  • Dry wood
  • Newspaper
  • Kindling or fire starters
  • Matches or a lighter
  • Fire poker
  • Fire guard

How to build a log burner fire

There are a variety of methods when arranging logs, but the experts have shared their “two best methods”.

1. Tee-pee method

Place newspaper under the grate and arrange your kindling in a criss-cross formation.

Light the paper in a couple of places, making sure it all catches alight. Keep the flames going until the kindling catches fire – you may have to replenish with new pieces of newspaper.

Next, add the logs. The pros claimed that a non-resinous, hardwood “will give you the best results”. These hardwoods “burn for longer and release lower amounts of smoke”. 

Place the dry pieces of wood on top of the kindling in a tee-pee formation, so that air can travel in between the pieces. If the logs are still slightly damp when being burned, it can create a “myriad of problems”. 

The experts warned: “They can take longer to catch fire, produce much more smoke, release less heat, and create an unpleasant smell.”

A fire poker may have to be used to get the logs into a position which exposes them to enough fire to catch alight. After, keep topping up your firewood to “make sure the fire burns and your flames thrive”.

2. The upside-down method

For this method, start by stacking the larger logs on the bottom of the grate and add the smaller logs on top. Place a layer of kindling on top of the smaller logs, typically smaller sticks or twigs.

Scrunch up some old newspaper or paper, but make sure it’s dry and shredded for “maximum effect”.

Once the stack has been built, it’s time to light it. Light it from the top and within 15 to 20 minutes, the experts guarantee that “you will have a roaring fire”. 

They explained: “An upside-down fire works by preventing the fire that you started with kindling from passing through colder logs, which will lead to smoke. 

“This will give you a cleaner-burning fire. You can sit back and enjoy the flames without being smoked out or having to do too much to keep it going! Just add occasional logs as you need to.”

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