Greatest Blaze Tip Corner: Starting a fire
Now that winter has set in and our core temps are all down a little, hopefully folks are enjoying time by a warm blaze with family and friends. Who wouldn’t want to be relaxing around a roaring fire in the company of good people? Here at the Greatest Blaze we take every opportunity to do just that and consider it time well spent.
Some out there struggle to get their blaze going and everyone has a method. There are a few key ingredients to any well made fire. We thought it may be helpful if we went through step-by-step the best way to build a fire in a fireplace. We believe there are 4 essential things you need before you get started.
- Some sort of fire starter. Fatwood works great. Some people use those candles with sawdust in them. There are any number of choices out there on the market. Even just plain newspaper will work here. We prefer Fatwood for obvious reasons.
- Some kindling wood. Kindling wood = smaller, spindly pieces of wood. No thicker than half the circumference of your wrist. Greatest Blaze & Co. Nuggets work great here too.
- Seasoned or even better kiln dried firewood. Wet or green wood smokes and hisses and is very difficult to start.
- A decent grate to help keep your fire off the bottom of your fireplace, allowing for airflow and keeping your fire burning warm and bright. We recommend having your grate no higher than 3″ off the bottom unless you have a very large fireplace.
Open the chimney flue. It’s the first mistake a lot of people make. The last thing you want is for the room to fill up with smoke. It’s best if you start with a clean fireplace. Little to no ashes under your grate always works best. We like using a combination of a small amount of newspaper (1-2 sheets) and Fatwood (2-3 sticks tops). Crumple up the newspaper and place it in the middle of your grate. Place no more than 2-3 sticks of Fatwood on top. If you don’t have Fatwood use a little more newspaper and the smallest/thinnest pieces of kindling you can find.
Place a few pieces of smaller sized kindling on top of the Fatwood so when you light the newspaper the flame catches on to the kindling. Don’t light it yet. On top of the smallest pieces of kindling carefully place 1-2 bigger kindling pieces (this is where our kiln dried Nuggets work great). OK now you can light the newspaper.
Keep a supply of more kindling near and as your small flame grows add a piece at a time….going up in size each time. As the flame spreads make sure you are not overloading or snuffing out your fire before it has a chance to get going. A half a dozen or more pieces of good dry kindling should do the trick.
Now that you’ve got a decent flame starting to spread and the kindling has caught, carefully start adding your firewood. Add one piece about every 30 seconds, again starting with smaller pieces if you can. Once you have a few good size pieces of seasoned firewood added you should have a good blaze started.