How to light a fire pit without the smoke
The scene is set. Your beautiful fire pit is ready for its date night with the log fire. It can barely wait. And nor can you. It sits there, adorning your patio, as you eagerly prepare to impress your guests with an evening of chatter and some long overdue memory making around the fire.
You grab some logs, you strike the match, and in a few moments, it will roar! Surely it will! Of course it will! Not much is happening though. Perhaps it just needs wafting a little! Oh, there’s a flame! Phew! The evening is saved!
But hang on a minute. What’s with all the smoke? That wasn’t part of the plan! Why is it happening? Sure, everyone still looks as though they’re having a great night. That’s because they love you! Let’s hope they don’t notice the smoke and just hope that the wind-milling gestures they’re making around their faces just exist at a subconscious level.
Ok. We need to level with you. Please don’t kid yourself on this one. Letting your guests go home smelling like they’ve just stepped out of an early 90s discotheque wasn’t quite the take away from the evening you’d imagined.
Come here, frustrated fire pit owner! Let us show you the way. Just follow these six simple steps to lighting a fire pit without the smoke:
1) Always work with Ready To Burn certified kiln dried logs
Just when you thought logs were logs, they’re not! When you try to burn logs that aren’t dry enough you’re effectively trying to burn water. And what happens when you try to burn water? You get smoke. And quite a lot of it too.
To minimise excess smoke omitting from your fire pit all you need to do is buy logs that are kiln dried to a moisture content below 20%. Buying logs from Ready To Burn certified suppliers is definitely your best bet for wood burning success because suppliers have committed to ensuring the wood they supply is just that – ready to burn and ready for immediate use.
Air quality and wood fuel have become a hot topic in recent years, and the Ready To Burn scheme was launched to professionalise the firewood supply industry and to help people burn logs that are cleaner, more efficient, and considerably kinder to the environment. We’ve witnessed many wood suppliers claiming their wood is kiln dried, when in actual fact, it’s a long way from being anywhere close!
2) Ditch any old damp ash and embers
There’s little point in using the best kiln dried logs when the foundations are old and damp. It’s best just to empty out all the old ash debris and light your fire pit from scratch so you can see the bottom of the bowl when you start.
3) Use kindling to light your fire
You’ll find it’s pretty difficult to get kiln dried logs to combust when trying to light a fire from scratch. In fact, it’s a bit light trying to hold a lighter underneath a brick and expecting it to light! The trick is to build your fire slowly.
Grab a handful of kindling, place it inside your fire pit so it looks like a little nest. Then, pop a couple of natural firelighters in between and set them alight. It’ll only take a minute or two for your nest of kindling to take flame.
4) Use kiln dried softwood logs to build your fire up
Once there’s enough energy in your nest of kindling add a kiln dried softwood log to make your fire even bigger. If you haven’t got any softwood logs you can just throw on some more kindling. Most kindling is made from softwood anyway!
Yes, you can start to get excited now!
5) Use kiln dried hardwood logs to sustain the burn
Whilst kindling and kiln dried softwood logs do a great job at starting and building fires, they’re not the best performers when it comes to keeping a fire going. They burn away very quickly, so to sustain the burn, add 1-2 kiln dried hardwood logs to your fire.
Hardwood logs are much denser than softwood logs, which is why your fire needs to be roaring away to allow hardwood logs to combust.
6) Have a little…patience
When it comes to getting any log fire going and keeping it going – patience really is a virtue. If you try to build a fire up too quickly it is likely to smoulder because it has become overloaded with wood fuel abd there’s not enough energy in the fire to allow the logs to successfully combust. Take your time! We know you’re an eager beaver, but remember that lighting a fire pit, or any log fire, should never be a race.
Buy logs for my fire pit
Our kiln dried firewood starter pack is a great place to start your smokeless fire pit journey. It contains everything you need to get your fire pit party started – minus the smoke!
Share your fire pit adventures with us on our socials!
We’d love to see how you’re putting these fire pit tips into practice. Or just to see how much fun you’re having around the fire pit with our kiln dried logs! Just share your pictures with us via our social media channels. Sharing is caring!