Getting it started right
There are many ways of starting and maintaining a fire. And finding your personal preference is key. The way described below, is our favourite. The key to a good, hot burn is to get the entire unit hot, as radiated heat from the steel itself is a major contributor to overall heat output. And of course, always start with a clean combustion chamber, and use only top-quality wood.
In the step by step below, we recommend Ash. Ash burns very well in an outdoor burner. It gives off little smoke, as it contains little resin. And it burns slowly and with a good flame. Less than 20% moisture content is also a requirement. All fires will give off some smoke at start-up. As a by-product of the burn getting up to temperature.
But, if the fire is built with airflow in mind, and quality, dry timber is used, then quickly the fire will be up to temperature and the smoke will reduce.
Start with a good solid base. Build your fire upwards, with airflow in mind. Cross-hatching the wood and kindling works really well. Remember airflow, airflow, airflow between the timbers. A reduction in airflow will create smoke.
Start with a good solid base. Build your fire upwards, with airflow in mind. Cross-hatching the wood and kindling works really well. Remember Airflow, Airflow Airflow between the timbers. A reduction in airflow will create smoke.
- 4 layers crosshatched, with kindling in the third layer.
- Put your chosen lighting source in at the bottom.
- Space all out. Encourage airflow.
- Light your ignition source.
- Make sure the door is open, for maximum airflow to the fire.
- Make sure the fire choke, on the flue is open fully.
- This will mean that the fire has everything it needs to take hold.
- When the fire has burned down to approx. 50% of height, it’s ready for more fuel.
- Add more wood, in the same crosshatch pattern. Close the door. A little smoke is to be expected, as the new timber takes hold and burns off any excess water.
- Close the choke by 75% when smoke stops. This will divert more heat through the glass.
What is the choke?
This is the choke.
It’s located on the flue.
This is the choke shown in its fully opened position. To close, turn through 90 degrees to the left.
To stop the fire, ensure the door is closed, and fully close the choke. This will let the fire burn down naturally. Never use water!
How to keep it burning?
We are aiming for a bed of coals. And to keep adding timber to these coals, so that the fire burns downwards. The door can be closed, or put on its 1st latch setting. And keep the flue choked down to 75% closed. This will maintain a constant burn.
If excess smoke is generated when new timber is added, open the choke fully. This will generate extra airflow, that strengthens the fire and helps clear excess start-up smoke off the new timber.
Enjoy your fire! It’s a great social event. Or just as good, to sit by and have a period of quiet reflection. And remember, timber fuelled fires are efficient, and eco-friendly.