If you are having trouble starting your firewood, maybe you need some help from a fire starter log! As I’ve said before, newspaper is messy and a hassle and real natural wood kindling can be hard to come by for us city-folk. So we need fire starter options which are readily available and that work!
For most of us, a fire starter log is the most readily available fire starter since they can be found at most any supermarket or home supply hardware store. If you are still having trouble getting your fire started, make sure you are stacking your firewood appropriately so that there is enough oxygen getting to your fire! If your wood is dry and stacked well, a good fire starter or kindling should get your fire roaring in no time!
What are the pros and cons of a fire starter log?
- Readily available – Starter logs are usually available in markets and anywhere firewood and grilling accessories are sold. They usually come in a bundle of several logs and are made by the same brands that make artificial firewood logs. They are basically just small versions of the artificial firewood logs.
- Easy to use – A heavy-duty match or lighter is all you need to get your fire starter burning. In no time you have a big blaze that will burn for long enough to get your seasoned firewood lit.
- Chemical-based – This is the one downside to a fire starter log. They have chemical binders and fuels to make them easy to light and to keep them burning a long time. This is not a big issue if you are simply lighting a fire in your fireplace for warmth. Just make sure your fireplace damper in the flew is open so that there is ventilation and somewhere for the smoke to escape! If you are cooking food on your firewood, you have to be more careful and make sure not to cook your food while the log is burning. For an alternative with no chemicals added for firewood cooking, try natural pine fatwood.
How to use a fire starter log:
- This is the easy part. Simply set up and stack your wood as you would normally to start a fire. Rather than placing newspaper or other kindling at the bottom, you will place your fire starter log. Ignite one log on both ends with a heavy-duty match or lighter and watch it go!
Note: Most logs come in a box of several that are connected together and must be pulled apart. Don’t accidentally use 10 fire starters at once or you’ll waste your whole box! This picture shows a couple different brands of logs. Also, a smaller match can sometimes have a hard time igniting the log so use a big on and give it a minute or two to catch.
Just remember, even though you get a big fire going quickly, don’t neglect your fire! Pay attention to whether your firewood is catching properly and getting enough oxygen to stay lit. If it looks like its struggling, move the logs around a bit and even gently blow some air on your fire. A good fire takes care and attention. Once you have a good core of burning embers, your fire will maintain itself as long as you keep adding wood.
Safety Note: Firestarter logs contain chemicals. Binders and kerosene-like fuels help the log light easily and burn hot for an extended period of time. While this is good for starting a fire, it can potentially release harmful fumes. If you are planning to cook on your firewood fire, be sure your starter log has burnt off completely before adding food. You don't want your firewood cooking to put chemicals in your food!
For a more natural, food-friendly fire starter, try fatwood!