Chilly weather is upon us, and for some, that is very good news, because it signals the time to start building fires in the fireplace. There’s something about curling up in front of a toasty hearth with a hot mug of something that makes winter wonderful. But how do you build the perfect fire, one that burns beautifully and spreads heat? Here is a quick how-to from Mother Earth News magazine:
- Start by stacking small kindling pieces in the middle of your fireplace grate.
- Then place two split logs at either end, perpendicular to the bars of the grate, angling them toward each other slightly at the back. Don’t let them extend more than about an inch past the edge of the grate, or they may cast a bit of smoke into your home.
- Next lay a few more pieces of wood across the two logs at a perpendicular angle. Make sure the farthest one from you is actually touching the back of the fireplace.
- Finally, light the kindling using lit twists of newspaper. The goal of this arrangement is to create a “fire box” that efficiently draws in air and creates heat.
Hopefully those guidelines will help you build the perfect fire the next time you’re at the cabin. Also, keep in mind that the EPA advises against putting anything in your fireplace that releases toxic chemicals when burned, which includes—
- Household garbage items; the colored ink on magazines, boxes and wrappers is the culprit.
- Wood that has been coated, painted or pressure-treated.
- Driftwood, plywood, particle board or any wood with glue on it.
- Wet, rotted, diseased or moldy wood.
And if you’re looking for fireplace accessories that are just right for the cabin, you might try this Black Bear Fireplace Screen, or this set of Antler Fireplace Tools w/ Brush. They’re both functional pieces that feature the rustic look you love. And they might make your fire season just a little bit brighter.