As you’re probably well aware, there is more than one way to start a fire. Most of us are accustomed to the pyramid method when lighting a wood burning stove, while many prefer building a layered fire that looks something like a Jenga tower when it’s complete! There’s no doubt that these approaches work well in many instances. But when you’re setting a fire in your wood-burning stove, a top-down approach is a much better option, as we explain below.
What is a top-down fire?
In a top-down fire, the biggest logs are placed at the bottom, while the smaller logs and kindling are added on top. The fire is lit from the top, and it spreads to the wood at the bottom once it catches. Some people call it a feeding fire, but the principles are the same. Top-down fires typically produce less smoke, and they burn brightly from the beginning. They also require less maintenance than traditional fires, as you build a solid foundation that will burn for a considerable period of time.
Why is a top-down fire best for wood-burning stoves?
Building a fire the traditional way is inefficient for lighting a wood-burning stove. Conventionally, you need to regularly maintain and top up your fire, and it’s not particularly easy to get it started in the first place. However, when you build your fire from the top down, you will find that your fire produces less smoke and burns much more efficiently, resulting in a much easier fire to maintain and enjoy throughout the evening.
How to build a top-down fire
Building a top-down fire is nice and straightforward. You need to begin by creating a strong base with kiln-dried firewood. The moisture content of the wood is crucial, as using wet logs makes it extremely difficult to get your fire going. Wet logs have actually been phased out by the British government, meaning it’s no longer legal to burn them in your home fire. Once you’ve got your solid base, build your fire upwards, adding smaller logs until you have two or three layers. You should then add your kindling and some Wood Wool Twizlers to the top. Your last job is to ignite your kindling and watch the fire engulf your stack of wood. You will be amazed at how effective a top-down fire is and will almost certainly wonder why it’s taken you so long to try it out!
Choose the right fuel for your top-down fire
A top-down fire will only work if you build it with the right fuel. You can build your base with our kiln-dried firewood or Shimada Heat Logs, which both burn long and bright and present you with an environmentally-friendly solution for your home fire. You can then top your fire with our fire starter multi-pack, which includes kindling and Twizlers, that will help your fire get off to the perfect start. So, if you haven’t yet tried it, switch to a top-down fire for lighting your wood-burning stove today, and you will enjoy a gorgeous fire that burns long into the night.