A Beginners Guide To Starting A Fire In Your Wood Burning Stove

A Beginners Guide To Starting A Fire In Your Wood Burning Stove

Many would think that lighting a fire in your wood burning stove is a simple, straightforward task. This, however, is not necessarily the case. To get the very best out of your stove, here is a simple guide on how to ensure you get your stove burning as it should.

Firstly, what will you need in order to light your fire? There are 4 main ‘ingredients:

  • Matches or a lighter
  • Tinder – an old newspaper will work fine but try these firelighters for a more prolonged burn
  • Kindling
  • Logs (fuel) – Kiln dried work best but seasoned logs will do the trick.

Once you have these ready, we’re good to get going. If using a stove, you need to ensure that all the air controls are fully open as your fire will need plenty of oxygen in its infancy.

Place your tinder into the firebox, covering the bottom of the stove. Newspaper can be screwed up into balls, tied in knots or made into any shape really. Just don’t put flat sheets in, it won’t last too long if you do.

(If using firelighters, no more than one or two are needed as they burn for much longer than newspaper will. Simply light them in the firebox, gradually adding kindling to build up the fire).

Lay your kindling on top of the paper, ensuring that the pieces are touching. This will allow the fire to spread more evenly. Once this is done, light the tinder in various places and wait for the fire to spread to the kindling, gradually adding larger pieces to achieve a bigger flame.

Once the flames are higher than the fuel that you intend to use, you can now place this on the fire. Do ensure that the flames are high enough to engulf you fuel as adding it too early can mean that you’ll end up smothering the fire. The last thing you want is to ruin all that hard preparation!

Once your larger logs have been added, close the air controls to get the fire burning at a smooth rate. They may not need to be fully closed, a bit of trial and error is the best way to do it. Leaving them fully open during normal operation will cause the fire to roar away and you will find that you go through fuel incredibly fast whilst not getting the optimum efficiency from your stove.



Send us a picture of your fire created using this guide and be in with the chance of winning a free moisture meter, a perfect tool for testing whether your wood is at the optimum moisture content. Why is this important? Well…see below:



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  • Matthew Wigglesworth