How To Build The Perfect Fire

How To Build The Perfect Fire

There's something super special in the mesmerising nature of fire and flames.

Mastering the art of building the perfect fire makes sure you are in control and enjoy it properly every time.

Whether you're at a campsite, in your backyard, enjoying an evening under the stars or a lunch party with friends, if you follow these five essential steps you'll create a fire that's not only mesmerising but also easy to maintain.

Step 1: Location Choice

Selecting the right location is key to a successful fire-building experience. If you're in your backyard, set up your fire pit on a flat, non-combustible surface, such as sand or gravel. Ensure it's positioned away from structures, overhanging branches, and anything else that could catch fire. When camping, abide by site-specific regulations and use designated fire rings or spots whenever possible. Proper location choice is the first step in creating a safe and enjoyable fire.

Step 2: Firewood Choice

The type of firewood you choose can make or break your fire. Opt for seasoned hardwood, as it burns hotter and produces less smoke. Hardwoods and semi-hardwoods like Oak, Gum, and Macrocarpa are excellent choices (Click here to view our New Zealand Firewood Guide).

Avoid using green wood, as it can be almost impossible to get going and produces excessive smoke. If camping, familiarise yourself with local guidelines about collecting firewood and never use live vegetation. Ensure you have small splits of an easy to light softwood (kindling) to get started and enough split pieces or logs of about 8cm diameter to to build and maintain a well-balanced fire.

Step 3: Starting the Fire

Building the perfect fire starts with a proper ignition. The easiest way to do this and by far the fastest way - is the 'log cabin' method. As the name suggests - simply stack your finely split kindling in a log cabin (lying flat with 2 one way and then two on top of those going perpendicular to the ones below). Make this about 30cm high, drop a fire starter (preferably a natural fire starter as they last longer) down the middle of the log cabin and light it from beneath.

This may require shelter from the wind to ensure the flame passes up the middle of the kindling, and will have your fire started in no time!

Also - you may be interested in our premium NZ made smokeless fire pits as their deep design means they start easy as ever without worrying about wind, and not only are they smokeless, they are the most premium build quality and have amazing attachments too! Click here to check them out.

Step 4: Not Overloading

While it may be tempting to throw all your firewood onto the flames at once, resist the urge to overload the fire. Overcrowding can stifle airflow, leading to a smoky and inefficient burn. Instead, add wood gradually as the fire builds.

When the fire slows down for a while, you can add another log. Doing this will help you maintain a steady and consistent burn, providing warmth and a visually appealing fire.

Step 5: Mixing Up the Fire and Loading More Wood

To keep your fire burning well, you should occasionally stir the embers and firewood with a poker or stick to break them down a bit. This helps distribute heat evenly and encourages a more efficient burn making way for more firewood to be loaded on. Place logs carefully (don't throw them on) to maintain a good structure. Try arranging logs in the same 'log cabin' shape as much as you can, to ensure good airflow. This will ensure that your fire remains hot and able to burn properly, producing a steady flame that continues to light up and warm you and your friends



Building a fire well is a skill - but is easily learnt and once you know how to do so - you'll never look back.

Smoke is always an issue - regardless of how well you manage a typical outside fire or campfire. If there is wood and flame there is usually some smoke. This is because, with all the best management of your fire as above, you still can only achieve about 60% efficiency in an open environment. This means that a lot of that firewood is heating up and gassing off, bu that gas doesn't get a chance to get burnt - simply blowing away or lingering around your backyard or campsite. Called smoke.

However a fire pit or brazier, with a secondary combustion, commonly called a smokeless fire pit, is an amazing solution to this. Not only do they make lighting your fire much simpler, they produce little to no smoke, are much more efficient with your firewood, provide tons of heat and are a breeze to clean up after your fire!

And the ones we manufacture here at Smokelis are built to the worlds highest standards, and look amazing in your backyard or patio. Plus we do some epic live fire grilling attachments as well as a bunch of other amazing accessories to make your backyard fire experience the best you'll ever have and make your friends and neighbours look in awe.

You can check them out here:

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