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    How To Start A Fire (Video)

    Published May 1, 2020. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    Learn how to start a fire no matter where you’re at or what the weather is every single time that will last hours.

    I make a fire in our pit in the backyard once a week and we cook all sorts of stuff from s’mores to chicken wings to T-Bone Steaks.  It’s always a blast and such a fun way to cook.

    fire with wood in a fire pit

    Cooking With Fire

    If you look back at the history of cuisine, there is one thing in common no matter what country was cooking.  Everyone used fire to bake, cook or roast.  Back then it was a necessity in all food preparation, and unfortunately, the art of using the open wood flame has certainly died off.

    It may be primitive but making a fire is a skill everyone should know, whether it’s to keep warm, make fun treats with the family, or just to survive.

    Safety First

    Making a fire always requires the utmost safety measures.  Please be sure to have the following:

    • Work Gloves – so important when chopping wood or dealing with a live fire so that you do not burn your hands, so be sure to protect them with some good gloves.
    • Fire Pit – be sure to secure a safe area to make your fire, whether it’s in a fire pit that is store-bought, or one that is made using bricks with a sand base.
    • Water – always have water nearby to help tone down any excess unwanted flames.
    • Sand – if the fire is out of control nothing will stop a fire quicker than sand.

    What You Need to Start a Fire

    Here are the basic things you will need to get a fire started.

    • Fire Wood
    • Hand Axe
    • Kindling Wood
    • Flint Striker or Lighter

    What’s the Best Wood to Use

    There are several different kinds of wood to use when making a fire with the most important thing being wood that burns slowly so that it lasts a long time.  Often times when purchasing wood from a local firewood shop, hardware store, or even gas stations or grocery stores, it will be a blend of different woods. Here are some of the best woods to use:

    • Apple
    • Beech
    • Ash
    • Maple
    • Walnut
    • Honey Locust
    • Mulberry
    • Maple
    • Oak
    • Sycamore
    • Cherry
    • Hawthorn

    How to Make Wood Kindling and Tinder

    There is absolutely no need to use lighter fluid or newspaper when starting a fire, it is all about kindling and tinder.  You will need about ½ to 1 gallon worth of kindling and tinder to get your fire started, don’t worry it’s easy to achieve and only takes a couple of minutes.  Here is how you make it:

    1. Choking up using a hand ax, while wearing gloves, take thin chops on the bark side of each piece of wood to make small wood pieces known as tinder.
    trimming a log with an ax
    1. Also, thinly shave the corner pieces of the wood as well to make longer kindling.
    cutting the corner of firewood with an ax
    1. You can also tear off any loose wood pieces using your glove safe hands.
    ripping the bark off of firewood

    In addition, if you’d like to forgo all this then I definitely recommend using fatwood.  Fatwood is the stump/root of a dead pine tree and lights extremely fast.  Here’s an affiliate link to pick up some fatwood.

    How to Start a Fire In a Pit

    Follow these easy steps to make a fire:

    Place two logs running parallel with each other about a foot apart from one another.

    adding two logs to a fire pit

    Stack two logs lying crosswise over the two logs about a foot apart.

    stacking wood cross wise in a fire pit

    Place all of the kindling in the center between the logs.

    placing kindling and tinder between two logs in a fire pit

    Light the kindling using a flint starter or a lighter.

    using a lighter to light tinder and kindling

    Once it is lit place a few small pieces onto the small fire to get it going.

    stacking kindling onto a fire

    Immediately place 2 more logs a foot apart from each other crosswise on the other logs.

    adding two logs to a log stack in a fire pit

    Make-Ahead

    Make-Ahead: Making a fire takes about 10-15 minutes from making kindling wood to getting it started and keeping it so give yourself enough time if you plan on cooking it.

    Chef Billy Parisi

    chef notes + tips

    • This fire using 6 total logs will last approximately 45 minutes.
    • Be sure to feed the fire with 1 fresh log 1 at a time for as long as you would like to keep it going.
    • When making kindling make sure the wood is on a flat stable surface and is standing up vertically.
    • Put out your fire by smothering it in the sand.
    • While fire needs air to breathe and grow, it also needs protection from the wind so that it does not go out which is why you will place on the 2 logs at the end.
    a large fire pit with a fire

    Open Flame Cooking

    Be sure to follow me on FacebookYoutube, Instagram, and Pinterest, and if you’ve had a chance to make this then definitely drop me a comment and a rating below!

    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    How To Start A Fire (Video)

    Learn how easy it is to start a fire no matter where you’re at or what the weather is every single time that will last hours
    Servings: 1 fire
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 5 minutes
    Fire Time: 1 hour

    Equipment

    • axe

    Ingredients 

    • ½ to 1 gallon of kindling and tinder wood
    • 6 cut wood logs
    • 1 lighter

    Instructions

    • Place two logs running parallel with each other about a foot apart from one another in a fire-safe place.
    • Next, Stack two logs lying crosswise over the two logs about a foot apart. Like building a log house.
    • Place all of the kindling in the center between the logs and light it using a flint starter or a lighter.
    • Once it’s lit place a few small pieces onto the small fire to get it going.
    • Immediately place 2 more logs a foot apart from each other crosswise on the other logs to protect the young fire from going out, especially if it’s windy.
    • Add 1 log at a time to keep it going as long as you’d like.

    Notes

    Chef Notes:
    • Make-Ahead: Making a fire takes about 10-15 minutes from making kindling wood to getting it started and keeping it so give yourself enough time if you plan on cooking it.
     
    • This fire using 6 total logs will last approximately 45 minutes.
     
    • Be sure to feed the fire with 1 fresh log 1 at a time for as long as you would like to keep it going.
     
    • When making kindling and tinder make sure the wood is on a flat stable surface and is standing up vertically.
     
    • Put out your fire by smothering it in the sand.
     
    • While fire needs air to breathe and grow, it also needs protection from the wind so that it does not go out which is why you will place on the 2 logs at the end.