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How to Start a Fire: The Ultimate Guide

How To

Whether you just got your Breeo fire pit or you need a refresher on the basics of smokeless fire, this guide is going to help you take steps to become the firemaster. The key to a relaxing night with friends and family in the backyard is smokeless fire. Here’s your guide to maximizing your Breeo fire pit and the best practices for choosing your fuel, starting the fire, tending the fire, and putting it out. With these recommendations, you can get a roaring smokeless fire every time.

Prefer to watch and learn? Here’s a video that shows everything you need to know to build the best fire.


When choosing fuel for your fire, remember there are 3 categories of fuel: firestarter (tinder), kindling, and split cordwood (main fuel). Each of these fuel types contribute significantly to the overall health and performance of your fire throughout the burn.

Using high-quality, very dry materials is very important. If you want to ensure that your wood is dry, a great option is buying a moisture meter at your local hardware store. Your firewood should measure no more than 20% moisture. 


The first thing you need is a good firestarter such as wax-dipped tumbleweed or fatwood (resin-soaked pine) pieces. Shredded newspaper or cardboard will also work. Keep in mind that maximum airflow is what you want which is why we do not recommend crumpling newspaper into a tight ball. Using a natural firestarter is important in preventing carcinogens and a nasty gas flavor or smell permeating from your fire.


Next, let’s talk about kindling. This is especially important for creating a bridge between the first spark and the roaring flames. Without good kindling, your fire will smolder out with a cloud of smoke. We recommend very dry softwoods split down between half an inch and 1.5” in diameter. Dried untreated 2”x4”s or anything similar will make great kindling, just make sure to split them down into small enough pieces.


Lastly, you have your cordwood. This will be dried, split wood as small as 2” and no bigger than 4” in diameter. It’s extremely important that your cordwood, like your kindling, is thoroughly dried. Using kiln-dried wood that’s been stored out of the elements ensures you won’t have any issues with moisture but any other very dried hardwood will work also. If you’re planning to cook, hardwoods are ideal. You’ll also want to note that different types of wood produce different types of flames. For a more in-depth article on how your wood affects your fire, check out this article from Pro-Team member, Christie Vanover.


Now that you’ve carefully selected your fuel, it’s time to get the fire going. When you’re in this stage of the process, it’s important to be on standby, ready for the next step to keep your fire going. Let’s get started.


Start with 2 pieces of cordwood and lay them parallel to each other and perpendicular to the X Airflow™ system to create the most airflow beneath your fire. Then, you’ll stack two pieces of kindling perpendicular to the cordwood, and place your firestarter in the center of the four walls. Continue stacking the kindling until it approaches the top quarter of your fire pit (about 5 layers). If you're using newspaper as your fire starter, fill the log cabin with the shredded paper, continuing to keep in mind adequate airflow.


Using a grill lighter or a long match, light the firestarter at the bottom of the log cabin. We don’t recommend using matches, as they can be hazardous and are difficult to use when you’re reaching into the bottom of the fire pit.


Once your kindling has been burning for about 15-30 minutes and the fire begins licking up through the pieces, you can begin adding small pieces of cordwood. Start by adding 1-2 pieces of wood at a time and make sure to push the fire to the outer edges of the fire pit to heat up the walls and ensure a smokeless burn. As you place your cordwood on the fire, your log cabin will begin to break apart. Continue adding wood to the perimeter of the fire when needed, making sure the wood is never above the fire pit rim. This part of the process takes a little practice of getting to know your fire and when the best time is to add wood.


The recommended method for putting out your fire is to let it burn out. This creates the least amount of ash which results in easy cleanup. If you wish to leave your fire unattended, we recommend using a spark screen to protect the surrounding area from the possibility of sparks flying. After your ashes cool down, clean out your fire pit using the Ash Shovel, specifically designed for Breeo Fire Pits.

Never dump water on your fire. This creates build-up in the X Airflow™ System and the drainage will make a mess on your patio space. Do not use the Breeo Lid to snuff your fire out as it is not designed to withstand the high heat and could get damaged as a result.


There you have it, The Ultimate Guide to building a smokeless fire! We hope that this article leads to a lifetime of smokeless fire gatherings with friends and family.