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A Complete Guide on How to Light a Fire in Your Stove

Table of Contents

fire into your stove

We all have struggled to light a fire in our stoves at some point in our lives. However, there are ways to make a fire efficiently and easily. In this blog, we will guide you step by step through these methods so that you can light a fire in your stove with much less effort. We will also provide some tips that you can follow while choosing firewood for your stove.

How Many Methods are There to Light a Fire?

There are two methods to light a fire in your stove using wood, i.e.:

  • The traditional method
  • The upside-down method

The Traditional Method:

The traditional method has been in use since the beginning of using wood as a fuel. In this method. Pieces of dried kindling are placed in a pyramid shape, and firelighters or paper are placed in the centre to help start a fire. Let’s discuss this method in detail now.

What do you need?

You will need to gather the following supplies before attempting to light a fire:

  • Firelighters or newspaper
  • 5-6 pieces of dried kindling
  • Wood logs
  • Matchbox or lighter

If you have any question feel free to contact us!

light fire

How to Light a Fire:

There are some simple steps that you can follow to light a fire with the traditional method:

  • Take a piece of newspaper and squeeze it into a ball. Make sure the paper ball is loose. You can also use firelighters for that matter.
  • Place it in the centre of your stove.
  • Place dried kindling around the paper ball or firelighter in a pyramid-like shape.
  • Make sure you leave room for air to pass through; otherwise, you will not succeed in lighting the fire.
  • Set the controls according to the manufacturer’s guidelines to make the process swifter.
  • Light the firelighter or paper ball and wait for the dried kindle to catch fire.
  • You can add bigger logs to the fire after that.

Limitations of the Traditional Method:

The traditional method is very old and certainly not as efficient as we need it to be. There are some limitations to this method, such as:

  • If you are using a newspaper, it may burn very fast without lighting the kindling. After that, you will have to redo the process.
  • After the kindling starts to burn, you need to open the stove to add some wood logs to the fire. With this, a considerable fraction of heat leaks from the stove.

The Upside-Down Method:

The upside-down method is more efficient and compatible with modern stoves. This method keeps the heat losses to a minimum because you don’t have to open the stove to add wood logs to the fire. This method is explained in detail below:

What do you need?

Gather the following supplies to light a fire with the upside-down method:

  • Firelighters
  • Pieces of dried kindling
  • Wood logs
  • Matchbox or lighter

How to Light a Fire:

You can follow these instructions to light a fire in your stove using the upside-down method:

  • Set two main logs at the bottom and place some firelighter between them.
  • Stack the dried kindling on top of them in rows of three. You can stack as many as 4 layers of kindling.
  • Place each row of kindling at a right angle to the previous row. Make sure you leave some gap between kindling in a row.
  • You can also add a final wood log on top of these kindling rows.
  • Open the air vent completely to help the combustion process.
  • After the fire is started, close the air vent to about 50%.
  • You can increase air vent if your fire starts to build more smoke in the chamber.

Things to Consider Before Choosing Firewood

Hardwood or Softwood:

They both have their own benefits and should be chosen according to their needs.

  • Hardwood requires a bit more effort to make it burn, but it produces more heat and burns longer than the softwood. Oak, beech and birch are good choices for hardwood.
  • Softwood is relatively easy to ignite and radiates a pleasant aroma as well. However, it burns faster than the hardwood and is good for kindling. Spruce and pine are good examples of softwood.

Moisture Content:

This is probably the most important factor to consider before choosing a firewood. A wet wood will burn with less efficiency and produce more smoke and creosote in the chimney. Make sure you choose drywood for this purpose with less than 20% moisture content.


Look for a wood that is coming from a sustainable source and is not harvested irresponsibly or illegally. There are some companies that are certified to supply sustainable firewood.


Seasoning is the process of reducing the moisture content of the wood by leaving it to dry for a minimum period of 6 months. Freshly cut wood will burn less efficiently and produce more smoke and soot as well. Make sure you select seasoned wood rather than freshly cut wood.