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Open fire - what to use

(17 Posts)
gingerhousecat Fri 20-Jan-17 15:37:37

Have a fire basket in our open fire but finding the smokeless coal really hard to use! Just can seem to get it really going - any advice/suggestions

Thanks x

wowfudge Fri 20-Jan-17 16:06:51

How you are setting the fire? Line the basket with a couple of sheets of newspaper or some bits of card, put some kindling on top of that them some coals on top of that. Don't pack coals on - once the fire gets going you can add more. You need to allow space for oxygen to feed the fire.

Light the paper or card and that should light the kindling then the coals. If you use long matches or a kitchen lighter, it's often a good idea to light the paper in several places. You might want to also stick a fire lighter in near the centre so the kindling catches well and the coals warm up.

LowDudgeon Fri 20-Jan-17 16:11:38

Best thing to do with newspaper is to either roll it (2 or 3 sheets together) & tie it in a loop, or scrunch each sheet into a little ball

Layer of those, then some kindling - spaced out for air - on top, then a small amount of coal covering the kindling.

& light the paper in several places as wowfudge says.

Firefighters would help if you still struggle but they do smell of petrol

PassTheCremeEggs Fri 20-Jan-17 16:12:47

Can you burn logs? Or are you in an area you can only burn smokeless fuel?

LowDudgeon Fri 20-Jan-17 16:13:05

Do you have to use smokeless? I think ordinary house coal is easier to use, if you're allowed it

LowDudgeon Fri 20-Jan-17 16:15:09

Just noticed typo above - fireLIGHTERS obv grin Firefighters are not what you need.

Damn you, autocorrect!

wowfudge Fri 20-Jan-17 16:20:07

Lol at Firefighters smelling of petrol!

Gooseygoosey12345 Fri 20-Jan-17 16:37:01

Are you in a smokeless fuel area? If not then make sure your chimney is swept and use regular coal. Smokeless is awful. Failing that you can get long burning logs (not tree logs) that are supposed to be good. Make sure you're using plenty of kindling too

Afishcalledchips Fri 20-Jan-17 17:02:01

Smokeless it a bit trickier to light, but you just need to get the knack of it.

We've got a multifuel stove, so it's not exactly the same, but it's the same principle.

Layer them up in this order,
At least 5 sheets of newspaper, scrunched into balls (not tight)
A few bits of ripped cardboard eg amazon/egg/cereal boxes
Dry kindling. Place it in rows of about four or five sticks, the first row horizontally, next four vertically etc. I usually do 3 layers.
Light it.
When the kindling has caught, throw a small shovell full of coal on.
Wait a minute so it can breathe.
Throw another shovell on.
Wait more.
More coal.

HirplesWithHaggis Fri 20-Jan-17 17:46:34

IME (various solid fuel open fires & devices since 1987) smokeless is a bugger to light and all the above advice is sound. What I found easiest of all is to use firelighters and/or kindling to light a few BBQ briquettes. They catch quickly, and then you add the smokeless fuel.

Yes, you do get odd looks at the garage/DIY store when you ask for BBQ fuel in January, but they often have stock "in the back".

AgathaF Fri 20-Jan-17 21:03:45

Great advice already given. That smokeless stuff is rubbish but I don't suppose you have much choice if you live in a smokeless zone.

gingerhousecat Fri 20-Jan-17 22:24:59

Thanks for all the advice, yes, we are in a smokeless fuel area. It just seems such a bugger getting it to all light - I've threw on some heat logs and that gets the smokeless stuff going but without them they don't seem to really take - well not enough to really throw out heat!
I'll try the BBQ briquettes idea and see how I go. Thinking I might just buy a bulk order of heat logs as well if anyone has a good webdite they buy them from?

LowDudgeon Fri 20-Jan-17 22:37:28

A friend with a multi fuel stove gets what he calls briquettes (not BBQ type, I assume he means heat logs) from Home Bargain - about £2.70 for 6, & 2-3 last him a whole evening.

I think stoves burn slower though, so maybe not so good in an open fire

LowDudgeon Fri 20-Jan-17 22:39:40

it'll be these I think

If you want to look for bulk purchase discounts prob best trying google & putting your area in smile

AgathaF Sat 21-Jan-17 00:15:37

These work well getting our fire started. We've used these and now have a big box of similar things direct from the coal suppliers although I can't find a listing for them just now. Much easier to use than paper or card, burn for longer so the kindling gets going easier and then so the coal. Might be worth a go?

gingerhousecat Sun 22-Jan-17 20:43:29

Thanks for the above links. I seen some of those fire lighters in b&m yesterday - £1.99 for a bag of them!

mineofuselessinformation Sun 22-Jan-17 20:46:55

Alongside the other tips here, put the dregs of the fuel from your last fire on first before any new stuff. It catches more easily as it's already partially burnt.

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