During the winter months we use our wood burning fire place to supplement our heat and lower our monthly natural gas bill. In the summer we often build a fire at the farm. We might use it for cooking our dinner or just enjoy sitting around the fire to unwind at the end of the day. Without the proper materials building a wood fire can be more difficult than it sounds. In the past we have bought fat wood, sticks of pine wood that contain natural flammable oils, in order to get the fire going. This year we decided that the convenience that fat wood provides did not justify the expense. We could do better.
Some of the fire starters that we have used include:
- Balled up news paper
- A small paper bag stuffed with shredded paper – out of the paper shredder
- Cheese cloth or paper towels that I have used for filtering bees wax
- and my most recent discovery – A paper towel soaked with bacon grease. When I cook bacon I place a paper towel on a plate and then place the cooked bacon on this as I take the bacon out of the pan. As the excess grease drains off it is absorbed into the paper towel. I had always just tossed these paper towels in the trash. Last week while I was cleaning up after breakfast and getting ready to start the fire I though it why not give it a try. I place the greased soaked paper towel in the fireplace under the kindling and lit it with a match. It got the fire started very quickly. It worked so well that the following day when I was going to start the fire ( but hadn’t cooked bacon again) I took about a teaspoon of bacon grease and put it on a piece of scrap paper. I folded the paper, put it in the fire place under the kindling and lit it with a match. Again the fire was burning hot in no time.
All of these methods worked well for starting a fire and coupled with the fact that we used things that we had on hand, that might otherwise been tossed in the trash, I would consider this a win-win.
Do you use a wood fire for heating your home or enjoy sitting around an outdoor fire when the weather is nice? What methods do you use for starting a fire? Please share them in the comments section below.