Learn, step by step and with the help of these instructional videos, how to make a healthy and smoke-free fire in your garden fireplace. Don't expect everything to be perfect right away, but start with the basics, and expand your knowledge with each firing with our tips. Bet you'll soon get the hang of it.
If necessary, clean the stove window before use. Empty the ash drawer if it would not have been done already and make sure it is dry. If necessary, prepare the wood by splitting it into thinner pieces (see 'About wood').
Do you use the outdoor stove with the cover plate for the first time? Then place a weight of about 2kg on the cover plate during the first half-hour of firing. This ensures that the plate is pre-shaped and fits nicely at the edges by slightly hollowing it. The next time you fire, the plate will do the same.
Firing the stove
To light the fire, open the ash drawer and fill it with 2-3 handfuls of dry kindling, criss-cross. Also open the wood supply valve and don't close it until you want the fire to go out.
Place two firelighters on the wood, in a position where they will be close to the core of the stove, when you slide the ash drawer in the stove again.
Push the ash drawer in the stove with the kindling burning. The kindling will now catch fire and expand towards the wood supply. At the same time, the flames should show up behind the window.
Looking into the wood supply, and seeing flames appearing in the kindling, it is time to place pieces of wood standing upright in the wood supply. Fill it completely with 6-8 sticks. It's best to start with the thinnest sticks you have.
Once these have also caught fire properly, you will see the white smoke that was still coming out of the chimney before disappear. Then you are about 5 to 10 minutes away.
The idea is to add wood layer by layer, still making sure all sticks are touching the bottom. When the wood has subsided at the bottom due to its own weight and burning up, you can put another layer on top.
Keep the fire going
Layer by layer you fill your wood supply, while the fire burns nicely sideways. If you use fairly short pieces of wood, then feel free to build up 2 layers at a time, the wood may rise above the wood supply. Thin pieces of wood will fuel your fire. Thick pieces of wood will dampen your fire. So if you don't see the flames reaching the top of the window, then refill with thinner wood.
It's not a good idea to combine very thin and very thick pieces of wood in one layer, because then your fire can come up into the wood supply along the faster-burning thin sticks.
Cramming is not necessary, and not even desirable: this can limit your air supply to the point where the combustion runs out of oxygen, and that means? Smoke indeed! And possible deposits on your stove window. However, the wood supply must be sufficiently filled in order for the fire to become big enough.
Extinguishing the fire
Let the last of the wood burn out and then slowly but surely let the fire go out. When the ash bed is smoldering after, don't throw in any more wood, as this large difference in temperature will create smoke. Close the wood supply valve, this will prevent rain and ash from mixing into a mush in your ash pan.
When wood is fired, ash is created. After many hours of firing, the ash drawer must be emptied. Do not do this until the day after firing, as ash can smoulder for a long time.
Never throw the ash directly into the regular garbage bin, but into a steel bucket, for example. Ash from pure (untreated) and dry wood is a natural product but cannot be disposed of with green waste. You can, however, use it as a soil improver.