Tag: firewood

The Ultimate Cosy Night In

Cold, dark nights are upon us but it doesn’t have to be dull and gloomy. Create the ultimate cosy night in and you will soon be feeling all snuggly and warm! Staying in is becoming just as popular as going out. A cosy night in can be enjoyed alone, with your partner, your family or you can even invite friends to join in on your home comforts.

Lighting

Turn off any harsh lights, leaving just a low lamp on will immediately set the scene with an ambient glow. Make it extra special by lighting a few candles around your room, scented candles are even better for creating those cosy vibes!

Fireplace

Can you think of anything better than curling up in front of a fireplace on a cold, dark evening? If you are lucky enough to have an open fire, it’s time to fire it up and make the most of it. No cosy night in is complete without a crackling fireplace to gaze into. To keep your open fire burning longer into the night add Firemizer.

 

 

Get comfy

The best bit! No need for high heels or itchy tights, get in your comfiest loungewear, plump up the cushions and grab the cosiest blanket. And you can forget about that tipsy walk in the rain to find a taxi, it’s just a short trip up the stairs when your eyes get heavy.

Snacks

Make sure you have your favourite snacks in to nibble on. Easy go to options are crisps with dips, nuts, popcorn and crackers which you can just pour into serving bowls. Nacho’s are guaranteed to go down well, just add your favourite toppings and sprinkle with cheese. Then place under the grill for a few minutes and hey presto, the perfect sofa snack! Adding some sweet treats like chocolates, sweets or ice cream is a must for the perfect night in.

 

 

Pick your entertainment

This could be watching a good film or binging on your favourite tv series. If you’re spending the evening alone nothing beats snuggling up with a good book. Reading reduces stress and helps you sleep better so you’ll be in for a good nights sleep too. If you’re in the mood for something a little more stimulating, get out the board games, a great option if you’re enjoying a family night or having friends over.

 

 

 

 

How To Cook Bread Over Your Firepit

Cooking bread over a firepit couldn’t be simpler. The summer holidays are in full swing and you might be running out of fun things to do to keep the kids entertained. Fire building and cooking is without a doubt a favourite with both adults and children alike. You can cook just about anything over an open fire, but some of the best recipes are the simplest. Trust us when we say that freshly baked bread smells even better on a campfire!

You could start your activity by going on a stick hunt. The best sticks should be long enough so that you can hold them at a comfortable distance from the fire and around 1.5cm. Freshly cut greenwood is good, because of its moisture it won’t burn so easily.

How to cook bread on a stick over your firepit

Ingredients
  • Plain flour 150g
  • Salt a pinch
  • Olive oil 1 tbsp
  • Cold water
  • Sticks

Method

  1. In a large bowl mix the flour and salt together. Add the oil and a few splashes of water, then bring the mix together with your hands.
  2. A little at a time add water to form a dough. If you add too much water, don’t worry, just add a little more flour.
  3. Split the dough into quarters and roll it between your palms to form a long sausage shape.
  4. Wrap the rolled dough around your stick; make sure your stick is long enough to keep your hands from getting too close to the fire.
  5. Hold your dough over you firepit, turning the stick until the bread turns golden brown on all sides.

Tip: add butter, jam or even Nutella for an extra special treat!

Remember with open fires and children, you have to be extra careful. Never leave your children unaccompanied by your firepit.

Don’t forget to use firemizer under your charcoal or wood as this will help even out heat giving you an even burn which helps cook over a fire!

Why Firepits Are Good For You

Firepits don’t just bring you warmth, they have lots of other advantages too. As well as being practical they can bring you health and emotional benefits too. Here’s just a few reasons why firepits are good for you…

Help you to relax and unwind

After a busy or stressful day can you think of anything better than sitting by an open outdoor fire? Scientists have found that an open fire reduces blood pressure. Subsequently the longer people sit in front of a roaring fire, the greater the relaxing effect it has on them.

You can use them all year round

Using a firepit enables you to enjoy outdoor living all year round. As a matter of fact there is no reason why you can’t throw an outdoor party, even in the middle of winter! Undoubtedly a burning fire is sure to keep your guests warm on a cold evening. In fact, why not get out the marshmallows for a delicious s’mores treat for everyone to enjoy.

It lights up the night

No outdoor lighting can compete with the blaze of a real fire. Firepits provide an ambient glow to your evening long after the sun has gone down. Make the most of your garden sat in the warmth and comfort of your open outside fire gazing at the stars.

Creates a romantic atmosphere

While firepits great for gatherings, they also set the scene for a romantic evening for two. No need to go ‘out out’, as an alternative share a bottle of wine and gaze at the twinkling sky snuggled up with your loved one.

You can use it to cook

Cooking is simple using your firepit. All you need is a grill rack, a couple of pots and some tin foil. Classics such as hot dogs, burgers and kebabs are always delicious. Try wrapping potatoes in foil and tucking them amongst the coals for perfect jacket potatoes!

 

Now you know why fire pits are good for you, keep your fire burning even longer into the night by adding Firemizer. Click here to order yours.

 

How to clean your wood burning stove – a useful guide!

How to clean your wood burning stove, now is as good a time as any with the warmer summer months upon us.

Although wood burning is brilliant for generating heat efficiently, it can become messy if you don’t keep on top of maintaining it. Keeping it clean will also increase the lifetime of your stove.

Here are some tips to get your stove looking and performing it’s best

 

Firstly there are a few things you’ll need to check

  1. Examine the firebrick lining and see if it needs replacing  – the lining will keep the stove from overheating
  2. Make sure the chimney is cleaned. This will prevent chimney fires and help your stove burn more efficiently.
  3. Check the sealed door. You want a tight seal to make sure smoke doesn’t enter your house. The cord that’s around the door may need replacing on occasion.

Before you start make sure your stove has fully cooled.

Equipment you’ll need:

  • gloves
  • newspaper
  • a small ash shovel
  • a small brush
  • a metal ash bucket
  • household glass cleaner
  • cloth

It’s a good idea to wear protective gloves whilst cleaning your stove. Place newspaper on the floor around your stove then use a small shovel to remove all the ash into your metal bucket or container, you can use a hand brush to gently sweep any remaining debris.

You will find that if you have been using Firemizer there will be a significant reduction in the amount of ash produced, therefore making it easier to clean!

When your used Firemizer starts to deteriorate, ensure it is cold before removal. Firemizer can be recycled with your normal household metal waste.

Click here to order your replacement Firemizer.

Take the ash to a safe place outdoors away from any bushes or other materials that might catch fire. Leave for at least 24 hours before you dispose of it.

Apply glass cleaner to the glass and wipe using a cloth until the window is clean. If parts of the window don’t clean straight away, let the solution react for a few minutes before wiping. You can then use a dry cloth and hoover to clean the exterior of your burner.

Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions which came with you stove. The information provided is guidance only, and should be followed only in accordance with the guidelines of the manufacturer.

So now you know how to clean your wood burning stove, there is no excuse not to keep it looking spick and span!

 

Can you make pancakes over a fire?

With pancake day only 3 days away the most important question is can you make pancakes over a fire?

The answer is a firm yes, so if you’re out camping and want some pancakes or fancy making over your fire at home here is how.

Mixture recipe

  • 1/2 cup of self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup of milk

Vegan option

    •   300g self-raising flour
    •   A teaspoon baking powder
    •   1 tbsp sugar
    •   1 tbsp vanilla extract
    •   400ml plant-based milk (oat, almond, soya, coconut)
    •   vegetable oil for cooking

All you need to cook is warmth from the fire and hot flat surface to cook on

Don’t cook in the flames but use the hot embers, charcoal is an easier option as it’s easier to get the hot embers stage and you use less fuel. However wood will work just fine!

Cooking surface

Cast iron cookware is the best and a crepe pan is a top choice as they are very flat and large.

You can use a cast iron griddle which has slightly higher sides but other than that there isn’t much difference.

Method

  1. When the embers are hot place your pan onto the embers and pour a little bit of oil.
  2. Once spread and the oil is warm pour on pancake batter
  3. The proper way to tell when a pancake needs turning is when the bubbles in the top burst.

Toppings

  • Orange and sugar
  • Lemon and sugar
  • Banana and Nutella

Top tip: don’t forget to use firemizer under your charcoal or wood as this will help even out heat giving you an even burn which helps cook over a fire!

What drinks can you make over a campfire?

What better way to make the most of your campfire than bringing some home comforts to the outdoors! 

Traditional Campfire Coffee Recipe

  • First, place six teaspoons of ground coffee into the camping coffee pot and then pour three pints of cold water over the coffee grounds.
  • Place the coffee pot on the fire and bring to a boil.
  • Once boiled, take the pot off the heat and allow it too steep for approximately three minutes.
  • To make the coffee more delicious, try adding three or four spoons of cold water to the liquid after steeping to settle the coffee grounds.

smoreThe Campfire Percolator Coffee Pot

This campfire coffee recipe is the most common method for making campfire coffee.

  • Add one to two tablespoons of coarsely ground coffee for every six ounces of water.
  • To avoid having coffee grounds in your mixture, it is recommended that you poke a hole in the coffee filter and place it in the perk basket.
  • Watch the percolator until the mixture turns a coffee color because the longer the coffee percolates, the stronger it will become.

Campfire hot chocolate

  • Mix the dry ingredients at home, Cocoa powder, sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
  • Heat milk in a camp coffee pot or saucepan over low heat. 
  • As the milk begins to heat add 2 tablespoons of the cocoa mix to the bottom of your mug.
  • Then top with 1 cup of warmed milk and stir until combined.
  • Why not add some toasted marshmallows into your hot chocolate

Cooking Tip: Using whole milk for this recipe will make it nice and creamy. Or you can use an alternative milk option like soya milk or coconut milk, it’s perfect with hot chocolate.

Cooking Tip: Don’t scald the milk, heat it slowly

cooking tip: Don’t forget to use Firemizer on your campfire. this will help distribute the heat for an even burn.

Campfire Cocktail

ingredients

  • Bulleit bourbon
  • Malt whiskey
  • Marshmallow syrup
  • Caster sugar
  • Mini marshmallows
  • To make the syrup, boil the marshmallows with 500ml water. Once they have dissolved, add the sugar and stir to dissolve this until fully combined. 
  • Stir all ingredients over ice and serve with a toasted marshmallow (optional).

5 Reasons Wood Burners Are Good For You

As people are becoming more aware of pollution wood burners are getting a lot of heat [pun not intended] from the media and activist groups. However, there are benefits to wood burners and ways to decrease any potentially harmful particulates.

Drying the air

Wood burners are very good at drying out damp environments which will make your home more pleasant and breathable. By keeping the air in your home free from moisture will prevent mold from forming which could lead to health problems.

Repelling allergens

Log fireplaces can help reduce the number of allergens in the air. These can get caught in the updraft of hot air from the fire. This will carry them out through the chimney or flue.

Providing relaxation

When it is cold and miserable outside there’s nothing better than sitting by a warm fire. A wood burner can really make a house feel more homely. You can also use your fire to cook on adding another element to your wood burner.

Cut down on heating bills

As heating bills rise more people find it hard to heat their homes. Having a wood burner can be very economical by saving you money on your heating bills. While you may have to still use your heating in other rooms having the option to lessen your heating bill while keeping warm is a win-win.

Good for the environment

Wood is carbon-neutral fuel, the amount of carbon dioxide given off when burnt is equal to the amount consumed by other trees which absorbs the carbon dioxide and releases oxygen.

There are other alternative fuels like coffee logs that are made from used coffee beans. Both wood and coffee logs work well with firemizer which will reduce your fuel consumption, reduce particulates and creosote in your flue.

How To Start Cooking Over Your Fireplace

To get the most out of your fire this winter why not try cooking with your fireplace!

A wood-burning fireplace is safe for you to cook in, however, a gas fireplace is not. For a gas fireplace, the logs need to be clean and unobstructed to work properly. Grease or food could fall onto the logs and could potentially cause a fire hazard.

Safety for indoor cooking
  • it is important to have the flue open when you start cooking on your fireplace. Leaving the flue closed will allow a build-up of carbon monoxide which is very dangerous.
  • Keep flammable items away from the fireplace as you’ll be interacting with the fire while cooking.
  • Make sure your fireplace is clean and maintained as cooking in an unclean fireplace can cause smoke risks.

You can cook over a wide temperature from 160 degrees for slow roasting to over 750 degrees for high heat grilling.

Cooking options

Cooking straight onto the embers. You can cook whole onions, eggplant, peppers, yams, potatoes and thick steak-like porterhouse, t-bone or ribeye.

  • arrange two parallel rows of firebricks, broadsides down toward the front of the fireplace, shovel a layer of ember between the two rows, then rest a frying pan, griddle or dutch oven on the bricks. The wood smoke will still infuse the food with a smoke flavour if it is in a pan.
Skewers

sausages or kebabs with metal skewers, don’t forget you can cook s’mores this way too!

Dutch oven

You can easily cook soups or stews on your fireplace. The trick is to get your fireplace going that it produces plenty of hot embers. Then you can place the dutch oven on the embers. Remember to rotate to distribute the heat evenly.

A String

This is still used in southern France, a method called la ficelle (on a string). Meat or poultry is put into a compact packaged and suspended from a hook in the ceiling or mantelpiece. The meat rotates near the heat from the fire.

Tips for cooking with your wood fireplace
  • avoid overly fatty foods like rib-eye steak as they will create a lot of smoke when cooking over the fire.
  • Choose the right wood, well-seasoned woods like applewood will give you a unique flavour that you won’t get from an oven. This is also less likely to give off dangerous sparks.
  • Avoid pine or cedarwood, they burn at low temperatures and can leave resin in your chimney. Don’t use regular logs that may include petroleum wax as these are dangerous to ingest.
  • Test the temperature, the heat distributes unevenly – to prevent this use Firemizer and will allow for an even burn.
  • Place a pan to catch drips

How To Look After Your Wood Burner?

As you’ve probably been getting the most out of your fire this winter, to maximize its efficiency you have to look after your wood burner.

Here are some things to look out for and do to keep your fire going for many winters!

coalCleaning

Giving your fire a thorough clean can be just the thing it needs to bring it back to life. It is also important to get your chimney swept at least once a year as they can tell you about any damage. You should also clean the glass, most modern stoves are fitted with airways systems to keep the glass clean. If yours does not then you can use newspaper dipped in malt vinegar or use wood ash. Don’t use any abrasive materials to clean the glass as this could cause permanent damage.

Check for rust

This may not be a problem for a modern stove however it worth saying. If you do spot any rust you can rub the area with wire wool and then reapply stove paint to get it looking as good as new.

Empty the ash pan

When the hot ashes start to pile up they can come into contact with the lower side of the grate and the heat from the ashes could cause it to become distorted and lose shape.

Clean the baffle/ throat plate

This area on and around the baffle plate is the top spot for soot to gather. This makes your stove less efficient by blocking the flue it also could be dangerous. Clean this once a week depending on how often you use your stove.

Leave the door ajar

When the stove isn’t being used it is best to leave the door slightly open. This allows a flow of air through the system which can help stop corrosion.

Use Firemizer

Using this in your wood, coal or multi-fuel stove can help reduce creosote and harmful particulates. As well as reducing your ash content and reducing the number of times you have to empty the ash pan.

What is A Yule log

The Yule log began as a Nordic tradition. The Yule log is the largest log picked and would be placed into the fire hearth. This Christmas tradition is carried out in several countries all over Europe.

  • It is a tradition to light the log with a previous year’s log. Keeping the wood in storage it is slowly fed to the fire through the 12 days of Christmas
  • In France, it is a tradition for the whole family to help cut down the log.
  • A tradition in Cornwall uses a dried out and bark-free log call the mock.
  • Barrel makers in the UK had unused logs that they couldn’t use therefore they gave their customers them for Yule logs.

Similar traditions

Ashen faggot is an old English tradition from Devon and Somerset. A faggot is a large log or bundle of ash sticks bound with nine green lengths of ash bands preferably from the same tree. They would burn this on Christmas Eve and in the heart of the fireplace.

Types of wood

  • The UK  uses oak
  • Scotland uses birch
  • France uses cherry. They sprinkle wine over the log before its burning, therefore, it smells nice once lit

Sprinkle Chemicals on the log to create coloured flames;

  • Potassium nitrate violet,
  • barium nitrate green,
  • copper sulphate blue,
  • table salt bright yellow

However, throwing ashes out on Christmas Day can be unlucky

Chocolate Yule log

Eaten in France and Belgium this is a popular Christmas pudding. Additionally, made with a chocolate sponge, layered with cream and covered with chocolate and decorated to look like bark.

 

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