How to Start a Fire in a Wood-Burning or Gas Fire Pit

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Last updatedLast updated: March 11, 2022
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One of the fundamental parts of having a fire pit is knowing how to light one.

Fire pits offer the best warming experience to those with extensive bark yards. They allow a peaceful stay in backyards through their unique sensation that provides optimum warmth.

Fire pits have several benefits Trusted Source 7 advantages to having an outdoor fire pit « Grenadier Sitting round an outside fire isn’t just about keeping warm. An outdoor fire pit has many practical, emotional and health benefits too. and dangers Trusted Source The Environmental Dangers of Backyard Fire Pits - Scientific American Scientific American is the essential guide to the most awe-inspiring advances in science and technology, explaining how they change our understanding of the world and shape our lives. . They’re convenient for doing outdoor cooking. There is nothing as exciting as enjoying a comfortable stay in the backyard while enjoying good food and coziness at the same time.

For starting a fire in your fire pit you will need to set up your environment and have the necessary tools.

Experts add that after you know how to start a fire, complement it with knowledge of putting out a fire in a fire pit.

So, let’s quickly look at the main ways of starting a fire pit before going all in.

Preparing the Area

How to Start a Fire in a Wood-Burning or Gas Fire PitIt would be best if you prepared the area before starting a fire in your fire pit.

Furthermore, having an in-depth understanding of installing the structure properly. The first step to building a fire pit is setting the foundation.

Notably, it will be helpful to start by pouring rebar to mark the circumference of the area you plan to build your pit. Then, dig the space six inches deep; make good foundations for the stones to lie.

The next steps are building the outer wall and structuring the inner wall. You should also consider the safety of your pits.

Campfires can be dangerous at times. Hence, learning how to start a campfire in a fire pit will ensure safety. Check the leveling and material placed underneath.

Also, ensure you are a distance away from buildings and structures and use fire pit screens.

According to experts, the best fire pit spark screen is the Sunnydaze Outdoor Fire Pit Spark Screen Cover Guard Accessory. Experts recommend it due to its heavy weight; thus, enhanced protection. The equipment also has a duty steel backyard mesh lid arrester with a professional handle.

Additionally, you should first check the weather conditions before starting a fire in a fire pit.

We don’t recommend lighting a fire pit in windy conditions without taking the necessary precautions. However, you should know to start a fire in a pit during the winter.

Overall, it’s advisable to build a fire in the open and away from buildings or trees. They might catch fire if too close. Furthermore, remove any waste or flammable materials around.

It is also essential to keep chairs far from the pit area. This precaution avoids unnecessary accidents around fire pits. Once you feel that your environment is conducive, you can start setting up your fire pit.

Starting a Wood Burning Fire Pit

Having a wood-burning fire pit is quite convenient.

It is not just affordable but burns naturally, which is excellent.

Understanding how to start a wood fire in a fire pit is vital to setting it up in a manner that will offer conducive warming.

Wood-burning fire pits can also be used in barbeques. Therefore, it will be essential to learn how to start a fire in a barbeque pit.

Whether your wood-burning fire pit is meant for cooking or to enjoy a warm surrounding with friends, you will find it quite enjoyable to get around a pit.

There are specific factors you should consider before starting a wood fire in a fire pit.

For instance, you should have the right set of tools to perform the job. As much as burning a fire pit is a straightforward process, it is not doable without the proper set of equipment.

Then you must have fire starters. Lighting a fire pit is procedural, and the right fire-starters do the best jobs.

It is also vital to have the right firewood positioning when starting a wood-burning fire pit.

There are three options you might consider while positioning your firewood: teepee, Lean-to, and Log cabin.
The ultimate decision on the positioning depends on you.

Once you build your fire pit in a safe place, gather the materials and fire starters to begin the process.


How to Start a Fire in a Wood-Burning or Gas Fire PitThe materials you use will determine how your fire pit burns as they are the most fundamental parts of operating your fire pit.

The right materials offer the best experience. Furthermore, excellent materials offer minimal chances of your fire pits going out unexpectedly.

The most suitable materials to use for lighting fire pits are tinder, kindle, and firewood. The ultimate choice of which to use will also depend on you.

Tinder is the fuel you set on your fire pit. It includes newspapers, leaves, straws, and dry grass. You must ensure that these materials are dry before using them on fire pits. Dry tinder catches fire in the least time possible. Furthermore, you only need a small portion of the fire to light up the entire pit.

Kindling is the material that burns from the tinder. It consists of dry sticks with small circumferences (most do not exceed an inch). It is vital to note that the exact length of kindling might be five to eight inches. The smaller the kindling, the higher the chances of it catching fire quickly. Should your kindling take a lot of time to catch fire, it will not burn as required.

Firewood is equally essential. You should ensure that your wood is dry. Try to avoid green and wet wood as they do not burn efficiently. The best thing about using firewood is that it can burn for extended periods and is hotter than tinder and kindling. For instance, oak burns for longer hours than most wood out there. Ultimately, you should cut your wood to fit your fire pits. The most common length is sixteen inches. Not sure which to choose in your case? Here’re some great findings on the best firewood to burn.

The tinder and kindling will assist you in lighting the firewood.

Fire Starters

How to Start a Fire in a Wood-Burning or Gas Fire PitThere are many fire starters to consider for igniting your fire pit.

The best fire starters are the most convenient and safest to use. Ultimately, once you finish setting up your fire pit, you will realize that your fire starter matters.

Of course, this experience might come after numerous experiments with fire starters. There are specific fire starters recommended for burning.

The best thing about it is you can use one fire starter for multiple pits. For instance, while inspecting how to start a fire in a rock fire pit, you realize that the same fire starters you use in wood-burning fire pits are applicable for the task.

Lighters and matches are the most common types of fire starters. Notably, these are the most straightforward methods of lighting the fire pit.

However, there are faster methods of lighting fires.

Butane torch lighters are suitable for lighting pits in the shortest amount of time. And according to experts, the best torch lighter is the Jet Flame Lighter Long Adjustable Candle Torch Butane Lighter.

It is recommended based on several factors. The lighter is affordable, refillable, and has a childproof switch at the on and off buttons to protect children from accidental ignitions.

You can also consider arc lighters for their convenience in recharging and environmental safety. You should first know how to start a fire in a fire pit with lighter fluid before starting the lighting. Also, it’s essential to ensure you always keep fire starters safe and out of reach of small children.

How to Start the Fire

There are unique steps that must be followed when starting a fire in a fire pit.

With several types of fire pits available, you should know how to set them up and light your fire pits.

Notably, metal fire pits are used by homeowners for their durability and convenience. Hence, learning how to start a fire in a metal fire pit is quite helpful, considering that you might own one in the future.

These are the steps to follow in lighting the pits:

    • Level the fire pit. The location you plan to set your pit should be on level ground. This step is critical if you are using structures that are above the ground. The primary purpose of leveling your fire pit is to prevent it from spilling over; safety is the number one priority.
    • Arrange the tinder. Once you take all the safety precautions, you should place the tinder at the center of your fire pit. Furthermore, ensure you mound it to approximately the size of your fist.
    • Position the firewood. After arranging the tinder, place the wood in the pit. There are three common fire lays you might consider using: log cabin, teepee, and lean-to.
    • Light the tinder. Your layout is set to go. The next process is to light your tinder. Take precaution when doing so, especially when your tinder is deep inside.
    • Adjust wood. You might opt to use a stick to adjust the wood position in your fire pit. This will ensure the kindling offers exposure to the wood.
    • Add firewood. You should continuously add firewood as the fire burns the kindling. A good signal for adding firewood is the red-hot embers. Once they start appearing in your fire fit, add wood to avoid choking the fire.
    • Place the cover. This is the last step to follow. Ensure the lid is on at all times for safety purposes. Furthermore, fire pit covers maintain the fire.

Starting a Gas Fire Pit

Gas fire pits offer a different convenience of burning from wood fire pits.

These structures light up quickly and are much easier to spark.

With wood fire pits, you have to set up the wood and constantly add it to the pit.

Gas fire pits do not require you to wait for the wood to catch fire. It does the lighting in a jiffy.

According to experts, the Endless Summer Fire Pit (Green Fire Glass) is the best propane fire pit in the market.

How to Start a Fire in a Wood-Burning or Gas Fire Pit

It also has a wicker-stamped design that insulates the propane tank. Additionally, the gas fire pit is recommended as it has a safety valve and a conventional ignition system. It is made of alloy steel and uses liquefied Petroleum gas.

There are two most recommended kits for these pits: the push-button ignition system and the remote-controlled ignition system.
These kits offer the best experience when starting a gas fire pit. Hence, it will be helpful to understand them before acquiring or even starting fires in the pits.

With the Push-Button Ignition System

These ignition systems are powered by batteries that are located inside the push button unit.

They work uniquely.

When you press the button, a signal is sent to the ignition probe located close to the pit burner.

Operating the push-button ignition system is not difficult; they operate in the same way as barbeque grills.

Instead of using a manual lighter, you press and hold the ignition switch. After you follow this step, the battery-powered spark lights.

Consequently, the burner is ignited, and the flames follow suit. You are free to release the button when you are sure that the flame is at its peak.

Furthermore, the flame can be adjusted using the gas valve. This factor has made gas fire pits preferable, especially to homeowners who do not enjoy the traditional method of lighting fire pits.

Turning off the fire pit is an easy process. All you need to do is turn off the gas valve then the flame extinguishes automatically.

With the Remote-Controlled Ignition

Remote-controlled ignition also offers an easy way of lighting gas fire pits.

Once you press the switch, the system does a safety check and allows the flow of gas.

You should probably wait for about five seconds after switching the remote control for the hot surface to ignite the pilot flame.

Remote-controlled ignition models offer convenience and safety. Furthermore, they are fully assembled, use natural gas, and offer temperature monitoring.

How to Put Out a Fire in a Fire Pit

The challenge to having a fire pit is you do not quite know when accidents can occur.

These accidents can cause huge damages and, at times, permanent losses.

For instance, the possibility of wildfires in camps is high when campers prefer to keep warm using fire pits.

Hence, there should be a sense of responsibility when operating these structures. Notably, you should ensure the fire is put out completely.

Once you’re done with your fire pit, you can let it burn down completely.

Ensure you inspect the process. You can also use a shovel or stick to spread the remnants or extinguish the fire with water.

While using water, use a stick to scatter the ashes and ensure they are soaked. After that, inspect the area for any ashes that might have been blown away.

Finally, do a temperature check to ensure the fire has been completely put out.

Final Thoughts

Owning a fire pit is not all there is to it.

It is imperative to know how to start a fire in a fire pit for the best experience.

Starting a fire might seem simple; however, you might have a hard time if you do not understand the most vital steps to follow.

Learning the process is an excellent safety procedure. Therefore, homeowners must invest a significant amount of time learning how to start a fire in a fire pit and adhere to the recommended safety precautions.

It is also vital to prepare your area, and once you are sure that everything is set, start the fire.

The process is much more straightforward with gas fire pits. Starting a fire in a fire pit is a must-know for fire pit lovers.


7 advantages to having an outdoor fire pit « Grenadier
Sitting round an outside fire isn’t just about keeping warm. An outdoor fire pit has many practical, emotional and health benefits too.
The Environmental Dangers of Backyard Fire Pits - Scientific American
Scientific American is the essential guide to the most awe-inspiring advances in science and technology, explaining how they change our understanding of the world and shape our lives.
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