Burn Baby Burn - Get the most out of your fire pit
Get the most out of your fire pit
The addition of a fire pit to your garden will be the highlight of your summer. Watch the dancing flames into the evening and gather around when the night air starts to chill; you’ll love the atmosphere and warmth your fire pit brings to your garden.
We can’t think of a summer without ours and have put together a few tips and hints to help you get the most out of yours.
Location, location, location
First things first, you need to pay a little attention to where your fire pit will go. Keep it away from any heat sensitive plants and any long dry grass or other potentially flammable materials. Consider how you’d like your guests to interact. Whether you’re anticipating intimate late-night gatherings or buzzing conversation and interaction you might place it in an out-of-the-way corner or give it more of a centre stage.
Wherever you decide, make sure it’s a safe location with a flat base so that the fire pit isn’t in danger of tipping over. In other words, safety first!
I’m the firestarter, twisted firestarter
Lighting your fire pit will be easiest if your wood is bone dry. To build the best fire, sort your fuel by size: large logs, smaller logs and kindling sticks. You can easily find materials to start a fire in your garden, i.e. dry leaves and fine twigs. Otherwise, some scrunched up newspaper works well. You could try making your own firelighters - pine cones, cotton wool balls, tumble dryer fluff and candle wax all get the flames blazing. Alternatively you can use some firelighters or starter gel, but only if you don’t plan on using your fire to cook any food as the chemicals will get into the smoke.
Build your fire with the larger pieces of wood at the bottom then use smaller and smaller as you build up the layers. Finish off with your kindling and tinder at the top and you should have a fire that will blaze on for hours. Ensure you have a good store of logs to keep feeding the flames into the night.
Mosquitos and other such flying insects can be quite a nuisance on summer nights. However one way you can discourage them is to throw a few sage twigs onto the flames; they really don’t like the smoke it creates.
We love the flavour cooking over open flames gives our food and never miss an opportunity to get sizzling. The Harbour Housewares fire pit with grill, also comes with a poker and handy mesh lid for safety. We love the way it acts as both barbecue and fire pit and always have a pack of sausages stashed in the fridge ready to throw onto the grill at the first sign of a warm evening.
We couldn’t talk about fire pits without mention of toasting marshmallows. Do supervise small children to avoid burnt fingers and mouths - the sugar gets extremely hot. Once you’ve mastered your marshmallow roasting technique (and there’s really nothing to it beyond sticking a marshmallow on a stick then holding it in the flames), you’re ready to progress to S’more territory. So called because you always want ‘s’more’, these are little bites of heaven!
All you’ll need is a pack of marshmallows and some chocolate Digestives. Toast the marshmallow so it’s good and melty, sandwich it between two biscuits (chocolate on the inside) and allow a moment or so for the chocolate to melt, then eat. Bliss!
Unlight your fire
When you’re ready to call it a night, it’s important that you don’t leave your fire burning unattended. Throwing water over it will mean that it will be hard to light next time you want to use it. Much better is to have a bucket of sand or cold ashes to hand. Move partially burnt logs apart so they can cool and use the sand or ashes to smother the flames.
We have a selection of different sized fire pits for you to choose from so you can find the perfect one to suit your garden. We also have a range of garden fire torches, to really light up the garden in the evening when you’re sitting on your deck chair soaking up the long summer nights.
- Scott Hargrave