Have you ever seen a Swedish fire log before? No, they’re not some exclusive ceramic piece you can find at IKEA. This is an item that is easy to make quickly with a few basic supplies and can be used to cook in minutes. Read on to learn two different ways to put one of these together.
- 1 A Swedish Fire Log, Two Different Ways
- 2 Instructions for Method A:
- 3 Instructions for Method B
- 4 how to cook on swedish fire logo
- 5 Additional supplies and accessories, if desired
- 6 Final Notes:
A Swedish Fire Log, Two Different Ways
You may already be familiar with one of these fire logs—also known as Canadian candles—but weren’t sure how to make them. That, dear darling, totally depends on what tools you have available.
If you are using an ax or axe, you would use method A. It involves splitting a small log completely into four pieces. In contrast, Method B uses a chainsaw to make six cuts about halfway down the log. Instead of splitting it all up, you’re just cutting channels for the flames to lick upwards.
When it comes to selecting wood, my recommendation is “whatever you have available.” If you have a wealth of different types of wood available, definitely choose softwood conifers. Pine, spruce, and cedar are ideal for this: they split easily, and their resins allow the fire to heat up.
That said, hardwoods will burn longer, and you’ll often get larger logs from them. An oak or maple trunk can be huge, and lighting one of them can give you warmth and light all night long.
Instructions for Method A:
As mentioned, for this method you’re going to cut a piece of log into four pieces, so you can start a fire between them. It’s a one-handed bite method, so it’s ideal when you’re on the go, or in a survival situation.
what you’ll need:
- a sharp ax or large ax
- A section of log that is flat on both ends: try to choose one that is about a foot high
- Kindling, such as very dry twigs or split dry branches
- tinder, such as birch bark, very dry moss, or paper for lighting a fire
- Lighter, match or flint striker to kindle fire
Check to see if your ax is nice and sharp before starting. If it doesn’t grab your whee and work a little on it first.
Next, place that piece of log on a nice, flat surface that doesn’t easily catch flame. A prepared fire pit or sandy area over soil is ideal, but you can also use rock, metal, etc. Use that pretty sharp ax of yours to split the wood into quarters, and remove the sharp “V” tips from their ends.
Arrange these quarters vertically so that they look like their original intact log form. Then pull them out gently so that there is about a two-inch gap between all the sections. The “V” bits you removed will create a nice gap in the middle. Then make a loop of wire that fits around these quarters, and secure that in place. This will prevent the logs from falling in different directions when you try to cook over them.
Grab some Kindle and start placing it crosswise into the gap left between the log quarters. Leave some room for airflow, and alternate as you settle it. You will want to work from the bottom up and fill the log about 3/4 full, including the air gaps.
Once that’s done, it’s Tinder time. No, not your phone app. Take some of the flammable fluff you collected and plant it vertically into the top of your log arrangement. The technique I like best is to wrap some very dry sprigs in birch bark and tie birthday candles to cakes.
Light this tinder, and watch the fire eat the bottom, grab the Kindle, and ignite the inside of the log
Instructions for Method B
Method B is very similar to method A and turns out to be really fast. If you have a chainsaw on hand for this project, great! You won’t sweat too much doing this. That said, most people don’t bring a chainsaw on short hiking or canoe adventures. Choose the equipment that suits your needs and choose the best location at that time.
- a chain
- safety gear, so you don’t cut yourself or get splashed in your eyes
- a part of a log that is flat at both ends
- chalk or thick pencil for marking
- Tinder (birch bark, wood shavings, paper)
- lighter, match or flint striker
Now, this is the Swedish fire log method a bit different from the previous one. Instead of cutting the log into quarters, you’re going to take three deep cuts from top to bottom to make six sections. Take your chalk or pencil and mark where you are cutting. We usually make three cuts, but if you have a smaller log you can only do two.
Place your log (which is of course nice and flat on both ends) on a secure surface. Then start your chainsaw and make a cut. You’ll want to go slowly and evenly and cut half way down to 3/4 of the way. Leave at least 10 inches from bottom to top. This creates a solid base that will take a while to burn. Then make other cuts in the same way.
Since these cuts are much narrower than the cuts made by the ax method, you do not need to burn. However, you do need some tinder to put out the fire. Press some birch bark, dried moss, paper, etc., into the center of the cut. You should fill it down at least a few inches, leaving an inch or more. When you’re ready, light it and blow it gently (if necessary) until the log holds.
how to cook on swedish fire logo
There are a few ways to prepare food using Swedish fire logs.
The easiest way, which you will be using on a camping trip and as such, is to simply place a pan, kettle or pot on top of the log. Since it has a flat surface, it will easily support most cookware. You can fill your pot or kettle with water and heat it for coffee, or to rehydrate dry goods. Alternatively, you can put the raw ingredients in a small pot and cook them into stews, soups, etc.
I use a cast iron skillet for fish, meat, and various vegetables, and it works really well. Just make sure you have tongs and a spatula handy so you can move the item around frequently. Since you’re cooking over a fire that doesn’t have adjustable heat, you need to move things around in the pan so they don’t burn.
If you are in a survival situation and don’t have pots or pans, look for a flat rock. You can put it over the fire and let it get hot enough that you can cook on it. It won’t be ideal, but it should be hot enough to fry an egg, thinly sliced meat, or basic frybread.
Another option is to make kebabs. Most of us carry cords and utility knives as part of our emergency supplies and bug-out bags. Cut a length of wire and use it to skewer pieces of meat and vegetables. Then using the pliers on your utility knife bend the ends into a U shape so the food doesn’t slip.
Hook one of these as a cross-piece on a long length of wire, and feed the kebab into the hollow of the log. It has to burn for some time before it can adjust to the food without scorching it. The surrounding heat should cook everything nicely. Take out the kebabs gently so that you don’t burn, let it cool for a few minutes and enjoy.
Additional supplies and accessories, if desired
Some people like to get super fancy with their fire logs. For example, the Swedish Fire Log stovetop is a metal cooking surface made specifically for log fires. This type of item comes with metal spikes to hold the logs in place and provides a perfect, flat surface for cookware.
Cast iron pots and pans are suitable for cooking over an open fire. If you don’t already have some great pieces, it’s a good idea to invest in some. You don’t have to cook directly on top of a fire log! For example, if you have an iron skillet and tripod, you can hang it over a fire log to heat the ingredients.
Similarly, if you just make a teeny log fire, big enough for a mug of soup or coffee, you can get yourself a ceramic pipkin. These are made of thick stoneware and can handle fairly direct heat.
Of course, cooking and eating utensils are also important! engrave cook Drink bowl for your soup or tea, grate a few spoonfuls, and you’ll be dining al fresco in style.
Remember that the larger the log you choose, the longer it will burn. Plus, the longer it takes to burn, the more heat (and light) it will provide you. Burning large sticks gives you a lot of cooking time, and will provide heat for several hours. A lot depends on how dry the wood is.
For example, a 30 foot tall birch tree fell on our property, and its trunk was quite large. However, the bone inside was dry and eaten by termites and other borers. As a result, it became spongy and burned within minutes.
It is always a good idea to prepare at least three Swedish fire logs at once. That way, you’ve got them ready and ready to go when needed. Even better, you won’t have to get up from your comfortable place and cut a new spot once the fire is out.
These logs do not require any additional wood or burning when burning. They simply use themselves as fuel and fall into the embers when the job is done. Please use good fire safety practices and use sand or water to extinguish whatever is left before leaving the area.
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