Soldiers during the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) relied heavily on using the Swedish Fire Log for heating and cooking. This small and compact fire burns long and provides excellent warmth and a stable platform for cooking. Since the main fuel source is off the ground, this decorative and useful fire is great to use in wet or snowy conditions.
Due to the simple design of the Swedish Fire Log, once you light it, you can basically forget it. The special cuts that you make in the log provide natural airflow that will keep your fire ventilated all on its own. The log will burn slowly from the inside out. After half an hour of burning (or less), the top is ideally shaped and suited for a kettle or skillet. Cook your favorite stew or dish on the Swedish Fire Log. After about 3 hours of burning, the log is hot enough that you can slow cook meat for a delicious meal.
Creating a Swedish Fire Log is simple. All you need is a good length of seasoned wood, a hand saw or chainsaw, and some sort of lighter fluid (kerosene), to get it going. Let's get started!
A soft wood, such as pine, fir, or birch, burns quickly and emits a ton of light. If you're building a fire just for decorative purposes, choose one of these.
Hardwoods like beech, oak, and cherry are perfect for cooking.
1. Once you have chosen your log(s) and seasoned them (don't overlook this step), make sure that both ends are flat so they sit flush with the ground. Determine which end is the thickest and place that end on the ground.
2. Divide your log into 6 equal pizza-shaped pieces. Use a pencil, marker, or ash to mark the lines.
3. Grab your chainsaw or hand saw and cut along one of the lines, but stop about 5" above the ground. Then, with the nose of the chainsaw, cut a little further down into the center of the log so the cut is deeper in there.
4. Repeat Step 3 for all of the lines.
Now for the fun part--setting it a'blaze! Either fill the center with tinder or drip a little fire starter fluid in the crevices. Most likely your fire log will smoke a lot at first, and then you'll see flames develop shortly after.
This interesting fire log is a unique way to cook your favorite camping meals or enjoy a beautiful fire at night. If you're tired of using the typical stack-and-light fire, give this old-school technique a try to see how it works for you. And if you make one, take some pics and share them with us on our Facebook or Instagram pages!