It’s bonfire season, and if you want to learn how to make a bonfire at home to enjoy in your yard, you’ve come to the right place! Bonfires are such a fantastic communal activity, and they’re great for outdoor grilling and roasting tasty snacks! However, as you might expect with anything involving an open flame, you should take some safety precautions to avoid injury or uncontrolled fire.
Here’s How to Build a Bonfire Like a Seasoned Pro
Nothing puts a damper on bonfire night like not knowing how to actually make one. Show off your skills by using these simple strategies to make your bonfire burn brightly and last longer!
Get a Good Quality Fire Pit
A bonfire pit made from quality materials will help to prevent injury and keep your fire contained. Don’t just pile a bunch of sticks in the middle of a circle of rocks! Plus, many fire pits are actually quite attractive and will contribute to the design aesthetic of your landscape. We really love our Breeo fire pits—they come in various styles and sizes to suit your outdoor space.
Put Your Pit In a Safe Location
A good rule of thumb is to make sure there is at least ten feet of space all around your bonfire pit. Don’t go setting it up right next to a fence, garage, or garden. A gust of wind could send those flames soaring, and that could be quite dangerous. Avoid putting your bonfire pit underneath a tree canopy because the flames can get high pretty quickly when you first light your fire. With how dry our weather has been lately, the risk of wildfires is high, so you want to avoid contact with tree foliage at all costs. Ideally, it’s best to place the firepit on pavers, instead of over wood or grass.
Split Large Logs With An Axe
Big, chunky logs won’t burn well, so it’s best to split them lengthwise, so they’re thinner. Be careful while you’re wielding that ax!
Build a Log “Teepee” For A Bonfire That Lasts Longer
Positioning your logs like a teepee or pyramid will create a stable structure with space in the bottom for kindling or fire starters. This way, all the logs will be exposed to the flame, and oxygen can circulate throughout to keep the flame burning strong. As the fire burns and the logs turn to ash, continue laying more logs onto the teepee to keep it burning longer.
Use a Fire Starter Cake
One of the trickiest parts of learning how to make a bonfire is getting the fire to actually start! A simple solution is to use fire starter cakes. They’re kind of like chunky tealight candles filled with wood chips and wax that continue to burn for hours. Other kindling materials, such as crumpled up paper, burn up very quickly, so the wood won’t always catch the flame in time.
There are also many DIY tutorials available on how to make your own bonfire starter cakes. Dryer lint and wax mixed together in a paper cupcake liner is a super effective fire starter that’s cheap to make!
Don’t Use Flammables to Increase Flame Size
Using flammables like gas or aerosols is a recipe for disaster. One little slip up could result in serious injury or a lawn engulfed in flames, so resist the temptation to fuel up that fire! A well-built fire won’t need any additives to make it burn longer.
Don’t Burn Fall Leaves
Some people like to burn up all their fall leaves to get rid of them, but we do not recommend this. Burning leaves can release lots of nasty chemicals and carcinogens into the air, and you don’t want to breathe in that stuff. It’s also very easy for burning leaves to get picked up by the wind and spread across your lawn, which could cause a house fire or wildfire. Instead, consider mulching your leaves to add to your garden bed, or throw them in the compost bin.
Now that you know how to build a bonfire, you’ll need to stock up on the necessary supplies! Visit one of our Alsip locations to see all the latest bonfire pits and accessories for outdoor cooking. Our staff will be happy to help you find the best fire pit to suit your style, budget, and space.