How to Build a Cozy Fireplace Fire (That Won’t Get Smoky)

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As the holidays draw near and the coldest days of the year start trickling in, the idea of warming up by the crackling flames of a picture-perfect fire is too alluring to ignore. But without the right preparation, that ideal fire can turn into a room full of smoke accompanied by nothing more than a few wispy flames. A fireplace fire operates differently than your typical campfire, so it makes sense that building one should require a few tweaks to your standard procedure.

With indoor fires, it’s especially important to start with well-seasoned wood that won’t smoke you out of your living room. Along with good wood, you can help reduce smoke by using an upside down fire-building technique. With kindling on top and large logs on the bottom, the flames won’t pass through cold wood, which only increases smoke production. The right technique and a few preparation tricks can go a long way to making your next cozy fire worthy of a Norman Rockwell painting.

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Illustrated by Ted Slampyak

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