What fuel should I use when cooking on wood?
Below our recommended outdoor cooking fuels, all with individual benefits and outputs.
Flaming Firewood goes through the same process as our standard kiln dried logs, being force-dried in kilns rather than drying naturally or being "seasoned" over time. We supply these in bulk bags or in convenient small bags on pallets and they will consist of British hardwoods, mainly oak, beech and ash. We call Flaming firewood our value pack as these logs did not meet the specifications in our quality control process due to their smaller shapes and odd sizes. Because of the smaller sizes, they take less time drying in the kiln to get below the 20% moisture content required for an optimal burn and stipulated by the Ready to Burn Scheme. Despite being classed as a value pack, Flaming Firewood is great to use when cooking on wood. This is because the smaller and differently shaped logs make it quicker to get a good fire and easier to control the heat output. The varying species in Flaming Firewood have unique benefits when used for outdoor cooking. Oak is famous for giving that smoky flavor to your food, so it is fabulous when cooking on BBQs. Ash will not only give you the most beautiful fire, but it also has a light and unique flavor, which makes it a great cooking fuel. Last but not least, beech is the lowest spitting species and regulates heat exceptionally well.
This particular log is of a specially selected species, with approximately 25cm in length and 4-10cm in width. This means that it is a lot thinner split than our standard kiln dried logs. However, don't be alarmed; there is a method to our madness. The thinner logs are proven to help the fire reach optimal cooking heat much faster, and they also make it easier to manage the fire throughout your cooking experience. As our Grill & Chill logs are only made up of one species, you can ensure consistency and low spitting outcomes when using these logs for cooking your food, helping you cook your food evenly and with more control. Used in top restaurants throughout the UK, our Grill & Chill logs will make your cooking on wood experience easy and leave everyone in awe of your cooking abilities. Being a thinner split log, we recommend using Grill & Chill when cooking in wood-fired pizza ovens, but it also can be used when cooking on barbeques and firepits.
This next option is not so much for outdoor grilling but more useful for outdoor chilling. Our Firekits are the convenient solution for all your firelighting needs. If you are unfamiliar with them, let me catch you up - these fabulous boxes include 16-24 kiln dried logs and 3 of our revolutionary KindleFlamers - everything you need to start your perfect fire. These were added to our range in 2020 and have helped so many of our wonderful customers with their firelighting needs since then. They are delivered via DPD within 3-5 working days and are great for those with less storage or access difficulties. Not only this, they are straightforward to maneuver, meaning you can carry them outside to your firepit or outdoor/indoor wood burner with ease! Although we wouldn't use these logs to cook with as they would take longer to burn through due to their diameter, we would recommend them for using for stargazing evenings around the firepit. So if you're looking for the perfect fuel for entertaining outdoors or outdoor heating, these will be perfect.
It's undeniable that charcoal is a prevalent fuel for outdoor cooking, especially for BBQs and grilling. Whether you're grilling chicken, steaks, or vegetables, you can rest assured that charcoal will provide sufficient heat. The most common reason people choose to cook with charcoal is to achieve that unforgettable smokey, tender taste. But what many do not realise is that you can achieve similar, if not more flavor, by cooking on wood. Woods like applewood and beech give off subtle fruitful flavors which can elevate your food.
We are so sure in the quality of our British kiln dried firewood that we even offer many back guarantee if you are unsatisfied with what we've provided. Our kiln drying process is like no other and is all done on our farm in Herefordshire. Watch the video below to see how we achieve this outstanding quality.
What do I need to light my fire?
We discovered Flamers in 2010 and now produce them here on the family farm in Herefordshire. Our Flamers natural firelighters are a must-have firelighting tool. Made from wood wool, dipped in refined paraffin wax, only one Flamer is needed to light any fire, whether that's a wood burner or an outdoor cooking appliance. They are natural, odorless, clean and convenient, and most importantly - will light your fire every time, reliably. When lighting a fire with Flamers, you will need to add 6 sticks of kindling, one Flamer and logs to light your fire.
You can choose from a range of pack sizes, with the largest being 200 packs for the more regular user.
Here at Certainly Wood, it has become our mission to make firelighting an easy task. We simply want you to enjoy the benefits of a roaring fire as quickly as possible. This is where our super-efficient and super long KindleFlamer comes into play. KindleFlamers are our latest addition to our range and are on a mission to revolutionize the way you light your fires. They are the ultimate firelighter, that being 3x the length of our original Flamers. These require no kindling and can be used on all fires, whether you're using them on fire pits, campfires, BBQs, or even chimeneas. A couple of logs on the grate of your wood burner or at the bottom of your firepit, a KindleFlamer in between, and a nice cup of coffee or tea to watch your effortless task turn into a magnificent display of dancing flames.
Our natural firelighters are loved by our customers, mainly because they are entirely natural, but, most importantly, they have no smell and are easy to light with a long burn. Once you have tried Flamers, you won’t look back! They are a Flaming Natural!
Now, these are definitely not necessary for lighting your fires, but boy, don't they look good by the side of your fire pit or wood burner! Not only do they do the job of looking good, but they are also great for storing your Flamers (75 to be pack precise) and even fit our KindleFlamers 18 pack. So, why not add that Certainly Wood touch and look into purchasing this perfect storage solution.
For many years now, kindling has been a vital component in the traditional firelighting method. Our kindling is kiln dried and is hand-packed into wax-coated cardboard boxes, which contain no plastic. We dry our kindling starting wood below 12% moisture content, which ensures a great base for your fire pretty much straight away. If you wish to light your fire using kindling, all you would need is 6 sticks along with one of our Flamers, then of course a match and a couple of logs!
For more information on firelighting:
- How to light your fire: https://www.certainlywood.co.uk/blogs/news/get-cooking-on-wood-lighting-your-fire
What's the best way to light your barbeques or firepits?
In this section, we will compare three firelighting methods; the traditional method with logs over kindling and firelighter, the new top-down method with the opposite structure, and finally, our very own KindleFlamer top down method. All of the options will achieve a good result when using quality materials like our Flamers natural firelighters and kiln dried kindling and logs. It comes down to personal preference and in some cases time you have to light your fire.
We have for a long time recommended the Jenga-style method, where you stack your kindling in a Jenga shape, balance a couple of logs diagonally on top, and light a Flamer firelighter in the middle as pictured to the left. This method is used commonly in households across the world, especially to light a woodburner, and can work extremely well. Recently, woodburner manufacturers have started to recommend the top-down method, due to the heat warming up the flue quicker.
We have become fans of the newer top-down approach that most stove manufacturers now recommend. You would place a couple of larger logs on your wood burner/ firepit/campfire grate or base and then build your Jenga shape on the top to light.
The beauty of this method is that the logs are less likely to collapse when positioned on top of your Jenga stack.
Our Kindle-Flamer Top-down Method
One of our founders, George, came up with a brilliant new idea to light a fire during one long winter's evening. He combined three of our normal Flamers into one super long KindleFlamer and worked out you do not even need any kindling to light your fire.
This product has become a big success with many people, unsurprisingly. We now mainly resort to this type of firelighting and use the top-down method without any kindling.
Types of Cooking on Wood
We want to introduce you to the various methods of cooking on wood and the benefits of each type. Here we will explore campfires, firepits, kotlichs, BBQs and pizza ovens.
- Great for cooking meats, hot dogs, kebabs, skewers, and toasting marshmallows
- Very little equipment required
- Simple lighting
Cavemen discovered the benefits fires have in terms of heating and cooking and to this day something about fires seems to attract us. Even with more modern stoves and specialized cookware, nothing beats the appeal of a meal cooked over the campfire. Campfire cooking is achievable and easy whether you are out and about on your adventures or in your back garden.
What are campfires good for and how do you cook on them?
Campfires are notorious for adding the most beautiful flavor to foods, whether that's meats, vegetables, or sweets. Some foods you can cook over a campfire include kebab, bread, meats, fruit and vegetables, grilled cheese, hotdogs, and marshmallows; proper traditional camping food! To master cooking on a campfire, all you need is kiln dried logs, firelighters, and a match, and depending on what you are cooking, you will need a campfire grill/grate, pot, or Dutch oven.
Here are a few crucial points that you will need to consider:
Cooking with a Dutch Oven:
- Good for stews, soups, casseroles, roasting, and bread
- Great at conducting heat and keeping moisture in
- When cooking on wood with your Dutch oven, ensure you have a good bed of coals
As you might expect from something with "Dutch" in its name, the Dutch oven originates from the Netherlands. Back in the 17th century, the first Dutch ovens were made from copper and brass, which were highly valued and handmade by only the finest craftsmen. However, the price of these deterred many, so in 1710 an Englishmen named Abraham Darby wanted to create a cheaper but still as effective alternative. To do so, he used the more economical metal of cast iron to try and replicate this fine-crafted cooking utensil, and this is what we use in the UK to this day. 
So, what are Dutch ovens good for?
How do I use Dutch ovens when cooking outdoors?
Cooking with a Kotlich:
- Enamel cooking pot means it is easy and light to handle
- Easily adjusted to ensure an optimal cooking experience
- Great for casseroles, stews and soups
Although familiar with the shape, many do not know the name of this tripod cooking utensil. Well pictured below, is a kotlich set. The kotlich (Serbo-Croat name) or bogracs (Hungarian) is an enamel cooking pot that hangs from a light tripod, easily set up anywhere from the back doorstep to the allotment, from riverside to the beach. Enamel is light and easy to handle and clean; the tripod makes cooking very versatile. The pot or grill can be adjusted to suit the heat, and it can be swung about to keep food moving and the heat even. We nearly always use the “fire pit” to contain the fire. This isn’t essential where there is space for a fire, but the fire pit allows you to contain and control the fire wherever you choose to place it.
What can you cook on a Kotlich?
Traditionally, Hungarians used kotlichs to cook goulash or fish soup but the range is much more versatile than that. Due to their large container, kotlichs are great to use when cooking for an audience. In the office, we have cooked casseroles and stews, but the possibilities are endless. Things like chili, bolognese, soups, and even custard. The adjustable chains make it easy to manage and ensure your cooking experience is as easy as it can be.
For more Kotlich cooking information:
- Cooking with a Kotlich: https://www.certainlywood.co.uk/blogs/news/campfire-cooking-with-a-kotlich
Cooking on Firepits:
- Perfect for outdoor chilling & grilling
- Great for social gatherings
- You can cook almost anything in a variety of different methods
Firepits aren't just for outdoor chilling, why not use them for outdoor grilling! Not only are firepits amazing garden centrepiece, but they are also actually great for cooking on wood. The obvious cooking method when talking about firepits is grilling. This method is not only the most common method, it is probably the easiest. Some firepits do actually come with a grill, but if yours doesn't these can be easily picked up in-store or online.
How do I use my firepit to cook outdoors?
It depends on what you cooking! If you wish to cook meats there are two methods that you should follow; grilling and roasting. Grilling is quite self-explanatory and will give your food that amazing smoky flavor, similar to that of a BBQ. All you will need for this is a grill panel and fuel.
However, one of the most primal ways of cooking food over a fire pit is with using a rotisserie. Even though you will need to spend a little more time cooking, the juicy, mouthwatering meat you end up with is definitely worth the extra time.
Another way is by using a pot or Dutch oven. Once you have let your firewood burn through, you will be left with hot coals. These hot coals are great fuel for Dutch oven cooking as these ovens are great conductors of heat. A top tip for this type of cooking on a firepit is to place some of your coals on top and around the side of the cooking apparatus, to allow for optimal cooking.
Among the many things that can be cooked on a fire pit, the most notorious one is marshmallows. You can use shop bought marshmellow skewers or even collect some twigs onto which you can spike your marshmellows. You want to cook them over hot flames but be careful - they burn very quickly.
How do I light my firepit?
This is a question many beginners may ponder over, but have no fear, our MD Nic has created a short 2-minute video that includes all our tips & tricks on how you can light your firepit.
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Cooking with Pizza Ovens:
- Will insulate heat extremely well, meaning it is easy to retain heat for hours
- Can cook pizzas and other foods in under 5 minutes, which is very useful when cooking for an audience
What can you cook in a pizza oven?Let's get the most obvious one out of the way; pizzas. Yes, in a pizza oven you can indeed cook pizzas. They make for a wonderfully light pizza but at the same time retain the crispy and slightly smokey flavor in the crusts. The insulation these ovens have are like no other, meaning that you can fully cook your pizza in some ovens even within 90 seconds.
Not only can you cook pizzas in pizza ovens, but you also cook a variety of things ranging from jacket potatoes, bread, meats and veggies. Just make sure to keep rotating the food during cooking, as it is easy to overcook one side if not turned.
What fuel should I use when cooking with my Pizza Oven?We recommend our Grill & Chill logs as they are 100% British beech, so you can ensure consistency when using these logs for cooking your food. Another reason why you should give these logs a go is because of their proven and low spitting characteristics.
Cooking on BBQs:
- Perfect summer activity with family and friends
- You can cook an array of foods like burgers, sausages, chicken, veggies, halloumi, surf and turf
What can you cook on a BBQ?Infamously, burgers and sausages are classic foods to cook on the barbecue and are easily done. But do you ever fancy trying something a little different? Corn, surf & turf, kebabs, skewers, grilled halloumi, quesadillas, and grilled vegetables are amongst the many food possibilities you can cook on the BBQ.
How to light a wood-fired or charcoal BBQ?Whether your BBQ is charcoal or wood-fired, we have the perfect tips & tricks to help get you grilling this summer. The first thing to remember is unlike gas BBQs, charcoal and wood-fired BBQs need extra time to heat up, so make sure you factor this into your cooking schedule. Ensure that the BBQ is clean and tidy by taking out the grate and opening and dusting off the vents. This allows air to circulate around the fuel, which helps in reaching optimal cooking temperature quicker. See below for recommendations for both charcoal and wood-fired BBQs.
- Make sure to use the correct amount of charcoal: The more charcoal you will use and the tighter you pack it, the hotter your fire will be and the longer it will burn. You'll need to use different amounts of charcoal for different food content, for example, you would need to use more charcoals when cooking processed meats like sausages and burgers, to avoid food poising.
- No smoke: Make sure you only start cooking when there is no smoke. If there is smoke on your charcoal BBQ, it is a good indication that the coals are not ready.
- Temperature: To ensure your barbeque retains the right amount of heat, you want to purchase a temperature gauge and not let the temperature go under 107 Celsius. Most charcoal BBQs will also have vents, which is useful if you need to reduce the heat, slow down cooking or escalate cooking times.
- Lighting charcoal BBQs: Many struggle when attempting to light charcoal BBQs, but have no fear, our fire lighters are here. Instead of struggling with newspapers and kindling, all you need is one KindleFlamer. Simply place a KindleFlamer on top of the charcoals and light and the firelighter will do the heavy work for you. They are all natural, using no chemicals, but don’t worry, they certainly don’t lack in punch! They are a firelighting natural.. Take a look at our KindleFlamers!
- A healthy start: A healthy start to fire is vital for a long-lasting, well-burning BBQ. There are two methods you can use when starting your wood fire; the top-down or traditional method. More on that here.
- Circulation: The key to lighting any fire is to have good circulation. Air provides oxygen to the fire and without it, it will neither light nor burn Make sure to open the vents slightly and place your logs diagonally.
- Firelighter: Instead of using scrunched-up newspaper, why not opt for the more reliable option and choose an all natural firelighter This will massively impact the time it will take to light your fire plus, it will not affect your food as there are no chemicals let off.
- Wood: First of all, make sure your logs are dry and try and use a range of log sizes, starting with smaller pieces and using the larger sizes to steady the burn. Want to learn more top tips on how to light your fire, take a look here: How to light your fire - Top tips 
- A Blaze of Flavour - cooking on wood: https://www.certainlywood.co.uk/blogs/news/a-blaze-of-flavor-cooking-on-a-wood-fire
Things to consider when cooking outside:
- How dry are your logs: Our logs are definitely the best choice for cooking - they have less moisture content, thanks to our kiln-drying process – which results in more intense heat and a lot less smoke when used in a fire pit or even barbeque. You can’t grill on wet logs as the food will be steamed or smoked rather than grilled as it’s impossible to achieve a high-enough temperature. Our logs have less oil content too, thanks to kiln-drying, meaning the only thing spitting will be your sausages.
- How clean is your wood/charcoal?: Our logs go through two processes: chopping and drying. They are natural and so when used for cooking, you will not have to worry about any chemical additions or flavors. This means when cooking with wood, your food will taste of nothing but the subtleties of wood smoke. Also, with some chemical-based firelighters or fire lighting fuel, you often risk emitting many chemicals which are bound to worsen the taste of your food. With our all-natural flamers firelighters, you are guaranteed to avoid this and taste nothing but the food you're cooking!
- The heat of your fire: While sometimes cooking over live flames can be useful, the majority of the time it can be difficult to manage and not give you the results you wish for. Cook over embers to ensure your cooking experience is manageable and the heat is steady.
- Safety: Whilst dealing with fire, there will always be the risk that you may get burnt. To avoid this we recommend investing in some long-handed gadgets like tongs or pokers.
- Weather: When cooking on wood, there is no point in attempting to cook when there is strong weather or winds. Not only can it be hazardous, but it will also only dampen your cooking experience and the cooking time will vary as the coals will be cooling down quicker than usual as a result of the wind.
- Softwoods: When cooking on wood, you want to avoid softwoods as they burn too quickly. Hardwoods such as oak ask and beech are best for cooking heat, as they provide a long strong burn whilst also giving you a great flavour. Our kiln dried logs are made up from these species so are always a safe bet whilst cooking.
For more information on food safety:
- Food safety outdoors: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/food-safety-outdoors
Cooking on Wood Recipes
- Campfire Bread
- Vegan Sausage Casserole
- Toasted Chocolate Marshmallows
- Banana Boats
Pizza Oven Recipes
- Traditional Irish Stew
- Toasted Chocolate Marshmallows
- Rump Steak
- Caribbean Fruit & Vegetables Kebabs
- Roasted Chestnuts
- Beef Tacos
- Halloumi & Chutney Tacos
- Traditional English Breakfast
- Tortilla Wraps
What wood should I use for a firepit?
Any kiln-dried firewood will do just the trick! However, we recommend our Flaming Firewood as the logs are smaller and less uniform in size, thus allowing for easier heat control and an easier, more enjoyable cooking experience.
What wood should I use for a pizza oven?
Our Grill & Chill logs: These particular logs are a specially selected species, meaning that they are low spitting with incredible heat output. They are also a lot thinner in diameter which is really useful for those with smaller ovens or beginners.
What wood should I use for campfires?
Any low moisture or kiln dried logs! As long as you are not burning wet wood, you will be able to get a good, long burn which is vital for cooking on wood. If testing the camping waters, you might want to consider our log boxes which contain both logs and KindleFlamers natural firelighters, so you will only need a match or flint and steel to spark up the fire.
How do I cook outdoors with a BBQ?
Simply place your coals on the grate of your BBQ, place your firelighter of choosing on these coals, and cover the firelighter with some more coals, then light! This process could take a while, so a tip of ours is to use one of our KindleFlamers as your firelighter. Why do you ask? Well, it's because they are 3x the length of our normal flamers, which means they cover more width in the BBQ. This will mean more coals will get hotter quickly, letting you get cooking faster!
How do I start a fire?
Simply place two logs on their diagonal on the grate or base of your fire pit/campfire/pizza oven, place one of our KindleFlamers in the middle, then proceed to place another two logs in a similar fashion on top of the bottom two. Light your firelighter and stand in awe of the dancing flames you will soon see.
What can I cook on the campfire?
Anything you can imagine! With the right equipment, you and your campfire could cook anything you wish. Ranging from casseroles & stews to puddings and bread, your campfire can accomplish anything. Check out our Campfire recipes here!
What can I cook in a kotlich?
Any sauce base recipe really, whether that's soups, stews or casseroles. These are really easy to set up and can be adjusted depending on your desired cooking times.
What can I cook in a firepit?
Firepits are really versatile and depending on what equipment you have handy, you can literally cook anything! Whether that's a 5- star meal or classic smores. Toasty's, kebabs' marshmallows, burgers, sausages, popcorn, or even bread are amongst some of the foods you can cook on your firepit.
What can I cook in a wood-fired BBQ?
Wood-fired BBQs are a rare sight in the UK, as most citizens use charcoal as their main BBQ fuel. Nevertheless, wood-fired BBQs are amazing at adding that smokey flavor to your foods and can be a quicker and easier method than charcoal BBQs. On any BBQ you can cook the classics like burgers, sausages, kebabs, and sweetcorn, but there is a lot more you can cook than that. Check out our BBQ recipes here!
What can I cook in a pizza oven?
Pizza ovens are great pieces of cooking equipment and are actually a lot more versatile than people think. Other than the obvious (pizzas) you can cook a variety of foods, ranging from great-tasting roasted vegetables to fresh fish, succulent meats to pies, seafood, and even cakes, pizza ovens can do it all.