Why Top-Down Fire Lighting Is Best For Wood Burning Stoves

Example of the top-down fire lighting method using Lekto Natural Firelighters

There are different ways to start a fire. You’re probably familiar with the triangle or ‘pyramid’ method. There is also a grid or ‘Jenga-like’ tower arrangement. Both suggest starting with kindling and once that’s burning, throwing on your wood fuel. However, we suggest the top-down fire lighting approach - which is an excellent technique for most fireplaces and wood stoves.


First, start by placing the Kiln-Dried Firewood or Hardwood Heat Logs at the bottom of your wood burning stove or fireplace. If you are going to use Hardwood Heat Logs then do bear in mind that they will expand once lit and starting to burn, so remember to leave some space around your grate which will allow air to mix well with the fuel. If your wood burner’s size allows, you can build an extra level of wood fuel.

Always use kiln-dried wood - this is particularly important for your next step when adding kindling. You have a few options here. Stack kindling in a grid shape or pyramid, or simply pile it up with a bit of space between the pieces to let the air flow around and through them. Take one a Lekto Natural Firelighters and place on top of the kindling, then take a second Natural Firelighter and light it up. After a few seconds once it’s burning, place it next to the one inside your wood burner. These firelighters will burn for up to 10 minutes and produce a strong, steady flame.


Remember not to overload your burner - the assembled wood fuel should not sit above the fireplace opening. As the fire burns from the top to bottom, it will continue to ignite the wood below.  

The top-down fire lighting approach will save you time, as you won’t have to check back later to ensure your fuel has caught fire. You will also notice that only a little smoke is produced, as the fire burns cleanly from the top of the stack. 

This method will also improve your overall wood fuel burning experience, as the top-down fire preheats your flue and warms the chimney without the obstruction of layers of wood fuel on top of your fire. 

Remember to adjust your stove’s air intake after 10 to 12 minutes as less air is needed once your fire is blazing. If you use kiln-dried wood fuel and our Natural Firelighters, the emanating smoke will be a pleasant white or light grey.

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Photo and Video by @designermumetc