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Firepod- Retro portable pizza oven

Firepod Pizza oven

The Firepod

You might have spotted our newest product the Firepod. As we are extending our range of outdoor cooking products we have come across this fantastic, portable retro styled Pizza oven.

Ideal for taking to parties or on your apartment balcony. No need for large storage space and it runs on camping gas.  Add the griddle and take it as your camping stove to grill and make your breakfast on in the morning.

You can make a pizza in 10 minutes ready to serve to you, your family or guests.  It’s a really fun, quirky pizza oven to have in your garden.

As a kickstarter project it has raised great attention in the industry and is fast selling in the States- lets’ make it a best seller over here in the UK. With additional colours being added to the range over the coming weeks and a lava stone to add the ability to cook at the table this is a versatile outdoor oven.

The cook box has a 5 year warranty and all other parts a 2 year warranty.

Below is a easy wholemeal pizza base recipe you can follow to get you started with cooking in your pizza oven.

Wholemeal Pizza Base

Servings: 2

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking time- 3-4 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 500g Wholemeal flour
  • 25g butter or margarine
  • 2tsp Salt
  • 13g dried yeast
  • 250ml warm water

Method:

  1. Add the yeast to the warm water and stir to fully dissolve
  2. Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl and rub in the butter
  3. Add the yeast and mix to a soft dough, using more water if necessary
  4. Kneed for about 5 minutes until smooth
  5. Cover the dough and leave somewhere warm until it as doubled in size
  6. On a floured surface roll the dough out into two pizza shapes
  7. Use the toppings of your choice and cook on your Firepod for 3 minutes

Suitable for Vegetarians.

 

 

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Chimney pots and cowls- Do you need one?

 

 

 

Clay Chimney pot
Clay Chimney Pot

 

When we come and carry out a free survey at your house to look into the option of a woodburning stove installation we always check the state of your chimney and more often than not we have found that you will need a new chimney cowl or pot as part of the installation.  Now you may have never heard of a chimney cowl or pot before and that is rather common, as most people do not think about the top of their chimney much. And you are wondering if you even need one.

So what is a chimney pot and why should you have one?

A chimney pot or chimney cowl comes in various shapes and sizes but basically is a pot shape either in terracotta or metal that sits on top of your chimney. And even though technically it is an optional item for your woodburning installation it can solve many problems and is highly recommended. We fit them as standard, if needed, as our experience shows that fitting one is always far more beneficial than not having one and here are some reasons why:

 

Improved draw: 

They improve the draw of your stove. This means smoke, fumes and hot air travel more efficiently through your chimney improving the efficiency of your stove.  There are some rotating chimney cowls such as the exodraft system that really help out where there is a problem with the draw of your fire. Please note though always ask your installer for your advice as these types of cowls should only be used where there is a problem with the draw. Otherwise they can overfire your woodburning stove and cause more problems.

It keeps the rain out:

Chimney cowl that keeps the rain out

 

This is a very helpful benefit especially in the UK winter months.  Rain doesn’t reach all the way to the bottom of your chimney, as most chimneys are designed to stop it happening, however the addition of a chimney pot or chimney cowl will prevent it even further. Especially where a chimney as been built for your specific woodburning stove, such as in a twin wall system where the flue pipe acts as the chimney

 

 

 

Anti Bird Chimney cowl

Prevents Birds nesting in your chimney: 

Birds love chimneys and a quick google search will reveal that bird nests are a common problem for chimney sweeps and woodburning stove installers.  Many bird species are protected and if they have built a nest in your chimney you often have to wait for an installation until after the nesting period as you are not allowed to move their nest.  Even after an installation bird nests can cause a problem and it is a good idea to prevent birds from nesting in your chimney as you may not be able to light a fire or are in danger of killing the birds and their nests.  Chimney sweeps often find sticks, debris from nests blocking a chimney and causing a significant fire hazard.  A simple chimney pot will prevent this situation from happening.

 

Anti Downdraft chimney cowl

Prevents a down draught: 

Down draught often occur at the change of seasons throughout the year and can cause problems such as smoke coming back into your room or fires not lighting properly in the first place.  It is when the outside air and the inside air are at a different temperature and the air from outside pushes down on the air and smoke trying to rise up through your chimney.  A cowl or chimney pot can easily prevent this from happening making your woodburning experience pleasant and efficient.

 

 

Cowls or a chimney pot are always supplied by us when we carry out an installation if it is deemed necessary for your chimney. However there are many flue suppliers out there who supply them for your installation.  A company we work with and regularly source their chimney pots are called Flue & Ducting who also supply some of our woodburning and multi-fuel stoves.

 

 

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The case for wood fuel

The following is an article by John Everitt which was published earlier on this year in The Ecologist.  We felt it explained the importance of burning high quality fuel really well so worth re-posting on our blog.  You can find a link to the article in the Ecologist at the end.

 

15th March 2019- John Everitt- ‘The Ecologist 

Ashdown Forest
Managing and choosing wood in the right way might help us reclaim the case for burning wood.

Wood fuel seems to be having a hard time of it lately. The arguments used to be so simple – wood is a green, sustainable product, right?  Well, maybe.

The discussions around carbon and particulates suddenly make this debate so much more complicated, and are in danger of turning us off wood for good.

Take the news that 47 UK towns and cities are at or exceeding WHO standards for air pollution.  This has catapulted air quality up the political agenda, and stimulated a Government Clean Air Strategy published in January that has singled out wood fuel as one of the main contributors to particulate pollution.  Or Sadiq Khan’s suggestions that wood burning stoves should be banned altogether, causing uproar amongst those with a newly installed burner.

Air pollution

So is wood fuel really the enemy?  It’s enough to induce a guilty conscience as you slip another log on the burner this winter or, worse still, to abandon your stove and crank up the central heating instead.

Now, I’m not suggesting that air pollution isn’t important – it’s the UK’s top environmental risk to human health – nor am I saying that burning solid fuels isn’t part of the problem, but I think it’s time we re-claimed the case for burning wood.

Part of the problem with the recent reports is that they lump together all domestic solid fuels and all types of appliances, showing how they cause around 38 percent of emissions – higher even than industry and transport.

But amongst all the headlines, I think we’ve lost sight of two simple messages – firstly, that all wood is not the same, and secondly, that the way that you burn it can make all the difference.  So much so that I believe if we burn the right wood in the right way we can actually improve both our carbon footprint and our air quality.

Unlike solid fossil fuels, wood fuel should be a carbon neutral resource; the C02 released on burning is matched by the amount absorbed when it is growing.  But carbon can also be emitted through processing and transport of wood fuel, clocking up wood miles just like food miles.

Renewable sources

Wood fuel should also be renewable, but if there isn’t a cycle of tree re-planting or natural regeneration, or if woodlands are not thinned sustainably, that simply won’t be the case.

Well-managed woodlands will ensure that healthy trees remain long into the future, with carbon locked up in the mature trees, soils and vegetation, and further C02 taken up as young trees grow. This means that the woodland cycle is not just renewable and carbon neutral, but can result in a net carbon benefit.

That brings us on to burning.  The reports have highlighted that burning green or ‘wet’ wood can emit twice as much particulate matter as seasoned or ‘dry’ wood.  Drying in a kiln or seasoning wood to air dry naturally reduces the moisture content to less than 20 percent, meaning that wood will burn more efficiently and can be classed as ‘ready to burn’.

Wood should also be kept in a well-covered, ventilated store to make sure that it doesn’t re-absorb moisture.

And then there’s the wood burning appliances themselves.  Open fires can emit nearly ten times as much pollution as the latest range of ‘eco-design ready’ wood burning stoves, so called because they already meet the stringent air quality regulations due to come into force in 2022. Promoting the shift to wood burners and increasing efficiency can drive new, clean technology and the growth of a responsible wood fuel industry.

Local communities

These discussions are being played out in the National Forest, where we are supporting the expansion of community wood fuel groups.

Volunteers are out managing woodlands across the autumn and winter season, and at the same time enhancing their own health and wellbeing, increasing their skills and having fun.  At the end of the sessions they take a boot full of logs home to season and burn.

It’s now got to the stage where they’re even sharing images of wood burners on Facebook.  This is about as local as you can get and highlights the multiple benefits of wood fuel and well-managed woodlands on your doorstep – and that’s before you consider the other things they’re providing, like access for people to enjoy woodland, improved habitats for wildlife or management of water flows.

This is a success story whichever way you look at it, and surely the sort of thing we should be promoting.

So, come on, let’s fall in love again with burning wood.  A simple shift from fossil fuels to wood fuel, and open fires to wood burners means that we can also make a huge improvement in air quality. With just five easy steps, we can all breathe more easily and ensure that wood fuel is still part of our energy future.

Five steps

  1. Use locally grown wood fuel to reduce CO2 in the distribution and processing
  2. Ensure your wood fuel is sustainably harvested so that woodland is maintained as a carbon store and renewable resource – better still, join a volunteer group and harvest it yourself
  3. Dry, season and store your wood properly or buy seasoned timber that is ‘ready to burn’ to halve emissions of particulates during burning
  4. Use an efficient wood burner, ideally one that is eco-design ready.  These have increased efficiency and are permitted for use in smoke control areas
  5. Service and clean your flue and burner regularly to maintain efficiency

 

This Author 

John Everitt is chief executive of the National Forest Company, which is responsible for coordinating the creation and management of the 200 square mile National Forest spanning parts of Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire.

Article Link 

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Clock Woodburners

Clock Woodburning stoves

Introducing the Clock Woodburners Range

 

Photo of Clock Woodburners Blithfield
Clock Blithfield

 

A fantastic multi-fuel stove that bridges the contemporary and traditional feel of a fireplace.  This is woodburning stove is not available to purchase online however we are able to source them through our account with Clock Woodburners and it is one of our favourite stoves to install so we thought we would give you a bit of a review.

As a bit of a newcomer to the stove market you may have your doubts about the performance of this woodburning stove range, yet you can be assured that this is a top of the range amazing woodburning stove.  We have been installing them now for 2 years and the feedback from our customers has been fantastic.  The industry as a whole also thinks so with the Clock Blithfield winning awards at the annual Hearth & Home show, which is the pinnacle trade show for the Fireplace and woodburning stove industry.

Currently there are three models on the market.

The Clock Blithfield multi-fuel stove:

Clock Blithfield on quarry bank tiled diamond hearth
Clock Blithfield woodburning stove Manchester on a quarry bank Harlequin hearth

 

 

A 5Kw stove with a range of 3-9kW with a large wide window for an extraordinary flame picture. This is a wide stove that will suit medium to large fireplace openings. It is fully DEFRA approved and Eco Design ready. This means that it can be installed and used in smoke controlled areas and meets future regulation changes.  It burns both wood and smokeless fuel such as anthracite or coal if you live in an area where you are allowed to burn coal.

 

 

 

The Clock Blithfield Compact:

Clock Blithfield Compact woodburning and multi-fuel stove
Clock Blithfield Compact woodburning stove

A compact version of the larger Blithfield  multi-fuel woodburning stove. Designed for smaller fireplaces and a slightly lower range heatouput.  Registered at 5kW it still kicks out significant heat but it’s range is more up to 7kW this means that it is ideal for smaller to medium sized rooms.  And this has become a firm favourite for our installations. Most of our installations are in Urban Manchester with 3 bedroom and 2 bedroom properties where this Clock Blithfield Compact woodburning stove makes an ideal and fantastic centre piece.   A beautiful  stove that has some fantastic detail and easy to use controls.

 

Clock Double Sided stove: 

 

Double Sided Clock woodburning stove
Double sided Eco design ready woodburning stove

 

Very new to the market and few have been installed as yet.  This is a fantastic double sided stove registered at a 7kW and therefore suitable for large rooms.  Double sided stoves lend themselves for through lounges where two rooms need to be heated.  This is a clean burn DEFRA approved double sided stove which there are not many of on the current woodburning stove market.

 

 

 

 

 

With all Clock Woodburning stoves there is a range of options such as colour of the stove and different coloured handles.  There is also a Gas version and Electric version of these stoves available so watch this space for updates and visit the Clock Woodburners website for more details on up and coming products and more photo inspiration.

 

 

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Firemizer

Firemizer product for your woodburning stove

The weather men predicted a hot April 2019 well so far by the 3rd of April it is still freezing. Not that we mind as it means we can all extend the use of our woodburning stoves.  And as we are always on the look out for products that make our woodburning stoves more efficient we have been excited here in the Urban Flame office to have discovered the Firemizer.

This ingenious product was featured on Dragon’s Den and is a great device to reduce your wood usage by around 38%.  A fantastic eco friendly, time and money saving device for your stove.

 

Firemizer product for your woodburning stove
Firemizer 

The Firemizer is a thin mesh net that is placed in your firebox, open fire grate, chimney, pizza oven, Barbecue underneath where you will build the kindling.  The mesh distributes the fire evenly and slows down the burn without compromising the heat.  Making your fire safer and more efficient.

Why is efficiency important?

Firstly an efficient stove is a safer stove.  When you install a woodburning stove in your house you are installing a live fire source that can cause a chimney or house fire.  A more efficient stove burns cleaner and at the right temperature protecting your chimney from unnecessary soot build up.

Efficient woodburning stoves also save you money, simply because they burn less wood.  Especially if you are burning high quality kiln dried wood.  And then if you use a product like the Firemizer you will even increase your efficiency.

How does the Firemzier work?

The Firemizer is made out of a wire mesh (carful when handling) that is placed at the base of your fire or grate which works in three steps.

  1. The Firemizer slows the air flow in your stove to reduce the burn rate of the fuel.
  2. The Firemizer conducts heat evenly across the fire to ensure all fuel is fully burnt away.
  3. The Firemizer prevents small fuel fragments falling through the grate or being left unburnt in the ash bed.
Firemizer wood consumption reduction
Diagram showing how much the Firemizer reduces your woodburning consumption

 

It is really easy to use.  Simply remove from the packet and place into your grate or at the bottom of a fire. Yes it could also be used in a barbecue or even an open campfire. If it is too large for your grate of firebox on your woodburning stove or open fire you simply take a pair of scissors and cut it to size.  If one Firemizer is not large enough for some larger inset woodburning stove you can place two next to each other.   Firemizer should cover most of the base of your woodburning stove, campfire or open fire grate, but it doesn’t have to be an exact fit.

You can leave the Firemizer in the woodburning stove for around 500 hours burn which equates to approximately 6 weeks at 12 hours per day.  If you don’t use your woodburning stove or open fire for 12 hours a day you can see that you can use it for even longer making it a great investment.

The Firemizer is completely tested to high standards and proven to work.  What a great product.

 

 

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How to light a modern woodburning stove?

Our title question is a something we are asked quite frequently as there does seem to be a bit of a technique to it.  We have had comments and concerns from people on whether it would be too difficult or they have had friends and family who had a woodburner installed and then because they found it difficult to use they never actually lit it.  As it is a rather large investment you are making it would be a shame to think that your woodburning stove never gets to be used.

Once you know a few tricks it’s actually quite easy and anyone can do it.   When we first started out using and installing woodburners we had just spent two years in Canada where the whole heating system was large woodburning stoves and we always used newspapers and kindling to start.  That’s what we then did in our living room woodburning stove that we had installed back in 2009. And that was a pain and actually with the demise of local newspaper deliveries also no longer free and we now realise that because of the ink and colour in newspaper also not so great for the environment.

This is now our far more simple method:

You will need:

  • 2 thin pieces of wood
  • 1 Waxling
  • Some pieces of kindling
  • 1-2 Medium sized pieces of logs.

We always recommend extra kiln dried logs from a Woodsure approved brand you will not be sorry to buy quality dry wood, as your stove will burn better and your chimney will be kept cleaner.

Method:

  1. Place your two pieces of kiln dried wood logs into your woodburning stove next too each other nicely towards the back of the woodburning stove
  2. Next build a jenga style small tower maze with your kindling
  3. Place your waxling fire starter in the middle of your kindling tower
  4. Light the waxling
  5. Place one to two pieces of small to medium sized kiln dried wood logs on to the lit fire.
  6. Close the door of your woodburning stove and make sure all necessary air vents are fully opened. (NB:  Each stove does have different controls and if your stove is a multi-fuel stove often there is one air inlet for when you burn wood and one for when you burn other permitted fuel sources such as coal, anthracite or peat)
  7. Now let it burn on full for around 10-15 minutes until the stove is really hot and has reached optimum temperature- we recommend having a stove thermometer on your flue pipe to help you burn as efficient as you can.
  8. Once the optimum temperature in your log burner has been reached you can add a piece of wood and turn your air flow down. Do not close it fully so that the fire doesn’t die down.

That last step is really important as you don’t want to burn your woodburning on full power the whole time as you will actually heat your chimney more than your room.  Also your wood will burn a lot quicker and you will be using far more then you actually need to heat your room well.

Below is a quick video on two types of modern woodburning stove including a cylinder stove. This is a video we always guide our installation customers to to have as a future guide and quick tips video. It is made by Charlton and Jenrick who have an excellent range of stoves and we are able to install their exclusive non internet brands within the Manchester, Lancashire area. So if you like the look of their woodburning stoves do get in touch with us for a free quote for a woodburning stove Manchester.

 

 

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BBQ time- It’s Spring after all

A review of the Chesney Garden Gourmet grill and the Valiant Kala BBQ utensils:

Chesney Garden Gourmet Grill
Chesney Garden Gourmet (Heat 600) Grill

We are going to have a little diversion to our normal how to and great fireplace ideas blog and go a bit personal.  We acquired a Chesney Garden Gourmet outdoor woodburning grill during the winter. As winter is  not an ideal time to BBQ in the U.K, we were very excited that the weather has been turning warmer in the North West of England and got it fired up last weekend.  Our first barbecue of the year was definitely a success albeit a learning curve too.

Burgers are always a great meal for the fussy eaters in the family and simple to make. After making our own burgers it was time to fire up the Chesney Garden Gourmet multi-fuel outdoor stove.

Valiant Kala BBQ tongs
Valiant Kala BBQ tongs on the side of the Chesney Heat 600 grill

 

 

We didn’t have any charcoal as yet, it still being the very beginning of Spring, therefore used kiln dried ash wood instead.   The same type we use in our woodburning stoves and recommend to our customers, sourced by Dalby firewood. As with all our fires this one  was started with a jenga style stack of ash kindling, a waxling fire starter and a couple of pieces of ash logs.  It took a bit of getting going and at one point it was quite smokey- it soon settled to a clean burn.  Even though we light fires all the time it’s a good reminder that whenever you get a new stove it does take a few trials and errors the first time to get it really to draw and burn cleanly.  Not long after lighting you saw no smoke coming  out of the Chesney Garden Gourmet steel chimney, which is always pleasant especially when using it in an urban area like the one we live in. And no danger of smoking out the neighbours.

Our tip would be to use a few extra waxling fire starter  to get the temperature up quicker.  We also found that at first the stoves’ firebox was quite smokey and you couldn’t quite see the fire picture as yet.  Again this soon changed as the Chesney Heat & Grill became hot enough to change it to the BBQ setting.

Photo showing burgers on grill with Valiant Kala BBQ utensils
Showing Valiant Kala BBQ utensils

 

The grill became very hot and we can tell that once using charcoal and flavoured wood/charcoal options, the flavour of the meat will be enhanced amazingly.  It cooked really well without the problem of having flames shoot up through the grill, as the flame bed sits lower than on your average charcoal BBQ.  The Valiant Kala utensils set was a great asset and we were very pleased how sturdy and strong they feel. Manufactured with very high grade steel these are truly high quality.  Their extra long handles also meant that no one got burnt and turning the burgers and the chicken on the Chesney Garden Gourmet was really easy.

Our burgers were very thick but cooked within 10 minutes without any sign of being burnt and everyone enjoyed them immensely.  Overall the Chesney Garden Gourmet barbecue is really fun to use and a great addition to the garden and outdoor lifestyle.  Especially if you already have wood stored for a log burner it’s a great way to use your store. We had been worried that it would continue to be smokey but it burnt clean very quickly and was a very fun and relaxing to grill our meat and food outside.  As Spring continues here we are sure to use it a lot and experiment with the food that it cooks.

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Where can you install a Woodburning Stove Fireplace?

This question was recently asked on our Facebook page and the easiest answer is to say almost anywhere.  Of course this needs a bit of exploration as it’s not always that simple and certainly every household is different in what and where they want to install a woodburning or multi-fuel stove.  However in around 90% of cases it is possible to install a woodburner or multi-fuel stove in your home.  There are some scenarios where the installation becomes more complex but it is rare for us not to be able to install a wooburning stove at all. It may not have a traditional look of a chimney fireplace but there are many fireplace ideas that can work magic in creating that cozy feel a woodburner gives you.  The only living situation where it is not possible at all is if you live in a block of flats. 

Here are three common scenarios:

Scenario 1: 

You already have a Brick Chimney and fireplace:

This is definitely the most straightforward scenario where we can say yes you can install a woodburner or Multifuel Stove.  

Even if the actual fireplace chamber is either blocked off or has an existing gas fire these are secondary issues and can easily be moved or opened up to accommodate a woodburning stove. 

We always recommend a site survey even in these straight forward cases as an experienced HETAS stove installer will be able to look at any potential issues that may still crop up,  such as a  chimney stack that needs repointing.   Some issues can crop up which a HETAS stove installer may not be able to see on a survey but can often be remedied during the installation process.

  A Gas Safe engineer will have to be involved in the process if you have a gas fire that needs removing and the gas outlet needs to be capped off before an installation. If you are in the South Manchester area where we install we have very reliable contacts we are happy to refer you to.  

Once the gas fire, electric fire or any other blocked of entrance has been removed a HETAS stove installer can smoke test the chimney to see whether it needs sweeping.  In some cases even if a gas fire has been in place the chimney may still need a sweep before we can install a woodburning stove.   Again we have excellent contacts for chimney sweeps in the Urmston and South Manchester area. 

As standard Urban Flame always lines chimneys with a flue liner and this can solve many issues such as chimneys’ that are thin internally and may affect the neighbouring properties or bends that could affect the draw.  Any good HETAS stove installer should line your chimney with a flue liner as this will also make it safer to burn your stove and keep the stove at its most efficient. It’s also a way of keeping your insurance company happy as they will often only pay out if there is a fire if the flue liner was also registered with HETAS during the installation process.

Charlton and Jenrick Fireline woodburning stove installation
Fireline Fx5 installation 

 

Scenario 2: 

There is no brick chimney or a non standard brick fireplace: 

Fear not this is where we can get creative. Where there is no chimney at all we can install what is know in the industry as a  twin wall installation.  This basically means that flue pipes and steel chimney pipes are used to create a smoke outlet that meets current building regulations. 

These can actually look really stunning and suit contemporary and traditional style stoves.  There are many fireplace ideas that incorporate this type of stove installation. If you choose to go with a cylinder stove it can also mean that these can often be installed closer to combustible material as they do not get as hot as traditional radiant stoves.

We have even in the past worked alongside builders to build new chimney breasts if a more traditional look is desired and created false internal chimney breast fireplaces. 

Again a survey is one of the best ways to determine the design of a twin wall system and enables us to help you find fireplace ideas that suit your taste and budget. 

Cylinder stove contemporary woodburning stove Manchester
Installation of contemporary woodburning cylinder stove

 

Scenario 3: 

You live in a New Build property and have heard that woodburners cannot be installed: 

Good News it is still possible to install a stove even if you live in a new build.  It is true to say that new build properties are often far better insulated than old properties, this then means there is less air circulation.  Less air in a room means that stoves can struggle to light and can even draw smoke back into the room and increase a chance of carbon monoxide being released into your house.  

There is however a simple solution: a humble air vent.  An additional air vent will increase the air into the room where the stove installation has happened and thereby resolve the issue of stoves not lighting or smoke coming back into the room.   

An air vent will not dramatically increase any draughts into a room, they are designed just to let enough air back into the room for the stove without causing a negative effect on the overall insulation of the stove. 

You can see that a woodburner is an option for many people and their homes.

Why not contact us for a free no obligation survey and quote if you live in the South Manchester, Cheshire or Warrington area.

Contact Urban Flame

Fireplace idea modern woodburning stove in traditional fireplace
Cylinder stove in traditional    fireplace
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3 Top Fireplace Accessories

We often get asked which fireplace accessories are the most important or useful for your woodburner.   There are many options and gadgets out there that will enhance your experience of using your woodburner and giving you fireplace ideas, yet with so much choice on the market and a wealth of information it can be hard to decide what is a good fireside accessory to start off with and which one could wait a while.  So we came up with the top 3 fireside accessories which we believe are a great start.

  1. Stove Thermometer: 

A humble little device that is held on to your stove pipe with a strong magnet and measures the temperature of your stove.  Why is this helpful?  Burning your stove too hot or even too cold has a direct influence on how much wood you are burning, the health of your chimney and liner and the environmental impact

It is important to get your stove up to the optimum temperature when you start a fire because this will heat up your chimney creating the right up draught and lower the build up of soot in the chimney- meaning it keeps clean. 

Once up to temperature your stove will be most efficient when in the optimum burn range meaning you will save on wood and lower the particle emissions, if you are burning good quality wood.  Burn your stove too hot and you can damage the stove itself especially where the flue pipe joins the stove- this can get damaged through heat.  A thermometer can help keep your burn in the perfect temperature range.  Now the question is just what colour to go for.  In the Urban Flame household there is a bit of a disagreement on this- we both like thermometers that have some kind of colour that stands out highlighting the optimum burn range but Craig definitely likes the ones that blend in a bit more like the Phoenix thermometer, where as I just love my colours and love the Valiant grey and green thermometer.  That does come down to personal choice 🙂 

 

Stove woodburner thermometer
Stove thermometer

 

2.  Fireside Companion Set: 

A good fireside companion set is a great tool kit to have next to your stove. Not only can they enhance the look of the fireplace but they are also practical. A winning combination.  The most often used fireside tool is the poker because no doubt a piece of wood or coal will one day fall forward in your fire and to avoid getting the stove glass black the poker is a great fireside tool enabling you to push the wood back in its place.  It also helps when you are adding fire wood to the stove by using it to flatten the already smouldering fuel creating an even fire picture.

A brush and shovel are ideal to clear up any ash that has fallen out during or after the use of a stove.  With open fires and woodburners that are not multi-fuel stoves a small shovel is great at helping empty the ash. 

Brush poker shovel and tong set for logburners
Traditional styled companion set

We are a bit divided on whether tongs are necessary- and we would say if you plan on burning coal or anthracite they are a very useful fireside tool to have as it makes putting coal on the fire much easier and safer.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our most popular fireside companion sets are definitely the ones that always include a poker, brush and shovel.  With some great choices on the market you are sure to find one that suits your fireplace whether  you have a traditional or contemporary fireside.  A firm favourite here is the wall mounted fireside companion set by Valiant  because it’s a great space saver and can’t be knocked over, which is a great feature if you are short of space, have small children or curious pets.

Wall mounted fireplace tool set
Carlisle Wall Mounted Companion Set

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Log Storage ideas-Baskets and other log stores

To create that cozy fireside atmosphere you want to be spending the least amount of time going to your log store and re-stocking wood but most of the time at your fireside enjoying your fire.  Therefore a top fireplace accessory is a fireside storage solution.  Again  not only is a fireside storage option a great visual feature it is also a safe and practical solution to storing your fire wood.   We really love Rattan fireside baskets as they are strong and durable and you can carry and store your wood at the same time.  Baskets look great next to any stove but especially next to traditional stoves or those that bridge the traditional and contemporary feel.

Small Lined Wicker basket for any fireplace
Kelshall Lined Wood Storage Basket

 

There are of course many other types of log storage some that have more contemporary designs like the the crescent log holder below or some that even combine a fireplace companion set with a space for wood storage.  The metal crescent shaped log storages are very popular and fit neatly next to your fireplace.  Something to bear in mind though when storing or carrying wood is that it is a natural material that can be messy, so a fireside storage idea that also has a way of collecting debris, such as liners or solid metal rather than any holes, are a great way of minimising mess.    A safety note though: it is important to mention never store wood or kindling loosely near the stove or inside the fireplace chamber- this causes a fire hazard.  There are many log storage ideas that can make it safe to store fire wood nearer to the stove.

Fireplace fireside wood log holder
Contemporary Black Crescent Log Holder