Top Down Burning Method


The top down fire or self feeding fire is a fire building technique that’s much different than building a conventional fire.

Typically, when building a fire you start out with a hand full of crumpled up newspaper and place it under small pieces of kindling.  

Then you add larger pieces of wood on top of the kindling followed by even larger pieces of wood. 

While this method works pretty well, there’s a better and even more efficient way to build a fire.  

The problem with the “conventional way” of building a fire is the amount of time it takes before the fire really takes off.

During this slow, smoldering process, smoke and unburnt gases enter your cold chimney where they can potentially adhere to the chimney walls causing creosote.

To create a hot burning fire right from the beginning you have to think outside the box and create a fire that’s built in reverse!

Building A Self Feeding Fire

Although the top down fire seems completely backwards at first, once you try one it will quickly become your favorite choice.  It works great in fireplaces, wood stoves, firepits and even campfires.

The setup process takes a little longer than the conventional fire, but it will burn longer without constantly adding more logs to it.  You can pretty much light the fire and just let it burn.  

The fire will also burn hotter and cleaner right from the start. When you try this method watch how much smoke the fire produces. You’ll be surprised how little smoke you see and just how clean this fire burns! 

The most important part of this whole process is to use dry, seasoned firewood.  The fire works by having the coals and embers from the top layer fall into the layer of wood below it.  If the wood is wet it won’t catch on fire and you’ll become frustrated.


Start by placing a row of large logs along the bottom of your fireplace, wood stove or fire pit.  These will be the largest logs you use.  


Next, place another row of slightly smaller logs criss crossing in the other direction.


Follow this by placing a third row of even smaller wood.  This row should consist of kindling which is about and inch wide.  


Finally, place a firelighter on top and some small kindling that will easily light.


You can choose to use any kind of firelighter here. I prefer to use waxies or some bark from my birch firewood which lights easily and creates a hot flame.


To light the fire, simply light the firelighter which in turn will ignite the small pieces of kindling.

After just a few minutes your fire should look like this.  Notice how it’s burning very clean and hot?  Theres no smoldering and the fire is not being smothered by any larger logs on top.

This picture shows how the fire has burnt through the top layers and it’s starting to ignite the layers below.

Although the pieces of firewood we used for this fire were fairly small (due to a small fireplace) the fire burnt for almost 2 hours before we needed to add any additional firewood.


With a little practice, building a top down fire is really easy and they burn great.  They’re clean burning, supply a lot of heat and they don’t require any maintenance once you light it.

Cooking With Wood

Cooking with Wood is fun and your food will be full of flavour. A wood fire barbecue can be seen as a bit more daunting than a gas barbecue, but it doesn’t have to be!  It’s easy as long as you remember a few things.

  • It takes Longer – When cooking with wood it takes longer than on a gas or charcoal barbecue. You ideally want to cook on glowing embers, not on open flames which will spark and burn your food. To get that core of hot wood embers takes time. You need to burn the wood for at least an hour until it falls apart as embers and then you can add your grill grate and cook over them. If you are rotisserie cooking you can cook over the open fire as long as your food is at a great enough distance from the flames.
  • Best Flavour – Smoke from Firewood has some of the best flavours that are infused into your food. This is especially true if you use good fruit woods like applewood. With wood chips and a smoker box you can re-create some of this real wood smoke flavour to an extent on your grill, but the ultimate is from real premium firewood embers.
  • Natural Heat – Gas Barbecues or artificial charcoal rely on chemicals to help supply heat. While this may not be a big deal, most of us prefer a 100% pure heat source. Natural firewood is one way to avoid the use of chemicals.  Another is natural hardwood lump charcoals.
  • Intense Heat – Cooking with wood gives off a very intense heat as well as subtle smoke flavours.
  • It’s Fun – Cooking with fire is fun!  Once you get your wood fire going, tending it, adding wood and watching it burn (while having a few cold beverages and a chat) is very rewarding. When you finally have a delicious meal out of it, it is especially rewarding.  Sure, it takes a bit more time, but it is worth it and part of the whole experience!
  • Make sure you have plenty of Embers – If you are cooking over the wood embers alone, they tend to loose heat faster than charcoal. Charcoal, especially industrially made pressed charcoal briquettes, is made to supply long-lasting heat and can often stay hot enough to cook over for hours.  Wood embers get cool faster. The way to extend your cooking time is to make sure you have a deep core of embers before beginning to cook.  Additional wood can be added to the side to replenish the supply and as it becomes embers, pushed under the grilling food. You don’t want the fresh wood directly under your grilling food (unless on a high rotisserie) or the flames will burn it!
  • You don’t need special equipment – A fire pit grill is the easiest way to cook over wood embers.  If you don’t have one already, you’ll need to buy a fire pit. Additionally, for longer roasting of larger meats (like whole chickens or leg of lamb) you need a rotisserie device. Both a fire pit and a rotisserie can be built from scratch, or a hole in the ground or a temporary brick fire pit can be used for cooking with wood.

How To Store Kiln Dried Firewood

How to store kiln dried logs

Kiln Dried Firewood burns better and more efficiently than unseasoned giving you more heat and less mess. That’s why kiln dried logs are often favoured by those that have wood burning stoves and open fires. The lower the moisture content of firewood, the better it burns. Our kiln dried wood is guaranteed to have a maximum moisture content of 20%. Because of this they are less likely to take on additional moisture in storage than unseasoned wood, but you still need to keep them dry and sheltered for best results.

Here’s how to store kiln dried logs to ensure they stay in the best condition for burning in your open fire or woodburner.

Store in a garage or shed.

A sheltered place, such as a garage or barn, makes an ideal place to store your kiln dried wood. However, you’ll still need to follow the guidelines below to ensure the logs have enough airflow. If you do need to store logs outside, make sure they’re kept under shelter and that the air can reach them.

Protect your logs from rain.

If you are storing your logs outside, keep them protected from moisture in the form of rain and snow. You could do this with a tarpaulin cover or a timber log store but you need to ensure they are never sealed or covered completely, as air flow is essential.

Increase air flow

To encourage air flow around your logs, use a raised log store or a pallet to keep your logs away from moist ground. Don’t stack them up against a wall or place them on grass, as air won’t be able to flow and the logs can become damp.

Store kiln dried logs inside before burning

For best results bring your kiln dried wood indoors for a short time before you burn it, this helps to reduce the moisture content even more. You can simply create a log pile inside or store them in a log basket or even get inventive with your storing to compliment the home.

Buy smaller quantities

If storage space is an issue, then it may be worth buying smaller quantities more often. Although this may cost slightly more, the wood will burn better if it contains less moisture so you’ll get more warmth for your money. We offer an ideal load in our city sack from just €60.


The Benefits of Kiln Dried Firewood in 2020


Many people don’t understand the quality of using Kiln Dried Wood.

The process of kiln-drying wood is undertaken to reduce the moisture content of the fuel to make it more suitable for burning.

Kiln drying is a technique that presents a solution to all of these issues. It involves taking the green wood and speeding up the drying process by placing it inside a kiln. The kiln may be powered by electricity, natural gas or even solar energy. When the wood is baked in this way, all of the moisture quickly evaporates off. Not only does this reduce the amount of time that it takes to dry the wood, but it also eliminates the problem of storage space and ensures that the wood is seasoned evenly. When wood is stacked, some areas are exposed to more air than others, and you can end up with parts that are fully seasoned and parts that still contain some moisture, which will cause issues when burning.

Unseasoned wood is actually a very poor fuel- the moisture content of an unseasoned log means that a great deal of the energy which is released during combustion is simply wasted in evaporating the moisture content of the log. This wasted energy could be utilised in heating your home or stove but instead it all simply goes up the chimney. Seasoned logs, like those available from leading Ireland manufacturer and suppliers, have a much lower moisture content thanks to the kiln-drying procedure.

Kiln drying reduces the moisture content from around 50-60% in unseasoned wood, right down to 15-25% in seasoned hardwood logs. This percentage change makes an incredible difference to the fuel efficiency of the wood as combustion releases more energy more effectively.

The reduced moisture content in seasoned kiln dried logs means that not only is it much easier and quicker to light a fire, but the fire will also burn much hotter and for longer as the combustion is far more efficient.

In a typical fire, burning 10 kiln dried logs with a water content of 25% or less, the same heat output is generated as burning 33 unseasoned logs with a water content of around 60%. This is a real indication of the difference in efficiency- It takes more than three non-seasoned logs to generate the same amount of heat as every single kiln-dried log.

By using kiln dried firewood your fire burns much hotter for longer meaning less fuel is required, reducing fuel bills and the amount of storage space you require in your log store.

During the burning process not only will kiln dried hardwood logs light much quicker, but also because the fuel burns for longer it requires far less attention in keeping the fire stoked with fuel. This is of great advantage in home appliances like stoves and heaters as they require less attention and provide better, cleaner burns.

Switch to Kiln Dried Firewood today.

For a great range of kiln dried logs for sale contact Eamonn at or 0861777151


Book Stove Chimney Cleaning from

How To Clean A Stove

Cleaning a Matt Black Stove

You only need to use a dry cloth on your matt black  stove to remove any dust or dirt. Do not use any water on the matt black finish as this will cause it to rust.

You can refresh a matt black stove with a fresh paint finish, either by brushing on tinned paint or by spraying on an aerosol paint; both available from Topline stores. Here is a brief step-by-step guide to painting your matt black stove. Please also follow the paint manufacturer’s instructions.

1. Prepare
Brush down the cast iron using a grade one steel wool, ensuring that an even coat remains on the surface. Then dust the area.

2. Apply Paint
Apply the paint evenly over the surface. Two to three coats may be required depending on the condition of the original paint. Do not paint on thick coats and always allow the paint to dry thoroughly between coats. Allow the final coat to dry overnight.

When firing the stove for the first time since painting, open a window as the paint will give off a smell during this first use.

Cleaning a Vitreous Enamel Stove

The high gloss vitreous enamel finish on your stove is tough and hardwearing but should be treated with care. Here are some tips to help you keep it in the best condition:

  • Cleaning must be carried out when the stove is cool.
  • Regularly wipe the stove with a damp, soapy cloth, followed by a polish with a clean and dry duster. For stubborn deposits, carefully use a non-abrasive, soapy pad.
  • Only use products that are recommended by the stove manufacturer. Most stove companies sell their own brand of approved enamel cleaner. Always adhere to the manufacturer’s instructions on the cleaning product.
  • Do not use abrasive pads or oven cleaners containing citric acid on enamelled surfaces


Typically the glass will clean itself when there is sufficient heat generated by burning fuel. If a build-up of creosote occurs on the glass it may be due to draft conditions, poor quality fuel or very low burning for a long time. Only clean glass when stove is thoroughly cooled.


To clean the glass inner surface, use hot water and a soapy cloth.  For stubborn stains use hot water and fine (grade zero) steel wool.


Do not burn fuel with high moisture content, such as a damp peat or unseasoned timber. This will only result in a build up of tar in the stove and in the chimney.

Burning soft fuels such as timber and peat can stain the glass. Regular cleaning will prevent permanent staining.

Do not burn rubbish/household plastic.

Clean the flue ways of the stove every month and ensure there no blockages. Please refer to your manual for instructions as they vary from stove to stove.

Clean the chimney at least twice a year.

Before loading fresh fuel into the firebox, riddle fully to remove all ashes this

will allow better and cleaner burning.

Never allow a build up of ashes in the ash pan, as this will cause the grate to burn out prematurely.

Allow adequate air ventilation to ensure plenty of air for combustion.

Cooking With A Wood Fired Pizza Oven

Cooking with wood is wonderfully addictive, and owning a wood-fired oven has become so desirable in recent years.

Wood-fired ovens: They may be the most primitive way for man to cook his food, so it’s likely no coincidence that they can give the most mouthwatering, customizable results and offer incredible versatility, creating amazing outcomes on everything from pizzas and breads to vegetable sides, pasta mains and meat-based entrees.

Cooking with a wood fired oven has many benefits. The most important factor is the unique flavor they give your food, and they also help to preserve most of your added ingredients and increase the retention of nutrients. Plus, these ovens can be used for various purposes, such as baking bread, roasting meat and more—while saving energy because they don’t require electricity.

But wood-fired ovens also demand more knowledge and expertise than a modern model, from painstaking dough production to fine-tuned finishing flourishes. A wood-fired oven requires artistry and a keen eye on the technical details.It is not like a typical gas oven, where the only action needed is to flip a switch. A wood-fired oven requires constant focus and creating solid procedures for those running the oven.

One major key component for cooking pizza in a wood fired oven is to ensure you have Consistent wood.  Of course wood is a big deal. If you are not consistently using the same species, size and moisture content in your wood, it will make baking a pizza difficult. If the wood is inconsistent, the person operating the oven must spend more time on correcting the oven temperature and holding it there rather than cooking the perfect pizza. Having consistent wood will help the oven operator focus on the bake.

Why not try out our range of Kiln Dried Firewood the next time you plan to use your oven?


Why you need to stop burning coal.

Mining and burning coal for fuel is harmful to the environment; but, because coal is so abundant and cheap, many people are reluctant to give it up as a fuel source. Here is why you need to stop today!!!


  • Burning coal releases toxins. Coal contains sulfur and other elements, including dangerous metals such as mercury, lead, and arsenic, that escape into the air when coal is burned. Burning coal also produces particulates that increase air pollution and health dangers.
  • Burning coal emits large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Coal is composed almost entirely of carbon, so burning coal unleashes large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. These emissions have been shown to increase the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere and lead to global warming.
  • Subsurface coal mining is dangerous. Coal is often mined in subsurface mines, which may collapse and trap miners. And the air in subsurface coal mines leads to black lung disease, where coal particles and pollutants fill the lungs and cause inflammation and respiratory illness.
  • Surface coal mining damages the environment. Mountaintop removal mining is used to access layers of coal buried deep within mountains. This mining technique alters the landscape and damages ecosystems.
  • Integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC):IGCC technology converts coal into gas, removing sulfur and metals. This gas generates electricity by fueling turbines while the side products (sulfur and metals) are concentrated and sold. IGCC plants are cleaner and more efficient than coal-burning electric plants and have the potential to capture CO2 emissions in the future.
  • Carbon sequestration:One of the biggest problems with burning coal is the amount of CO2 it adds to the atmosphere. Carbon sequestration includes various ways to capture and store carbon underground instead of allowing it to fill the atmosphere. Currently, some coal-burning plants store carbon in underground abandoned mines or in oil wells. Other plants pump the carbon into sedimentary rocks or below the ocean floor.

Switch to Kiln Dried Firewood today call Eamon on 0861777151 to order.

How Sustainable is Kiln Dried Firewood


As people who care about the environment, but who also like being warm and because consumers are increasingly turning to sustainable firewood in the search for environmentally friendly renewable energy resources. This is why you need to switch to Kiln Dried Wood.

Because they are kiln dried and have a certified low moisture content of less than 20% Kiln Dried Logs are ideally suited for use in all log burning stoves and fires. Kiln Dried Logs are FSC [Forest Stewardship Council] certified, 100% natural and are produced from sustainably managed woodlands. We offer our kiln dried firewood for sale and delivery across all of Ireland.

We sell Kiln dried hardwoods like Beech, Ash, White Oak, Hornbeam (Ironwood), Maple, and Birch in our 1.17m3 crates, these are all high-quality firewood timber species.

Kiln Dried means that firewood has been treated in a timber drying kiln which heats the logs to a high temperature to cook off the excess moisture. Kiln Dried logs are always very dry with a moisture content of below 20%.

Burning wet firewood is bad for both your stove and your pocket! A large amount of energy (heat) is used to burn off the moisture in wet firewood so unseasoned logs give very poor amounts of heat. If you have ever seen the ends of your logs sizzling in your fire or stove, you can be assured that your logs are not dry enough! Also unseasoned firewood is very difficult to light and will burn at sub optimal temperatures, causing your stove to blacken with soot.

Everything about Kiln Dried Firewood tis superior,  the logs will burn a whole lot better so you won’t waste time poking at dying embers or drying out sodden wood on your hearth. The logs come from sustainable, locally-sourced hardwood forests and smell pleasant while burning. They burn slowly and evenly. They are the produce of sustainably-managed Irish forests; they are hardwood (ie ash, oak, beech etc)

Make the switch today by calling Eamon on 0861777151

Cooking With Kiln Dried Firewood


Whether you own a restaurant or you are the chef for your family you NEED to consider using Kiln Dried Firewood for your future cooking endeavours.

Advantages of Cooking with Kiln Dried Firewood

1) Free from chemicals

The first benefit of cooking with Kiln Dried wood is that it’s free from chemicals. Obviously, wood is a natural fuel source, meaning that it does not require any foreign chemicals in order to supply heat. Cooking your food with a clean flame has evident health benefits, making wood a good candidate for the job.

2) Enhanced flavour

Infusing your food with aromatic smoke is the main attraction of cooking with Kiln Dried Firewood. This flavour enhancement comes from the cell structure of the wood which contains nutrients taken up from the ground. Refined fuel sources do not have this cell structure, meaning that they do not contain all the impurities of wood which hold all the flavour.

3) Variety

The final advantage of cooking with wood is the sheer variety of options. All different types of wood produce a distinct and unique flavour, allowing chefs to pair them with various foods based on their relative qualities. For example, when burned, Hickory produces a sweet and intense flavour that is best paired with pork and ribs. Alderwood, in contrast, produces a subtle and delicate flavour, making it a better match for smoking salmon or cooking other types of fish.

Make the switch to Kiln Dried Firewood.

Call Eamon today on 0861777151


wood burning

Quick explanation of the 3 heat groups for firewood



All wood is classed into three heat groups. The higher the group, the better the wood. What does the heat group tell you? It tells you the amount of heat, a specific wood may release when burning. Here are a few examples of what wood belongs to each group:


1st Group (2250 – 2500 kcal/kg) – Ash, Birch, Oak, Beech, Horn beam, Maple, and Elm.


2nd Group (1800 kcal/kg) – Pine, Black Alder.


3rd Group (1500 – 1700 kcal/kg) – Alder, Aspen, Lime-tree, Willow, Poplar and Spruce.


So now you have some knowledge about wood and can clearly see that it is not all that same when it comes to what you are using to heat your home with. information sourced from