How to make a proper fireThe object of the ceramics is to absorb as much heat as soon as possible, through a large fire (if you start off with a small fire, all the heat goes straight up the chimney and does not give the pot a chance to get hot). The way to do this is to stack the pot as full as you can, whilst it is cold, reason being that it is easier to stack the pot full without throwing the logs in when it is hot. Throwing logs into the pot, will eventually cause the pot’s integrity to weaken.
Starting with paper, kindling, small wood, medium wood and then as large as will fit into the pot (just like you make a braai to achieve coals). If you use firelighters, place them under the wood after the pot has been fully stacked - otherwise the vapours can ignite much like a gas leak, and blow back. Light the paper or firelighters, to immediately assist the draw, take a quarter page of newspaper (A3 size), and place over the mouth of the fireplace, leaving a gap at the bottom.
After smoothing the paper down on the upper lip, the fire will automatically suck the paper against the pot, creating a reverse bellows effect. Paper can be removed when the fire is crackling or it can naturally get eaten by the fire. When coals are considerably reduced, new logs can be gently added. (Caution! Do not throw the logs against the ceramic, our fireplaces are not metal) Use the newspaper over the mouth again, and the logs will inflame in thirty seconds.
Sit back and enjoy the radiant heat!