How to: Make a Swedish Flame

created at: 01/21/2016

What's a Swedish flame? Something you can buy at IKEA? No sir.

If you haven't seen one of these Swedish Flame logs lately, they definitely need to be the star of your next outdoor fire. Its genius design allows the fire to burn from the inside out which means little to no tending from you! 

buring swedish flame log

What you'll need

  • A 2-2.5 foot tall seasoned log
  • a chainsaw
  • kindling
  • matches or lighter
  • chainsaw safety equipment: eye protector, dust mask, hearing protection

This is a quick setup that takes a bit of time to get going, but once it starts burning hot, it maintains its flame for several hours without any tending! 

Need a chain saw to get started? Here are several we recommend.

Step 1

Set your log upright in a fire-safe place. I set it up in the middle of my existing fire pit. Make sure it sits level on the top. This makes the log  a fantastic cooking surface for a cast iron skillet. You'll want it to sit level if you plan on cooking over it.

Warm Up With a Swedish Fire Pit

Step 2

Don your safety gear and fire up your saw. Going from top to bottom cut 3-4 slices into the log 3/4 of the way down the log. Please use extra care when using a chain saw. Don't do it without safety gear and MAKE SURE the log is secure in its place, you don't want it to tip over as you're cutting into it.

Warm Up With a Swedish Fire Pit

Warm Up With a Swedish Fire Pit

Step 3

This part takes a little long to get going. Start a small fire on top of the log with kindling and continue to stoke it until the coals and kindling start to descend into the log. You may need to use a spare stick to shove it down into the center as it burns.

Warm Up With a Swedish Fire Pit

Warm Up With a Swedish Fire Pit

Step 4

Continue to throw kindling down the center of the log until the fire gets hot enough to burn the log on its own. How dry the log is will determine how long it will take for the fire to catch.

Warm Up With a Swedish Fire Pit

And that's it! The log I did for this post has been burning for about 4 hours on its own! Try it yourself next time you're in need of a good fire pit. 

Interested in cooking on top of your Swedish Fire log? Check out this post on how to make some crispy sea salt and vinegar potatoes with a fire log. And here's a cocktail to toast to a day of work well done. We call it, of course, the Swedish Flame!

This post was written and photographed by ManMade contributor Bryson Leach. Read all of his posts here.