Don’t forget your fireplace grate in the summer.

The Texas Fireframe grate holds two levels of cedar logs all summer long.

The Texas Fireframe grate holds two levels of cedar logs all summer long.

It’s the middle of summer, and my indoor fireplace grate is currently holding six beautiful cedar logs that I loaded onto it after I burned my last fire of winter. Cedar logs are a great way to make your fireplace always looks inviting.  After all, it’s the focal point of the living room.  Who wants to look at an empty fireplace grate? Those cedar logs not only look pretty and smell great, but they repel bugs, as anyone knows who has put cedar blocks in a drawer or has a cedar-lined closet.

Can you burn those cedar logs when it’s time to start building fires again in the fall?  It’s not recommended that you burn a full load of cedar logs on your fireplace grate since cedar is a softwood and not a hardwood.  Instead, use one cedar log mixed in with regular firewood to get your fire off to a good start. Cedar behaves more like kindling and is a “flash fuel.”

If you have a Texas Fireframe grate, which is designed to start your fire quickly and easily and produce more heat than conventional fireplace grates, place your starter cedar log in the lower front position. Add a few knots of paper, and a cedar log will start your fire in no time.

Otherwise, start your fire on your Texas Fireframe grate the usual way – with just a few sticks of fatwood kindling – a natural fire starter – placed on the lower log with three knotted sheets of newspaper.  Then light the paper and get ready to enjoy what Time magazine called “The Physicist’s Fire.”

Where can you buy cedar logs?  Your best bet for getting a load of cedar logs for your fireplace grate is to ask your local wood supplier if you can purchase just a few. Or try Googling: firewood cedar. And include the name of your town or city in the Google search. Yelp also lists wood suppliers. A few phone calls should yield at least one wood supplier who can provide an annual load of cedar logs for your fireplace grate when fire-building season winds down.

If you have access to a cedar tree that’s being removed, be sure to take some logs for your fireplace, but don’t forget to season them for a full year if you plan to burn them. Splitting helps them season faster. But remember to never burn a full load of cedar logs on your fireplace grate!   Reserve them for summertime – for ambience only. (Or as starter logs during fire season.) Come winter, I’ll probably store my cedar logs in the garage, since bugs will never get to them. And then they’re ready for prime time next spring, after the last log has burned out. It’s so much nicer to look at cedar logs in your fireplace than at a stark, empty fireplace grate.


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