Can you imagine how cozy a home can be during winter days when you feel the warmth from the fireplace and hear the wood crackles as it is consumed by yellow flames? Well, that’s the classic setting that you may probably see if you stay in a cabin deep in the woods. But the modern setting dictates the convenience of a gas fireplace—and not of the wood-burning one.
Yes, there is certainly convenience for gas fireplace but some futilely strives to give off meager blue flames. Added to that is the lacking sense of romanticism and warmth. So here’s good news for you: You can actually add more realism to your gas fireplace. Just follow the directions below and you’re on for a wood-burning fireplace:
- 6 oz. bag of vermiculite
- 6-12 lbs. of silica sand (depending on burner pan size)
- 6 oz. bag of rock wool
- 1-2 lbs. of crackling ash granules
- A smoker box (or empty tin can with lid or aluminum foil)
- ½ cup of wood chips
- Wood-scented incense or candle (optional)
Important Notice: The directions below are intended if you have vented gas fireplaces only.
- Make Real Flames and Glowing Embers
- First, turn off the pilot light and ensure that the gas supply to your fireplace is shut off as well. To test this, turn the key valve. Also, if your fireplace has a grate for holding the gas logs, get it off. If it does not have a grate, though, just leave the logs in the burner pan. Put silica sand into the burner pan to cover the burner.
- Put your gloves on before getting in contact with the rock wool. Pull the rock wool apart, creating thumb-size pieces in the process, and scatter them atop of the silica sand in place directly on top of the burner. Make a huge pile of rock wool pieces on top of the burner as they should be the bed of the embers.
- Next, you have to shower ½ cup of vermiculite on top of the rock wool. Focus on the area directly to the burner. If you removed the grate and the logs, bring it back into the burner pan on top of the silica sand, rock wool and vermiculite. Then you have to put the logs back into the grate.
- Bring out the crackle and smoky wood aroma.
- Saturate half cup of wood chips into a bowl of water for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain and place wood chips in smoker box (or if you’re using the empty can, cover it with aluminum foil and poke holes into the foil).
- Put the smoker box at either at the sides or the back where it will be spared from the flames.
- Turn the gas valve on and also the pilot light. Take 1-2 tbsp. of crackling ash granules and sprinkle it atop the flames. Once they hit the flames, you can immediately hear the crackle. Sprinkle ash granules from time to time. That’s it—you can enjoy something akin to the wood-burning fireplace.