Camping & Hiking

Smokeless Fire Tips: What, Why, How to Start

Smokeless Fire Tips
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Originating from the historic Islam story, where it is, said that ‘jinn are made of smokeless fire’, the concept of making smokeless fire has been a practise of making fire since long. Fireplaces have transformed from highly polluted and choking drudgery of the primitive man, to become an efficient, crimson red fire encapsulated in a crystal bonfire that is searing and sparkling, thanks to the age we live in. The better half of the transformation has opened up many ways of utilizing this smokeless fire for recreation, cooking and other needs.

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In order to understand how to make smokeless fire, we must understand the definition of fire-making deep into its chemical roots. How does smokeless fire work? It is quite simple as you have to understand firstly that hotter the fire, higher the presence of fuel as well as purity of the fuel.

In this reaction, the combusted products are water and carbon dioxide (H2o), which turns into vapour, which is how complete combustion of any fuel happens. Smoke is the result of incompletely combusted products.

Smokeless Fire

Hence, all good fire should be must be met with sufficient burning and heating up, without which, the fuel remains incompletely oxidised, creating soot. With the Islamic quote of creation and result of smokeless fire, the interpretation is in the light that jinn are made of pure energy like that of smokeless fire from completely combusted fuel. Starting a fire is easy. Burn a paper and drop it on the peak of your compost pit heap. You will see everything burning.

The chicken from yesterday night, to the plastic remnants in the bottom, smokes up, into unbearable toxicity. However, if you are planning on a barbeque night or open grill, you need a fire that burns without smoke.

See also: Starting a Fire With Sticks: All The Guidelines You Need To Know

Smoked meat is exotic, when done the right way, but toxic when wrongly done. However, for proper cooking of meat, one needs fire that burns for long without smoking. Traditionally, there have been many ways to make smokeless fire, like by heating up charcoal or dry animal droppings. It takes about 10 minutes at maximum for dried charcoal in order to burn up the fire.  Today, there are multitudes of options of fire starters that are powered by fuel in the form of gel or ethanol-based.

Meat on smokeless fire

The best or expert way of making a fire rests on the skill of making the perfect smokeless fire. This requires knowing which part of the fuel will create smoke or not. Exemplifying, the bark of a tree is never, used to make smokeless fire.  Currently in the market today, we have a variety of products like smokeless charcoal and such which needs the person to simply burn the charcoal to start the fire.

Why use smokeless fire?

Making a smokeless fire has many pros to it. The following describes some of the advantages of using smokeless fire:

Stealth – Starting a fire is not a illegal thing yet, but having stealth while lighting a fire will help you to create a private and luxurious campfire without letting the entire neighbourhood know about your little mission of barbequing exotic Quail. Stealth also ensures keeping you off nosy and cranky neighbours, who dig for reasons to complain to you about.

Null smoke pollution – Another important environment-friendly nature of smokeless fire is its null smoke, which helps in reducing air pollution by a high degree, while burning.  A big concern of air pollution is the smoke of incessant vehicles and factories in the vicinity. In order to reduce the rate of emitting poisonous smoke due to burning, we have municipal dustbins where waste can be, dumped instead of being burnt. As garbage cannot be smokeless, one should continue dumping them in compost pits or public waste disposal bins.

Fire Without Smoke

No disturbance to the neighbours – Another important aspect of large fire in the area is the disturbance it causes to the locality. If you have an immediate neighbour who is senile and asthmatic, it is, possible that he will be not just irked, but also concerned about your fire being his undertaker!
A smokeless fire keeps your lungs as well as your neighbour’s lungs safe.

Efficient cooking – Another important advantage of making smokeless fire is the efficient method of cooking anything. Historically, indoor fireplaces were, used to give heat without any smoke, so that one could even hang a kettle or bake bread above the same fireplace. This has been, extended to cooking meat and other heavy barbeque like cuisines where smokeless consistent fire is, used to cook. This food is, cooked well without fat or oil, which is a healthy hygiene to have. Take a look at our piece on the best campfire cooking equipment to help make your camping more efficient.

Faster and longer – The best aspect of productive cooking on a smokeless fire owes to its fast cooking time. In addition, as the fuel is charcoal or natural, rather than gasoline or kerosene, you can cook bulk meat, as the fire stays for long, without smoke.

Less fuel – Another positive thing about making smokeless fire is the use of fuel. Unlike regular burning, smokeless fire fuel remains for long once there is coal, and is hence an economical option.

Multi-purpose fuel – Smokeless fuel can be, used to cook in stoves, multi-purpose stoves, freestanding boiler, wood burner and room heater.

How to make a smokeless campfire

Making the best of smokeless fire is campfires in your own backyard with absolute stealth, maximum protection, and least disturbance to your neighbours.

Following give ways to make a smokeless campfire:

  1. Things you will need are newspaper, firelighter, kinder, charcoal, Bricks, and Water.
  2. Now set up your fireplace using the bricks. Use 2-3 bricks t o make a stove of any shape. Make sure you leave enough space for the fuel in between.
  3. Now, take one sheet of a newspaper (not the entire newspaper, just one will do), and keep it in the centre of the bricks.
  4. Now, take three kinder pieces of your choice of wood and keep it in a triangle over around the paper nest that you just placed. Now, make another triangular kinder and keep it on top of the former triangle, in a start shape. Make sure your arrangement is efficient enough not to collapse immediately.
  5. Place 2-3 pieces of firelighter in the core of your paper nest
  6. Light up the firelighter and drop enough charcoal to start your efficient smokeless fire!
  7. Continue fuelling the fire as you feel necessary
  8. Enjoy your uber-stealth Campfire!

How to make a Dakota fire

A Dakota Fire is the best survival mechanism for the efficient-most fire that anyone can make. In this case, fuel is not required in plenty and less labour, except for the initial dug-up pit. The fire is, made by digging two pits in the ground, unlike the ground level makeshift stoves. One pit is, used to burn the fuel and cook, while the other lets the airflow into the pit right. The two pits create a suction of air in the bottom of the pit, where the air is, drained-off through the cooking while on the other end; air is, pulled-in through the airflow-pit.

Dakota fire hole

This method keeps the fire burning for longer due to the endless supply of oxygen to combust the fuel. The fire keeps getting hotter with more air drawn into the pit. This fire is, used by campers to keep the night lit up, while in the wild.

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To make a Dakota fire:

  1. Find the appropriate place for the fire. Avoid areas of rock, roots, wetness and loose soil.
  2. Use your shovel to dig a big enough hole that can keep your vessels intact while the hole becomes a perfect stove. To do this, draw a circle of your choice of measurements and dig into one feet depth. The most difficult section of making a Dakota Hole is making its airway duct. This jug shaped portal to the stove chamber should be, built strongly. Check the direction of the wind and start digging an airway duct one foot away from the fire chamber. Make sure your angle of digging is right to facilitate air into the fire chamber.
  3. Now, fill your fire chamber with fuel and light a matchstick
  4. Gradually add fuel onto this
  5. Your airway will keep fanning your fire chamber so that null or negligible smoke of obtained
  6. This also gives way to hotter fire, which explains as , lesser fuel
  7. When moving off the area, fill in your hole with soil and tidy your waste and belongings.

Dakota fire pit is a foolproof mechanism that provides an efficient fire sans any smoke. The fire pit does not get, disturbed by high wind on the ground level and is the most fuel-efficient fire. As the fire is hotter than most other fires, the better the heat received!

Currently, there are many technologically advanced methods of smokeless fire-making Bush Buddy Stove and such that provide instant, smokeless fire for cooking and camping purposes. However, if you are a true survivalist, you will see that nothing battles the unparalleled success of Smokeless fire pits like Dakota pit, through centuries!

Some smokeless fire tips:

  1. The perfect smokeless fire fuel options are dry animal droppings, wood without bark, squawk wood, dry grass, twigs and sticks.
  2. All fuel used should be maximum of 2ft and a minimum equivalent to the size of your thumb.
  3. Make sure all your fuel is dry
  4. Make sure all your fuel is sans any ash
  5. The best smokeless fuel is made by the charcoal that is made from Hardwood lump
  6. Make sure you never use the bark of the plants or trees for making a smokeless fire
  7. Make sure you have all ingredients to make the fire when you have started making the fire
  8. Always inspect the location of your fireplace with respect to safety, security and moralities, before starting a fire
  9. Always have water or other types of fire extinguisher nearby
  10. Keep your fireplace and its surroundings tidy.
  11. Keep inflammable objects far away from the fireplace
  12. Keep a fireguard if you are going to be ignorant about the fire

Modern marketplace for smokeless fireplaces

The current marketplace is filled with innovative and efficient model fireplaces that are portable as well as energy efficient in its all respects. While choosing modern equipment for smokeless fire, make sure you prefer an eco-friendly model as the opposite will be damaging rather than giving you any benefit.

Almost all models come with an electrically activated chimney that is, placed right above the stove.

Modern Fireplace
Image credit:

The fan in this chimney drains out all the smoke as well as cooking smell, almost instantly.

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Some models are:

  • Classic – The traditional fireplaces with the best energy efficient, state-of-the-art technology made exclusively to enhance your Victorian or autocratic interior designing. Some examples are cave fireplace, wood fireplace and iron-wired fireplace.
  • Grates – The most modern idea of fireplace grates are the easiest one to give a new tint of exquisiteness to your interiors. This keeps you warm and has innovative waves to keep the fire fuelled, safe and smokeless, absolutely. Sliding to start a fire is certainly an exotic exquisiteness!
  • Fancy – There are varied firebox inserts, glass jar fireplace, glass vase fireplace, giant candle holding fireplace and other innovative designs that can be custom made to suit your own interiors. There are zillions of portable, eco-friend and smart fireplaces in the market currently that is suitable for all indoor and outdoor settings as well.
  • Renovated fireplaces – Today, it requires just a couple of hours knotting and bolting to fix up an old fireplace into the glistening fireplace akin to King Howl’s! Renovated fireplace can be, made exclusive utility options of wrap-up function of the fireplace that can help you save space.

The trendiest fireplace of the age is the bio-ethanol fireplaces do not need chimneys, wires and flues around it. It is almost identical to the pure crimson fire of the God of Red that sparkles sans any spitting, ash or embers encapsulated in a lovely glass vase in the corner of your Hall. These are the smartest options, thanks to the unique, efficient and cheap fuel option.


Today, there is no limit with how much you can produce and use fire. Use fire sensibly, joyously and divinely. Good Luck!

For more of useful fire safety tips, see our article on this topic.

About the author

Survival - Mastery


  • This is nice. I’ve always liked my burgers with a smoky flavor until my wife’s friend warned her about the dangers of charred meat which lead to the banning of grilled products in my house. I’ll show her this article so she’ll understand the benefits of using smokeless fire. Thanks for the great article!

  • Well, when you grill your food you should avoid burning it. The open fire has an amazing way of cooking the meat just right, but you must know how to do it.

  • Dakota Fire pit is actually a good way to make a smokeless fire. It is not actually smokeless, but it produces less of the thick, white smoke. The fire pit burns hotter, that makes it an ideal way to grill your food. Be very careful of the roots especially if it is dry. Mostly, digging a fire pit can easily catch tree roots structure, these sorts of fire can smolder for days before tree catches and causes the first fire.

  • Smokeless fire appears to be the best option for barbeques and chicken grills. The materials needed to make and sustain such flames are newspaper, dry wood, firelighter, bricks, charcoal, and water. There are two major types of smokeless fire places like dakota fire pit and modern fireplace like chimneys. These chimneys could be movable or static. Some of the models are fancy, renovated, grates, and classic fireplaces.

  • Smokeless fire offers you the following benefits: stealth, null smoke pollution, no disturbance to the neighbors, efficient cooking, faster & longer, less fuel, and multi-purpose fuel.

  • My brother and I have been spending quite some time camping. For that reason, this article appeals captivating to me. Smokeless fire has been a great advantage in terms of cooking and grilling, no doubt. Nevertheless, does it have any positive feedback in terms of driving away insects, especially mosquitoes? If not, I guess we still need to build ordinary fires while camping.

  • We are using smokeless fire all the time; all we have to do is to look around. Starting from our kitchen place with that gas fired cooker and the little chimney core that we call fireplace. Gone are the days that dried leaves and twigs were used to produce fire accompanied by smoke. Now, it is just plainly fire without smoke, less eye irritation and smell. Nevertheless, are there any instances wherein smokeless fire could churn out bad odor?

  • It goes without saying that there are many benefits to smokeless fire. The most significant benefit of smokeless fuel/fire is the amount of useful heat produced and how long the fire burns. This means less refuel and reduced fuel cost. As far as bad odor is concerned, it depends with the type of fuel. For instance, smokeless coal is associated with sulphurous smell.

  • Talking from experience, smoke is a natural insect repellent, especially when you spice up your fire with sage. Therefore, I believe a smokeless fire wouldn’t do much as far as keeping biting insects away. So, you might need to start that smoking fire.

  • More specifically how this works. The fire heats the air around it which then rises. This rising air creates low pressure which draws in the cooler air surrounding the fire. Any object near the fire that gets in the way of this cooler air being drawn towards the fire creates a vortex of lower pressure between that object and the fire, which is subsequently filled in by the smoky, warmer air. That’s why the smoke always seems to follow us no matter which side fo the fire we move to! So, placing a tall rock nearer the fire than we would place ourselves stops that pesky smoke from following us, and puts the rock in the crappy spot…

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