What is a Swedish Fire Torch? (And Why You Need to Make One This Summer)

Updated: Apr. 10, 2023

A Swedish fire torch is your answer to simple and effective open fire cooking.

Are you a nature lover? Then you probably enjoy a night under the stars, cooking over an open fire and cuddling up in a tent. If so, then it’s about time you became acquainted with the Swedish fire torch.

Also referred to as a Swedish fire log or a Canadian candle, it’s a simple and efficient way to make a fire using just one log. It’s perfect for those who prefer a hands-off approach, since once it gets burning hot, it maintains its flame for several hours without you having to tend to it at all!

The self-feeding fire method of a Swedish fire torch is as simple as lighting a log to provide you excellent warmth in your backyard, in the wilderness while you’re camping, plus you can use it for easy rustic cooking. A Swedish fire torch can even be used in wet weather or snow, since the main fuel source is up off the ground.

Originally developed by the Swedish army during the Thirty Years War, soldiers invented the method as an answer to the lack of firewood. To conserve wood, maintain light, stay warm and cook, they found that all they needed was one round of wood.

Ready to make your own? Gather up a 2 to 2-1/2-ft.-tall seasoned log, a chainsaw, kindling, matches or a lighter and chainsaw safety equipment.

First, you’ll want to set your log upright in a fire-safe place, ensuring it’s level on the top. Then you’ll want to cut three to four slices beginning at the top of the log, stopping three-quarters of the way down. Now, using kindling, start a small fire on top of the log and continue stoking it until you see that both the coals and kindling begin making their way through the log’s center. As the fire burns, shove more kindling down the center of the log until the fire can burn the log on its own.

Check out these 14 amazing, portable fire pits, including a Swedish fire torch.

With a Swedish fire torch, the log burns from the inside out, and maintains its fire thanks to the cuts through the wood providing air that keeps the fire ventilated. Use it for light, warmth and a cooking surface perfect for your cast iron pans.