Help Section

User Guide

You can download the Clever Fire Lighter User Guide by clicking on this button

CFL User Guide

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my barbecue is fit for using the Clever Fire Lighter ?

Your barbecue needs to have an air inlet located underneath the area where the charcoal is placed (typically a charcoal grid or perforated plate). In addition, there needs to be a minimum height of 3in / 7,5cm between the lower air inlet and the charcoal support. Note that you do not need to use the Clever Fire Lighter base as long as your fire lighter can rest directly on the barbecue air inlet. See the user guide for more info.

What are the minimum fireplace/insert/stove dimensions (hearth) for using the Clever Fire Lighter ?

If you are using the Clever Fire Lighter alone (no Fire Dogs), your hearth needs to be at least 10in x 10in / 25cm x 25cm horizontally, AND high enough for 3 levels of logs on top of one another. If you are using the Clever Fire Lighter with Fire Dogs, your hearth has to be minimum 11.9in/30cm wide AND 10.7in/27cm deep, AND high enough for 3 levels of logs on top of one another.

Where can I find pellets ?

It depends very much on the country / state / region you live in. In some area, particularly in Europe, pellets are widely available in DIY stores, general stores and supermarkets. In other areas, pellets will be only available in bulk, or at high prices in small quantities. However, it is possible to replace pellets by cat litter that is made 100% from compressed wood, which is usually available in small quantities. In all cases, it is advisable to check that you can buy pellets (or wood cat litter) easily in your area before purchasing the Clever Fire Lighter.

Is there a particular type of pellets I need to use with the Clever Fire Lighter ?

All standard pellets work. Pellets should be made from 100% wood and with a diameter equal or greater than 0.2in/5mm – all pellet standards meet those two requirements, so all pellets sold in retail stores should do too.

Is it safe to leave the Clever Fire Lighter in the fire, or in the coals/embers? Can it bend or melt ?

The Clever Fire Lighter is designed to sustain heat from fires produced in fireplaces, inserts, stoves, barbecues, as well as open fires. It will not melt or bend.

When used in a barbecue, is the Clever Fire Lighter safe to grill food / can it produce harmful substances?

If you use pellets made from 100% wood (all standard pellets are), the Clever Fire Lighter will only release combustion products from wood burning. However, when the Clever Fire Lighter is new, a small amount of oil residue can be present on the metal (this is to ease metal folding during manufacturing); for extra caution you may wish to thoroughly wash the Clever Fire Lighter (for example in a dishwasher) before use in a barbecue.

Black stains appeared on the Clever Fire Lighter / Fire dogs after a few fires, is it normal ?

A very small amount of oil is used to ease sheet metal folding during manufacturing, which can locally turn black after one or a few fires. This will disappear after a while. To avoid this you can thoroughly wash the Clever Fire Lighter (for example in a dishwasher) before the first use.

How long will my Clever Fire Lighter last / how many fires can I start ?

The Clever Fire Lighter is designed to withstand heat from charcoal and log fires, and not to rust. It should last for many years if not for a lifetime.

What are the differences between kindling fire and Clever Fire Lighter fire ?

A Clever Fire Lighter fire will be a little less intense, but will last far longer, which means that it is better at lighting log fires and charcoal grills

Will the Clever Fire Lighter rust ?

The Clever Fire Lighter is made from a carefully selected metal that sustains heat and is highly corrosion (rust) resistant, so it should not ever rust.

What size of logs (how big) can I use to start my fire with Clever Fire Lighter?

You can use large logs to start your fire with the Clever Fire Lighter. For better results, use slightly smaller logs on the second, and third levels if possible

The Clever Fire Lighter / Fire Dogs look like they changed color after a few fires, is it normal ?

Yes, it is perfectly normal, intense heat can create slight shades in metal. It does not affect the Clever Fire Lighter / Fire Dogs in any way.

Can I light the Clever Fire Lighter with newspaper instead of a fire lighter?

It is possible to replace the fire lighters by a 1 inch ball of compacted newspaper, slightly soaked in cooking oil.


The Clever Fire Lighter does not light and/or produces a lot of smoke

  • Ensure that you follow the user guide procedure, particularly that you do not overfill or under-fill the basket, and that you uncover a 1×1 inch square of the grip tip
  • Make sure that the air inlets of the “Clever Fire Lighter”(area between the 4 legs of the basket) are not obstructed
  • Check that the top of the basket is not fully covered by logs – this would prevent lighting
  • The door of your stove/insert must be open during the lighting process
  • Your pellets may be damp. Always store pellets in a dry place where possible, and close the bag. Try using a new bag of pellets

The Clever Fire Lighter produces small flames

If the Clever Fire Lighter produces small flames, you have probably under-filled the basket – try to fill the basket a bit more, and follow the procedure shown in the user guide.

The Clever Fire Lighter lights, but my log/wood fire does not start

  • Check that you follow the user guide procedure thoroughly, particularly that logs on a given level aren’t too close or too far apart
  • Try lighting the Clever Fire Lighter alone to check it lights properly and produces large flames – if not please refer to above troubleshooting sections
  • Make sure that the logs are spaced out sufficiently (1 inch) to let the flame develop
  • Check that your insert/stove door is open during the lighting process, to let air in
  • Ensure that your logs are dry enough – firewood moisture should be below 20% for the wood to light properly
  • Try using smaller logs to start the fire, and larger logs once fire is lit

If you cannot find the answer to your question or fix the issue you have, do not hesitate to get in touch with us through the contact form