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What is a Fireplace Poker Used For?

A fireplace poker(also called a fire iron) is used to stir up and tend a fire. Most homeowners use this for indoor fireplace tending which is a necessity for maintaining your fire.

However a poker can also be used for campfires and outdoor fireplaces.

Generally you’re using the poker to adjust the wood and coal burning levels. This ensures that oxygen can flow freely around the fireplace by moving the logs around.

The end goal is to keep your fire burning for longer. And you can do that without wasting too much fuel too! This makes a fireplace poker a staple for any home with a frequently-used fireplace.

Most fireplace pokers are long, rigid, metallic prodding tools. There are also shorter versions but they aren’t as popular.

On one end they feature a handle with a comfortable grip.

On the other end fireplace pokers usually have:

  • A sharp end
  • A hook
  • Combination of the two

Most people prefer the latter as the combo is more convenient to move around the logs.

What Is a Fireplace Poker Made Of?

Most fireplace pokers are made out of iron. It’s the most popular option because it’s more cost-efficient.

Some fireplace pokers are also made out of brass. They are more expensive but look significantly better than their iron counterparts.

Are brass pokers a better option? Well, mostly if you have a fancy fireplace and want an elegant poker to go along with it. Also keep in mind they’re more resistant to rust which means they’ll last longer.

Also the handle’s grip is usually made from insulated materials. This way you don’t burn your hand grabbing a poker that’s red hot on both ends.

firewood logs burning
Photo via Max Pixel

How Do You Use a Fireplace Poker?

This is a very common question and it has a real simple answer.

Grab the poker by the handle’s grip when you notice the fire dying out. Next here’s what you need to do:

  • Push logs around with the pointed end to create more air pockets
  • If the poker has a hook end, grab and pull the logs to create even more space

The goal is to create more oxygen in the fire and to provide more surface area for the fire to catch onto. By moving the logs around you’re literally breathing life into the fire and using your wood to the fullest extent.

Fireplace tending frequency varies based on size but for an average try tending every 2-3 hours or more if necessary.

Besides that you can also use the poker to keep the coals together.

Remember to also use a fire iron to poke the charcoal as it forms. That will make it glow bright red and once it’s glowing you can add kindling, firewood, and timber.

Also note that fireplace pokers are incredibly safe. They are fireproof, after all.

What’s more this tool ensures you can tend to a fire without suffering any burns or blisters. Fireplace pokers feature strong insulated grips. You never have to worry about burning yourself when you grab the poker.

Plus you can even get extendable fireplace pokers with varying sizes. If safety is your concern they’re a great choice. And they’re just easy to use too.

All in all a poker is a fireplace enthusiast’s best friend and ally.

With it you can enjoy your fireplace without getting your clothes dirty or risking any burns. And depending on the length of your poker you can even use it without getting out of the chair!

Consistent tending ensures your flames burn bright the whole day and into the evening.

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