Patio briquette burners beat midges!

fire pit for patio briquette burning woodfuel coop

Do patio briquette burners help with midges?

We had our first barbecue of the summer the other night and all went well until the wind dropped.

Out came the midges – or up, in fact, as most of us began being bitten on the feet and ankles. So we decided to light the patio briquette burner and first of all fired it up with eco-lighters (no chemical smells) and charcoal. Wonderful! Away went the midges and we were able to finish cooking the pork fillets on the mesh lid, which gave them a great flavour.

patio briquette burner

Then we began to experiment with various types of wood briquettes, including Hotmax for quick heat and the hardwood type for a longer burn. We found that all of them burn really well in the fire basket and gave out a pleasant warmth for when the evenings started to cool off. Most didn’t produce a lot of smoke but there was enough to keep the midges down. If you were in an area badly affected by midges, the sawdust briquettes would produce a thicker smoke if needed.

Even after dark we continued to sit out around the pleasantly-glowing fire basket, glasses to hand, waiting for the bats to emerge so we could track them with the bat detector. Takes all sorts! 🙂

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Quick guide to choosing the best Wood Fuel for your stove and lifestyle.

Wood Fuel Co-operative

*Break - We strongly recommend you break these briquettes in half (or less for very small stoves) because they do expand whilst burning and you don't want them to overfill the fire.
*Easy to light - We always use a Firelighter and Kindling Sticks to start our fires. Most briquettes are graded four stars to light because they are quite dense and require kindling.


  • All stove and flue combinations tend to have different burning characteristics. Fuel that works well in my stove may not work so well in your stove, and vice-versa.
  • Most modern stoves are more efficient than most older stoves, meaning a modern quality stove will burn fuel more economically and generate more heat over a longer period.
  • Always try to burn fuel with a 'lick of flame'. Smouldering fuel to try to extend burn time is bad for your stove, flue and the environment due to unburned particulate matter in the smoke.
  • Be prepared to break briquettes into smaller sections to fit into your stove comfortably. Many briquettes do expand whilst burning and you don't want them to expand onto the glass.
  • The chart above indicates which briquettes are easy to break. Some are small enough so they don't need breaking. This makes for a cleaner environment around your stove.
  • All briquettes, except Everyday Value and Hotmax, benefit hugely from using kindling to light them. I suggest five kindling sticks will be sufficient, meaning a net should last 30 days.