Ah, the warmth and sound of a fire on a cold winter night. That’s what we seek as the holidays approach. Getting it often proves more difficult than it should with wet wood and limited kindling. A few years ago — after much resistance — we added the manufactured fireplace log into the mix. Easier to start, longer burning and with the promise of less environmental impact. We tried a bunch including a batch from the guys at Pine Mountain recently. They all do a nice job of lighting up the family room. None of them throw-off a ton of heat, so we’ll often combine them with some regular firewood for a bit more warmth.

American Home by Yankee Candle Balsam Fir Firelogs

American Home Balsam Fir Firelog
Made by the guys at Pine Mountain, the American Home by Yankee Candle Balsam Fir firelogs smell exactly how you expect — like a pine scented candle, of course. This makes sense given that one of the main ingredients is wax. Why not add a fragrance? Just bringing them into the house got reactions from our guests this past Thanksgiving. “That smell nice,” was the predominant reaction. Pretty much what I’d say the Pine Mountain guys were going for. Not overpowering. They burn around three hours. A box of four goes for around $34. Find them at Amazon.

Duraflame Crackleflame Firelogs

Duraflame Crackleflame
Designed to burn with the sounds of a natural wood fire, the Crackleflame from manufacturer Duraflame do the trick. The sound is pretty subtle but gets the job done. No special smells here just an enjoyable pop now and then. Not sure how the company formulates the combo of post-industrial waste (sawdust and petroleum wax) to get the desired effect. They claim there’s some special additive. We have nothing to complain about. Burns about three hours. A six-pack of logs retails for under $30 at Amazon.

Pine Mountain Java Log

Java Log
Every morning I make a pot of coffee. And every evening, I toss the grounds out. I haven’t been able to figure out what to do with that waste but Pine Mountain has. They take the leftover coffee grounds and turns them into firelogs. According to Pine Mountain’s website, 12 million pounds of coffee grounds are now recycled each year. The logs produced work the same as those made from sawdust. No coffee scent, by the way. They burn nicely for about four hours. Box of four is about $32 at Amazon.

Duraflame Stax

Duraflame Stax
These little 1.5 pound guys are designed to be burned in threes. Stack them up and they look like a more natural fire but light with the efficiency of a manufactured product. The latest Duraflame addition is the same additive used in the Crackleflame so you not only get the appearance of a natural fir, you get the sound too. The tradeoff is a shorter burn time, roughly two hours, and a higher price tag. About $25 for three logs. Available at Amazon.

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