I rarely get a look-in here because the kids enjoy this bit.
We tend to have a axing contest each time. Ash logs are great for this purpose. The kids are well trained to chop fine kindling and make a wigwam of this over paper. The fire gets gradually pushed backwards as it increases in size.
It tends to be a bit smokey to start with but after 15 mins it is hardly noticeable.
We monitor temperature, aiming to have it to 400 centigrade before cooking. When you no longer see black soot on the inside walls, it is hot enough. I am told you can sprinkle flour inside and watch how quickly it smokes / burns. We use an infra-red scanner to monitor temperature.
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