At Friendly Fires, we are here to support you in a variety of ways:

Option 1
Your owners’s manual contains valuable information that is specific to your appliance. We highly recommend you review it on a regular basis. If you do not have your manual handy, we can send one to you and / or they can typically be downloaded from manufacturer’s websites. In addition, some manufacturers have posted videos and other helpful information. For example – if you have one of the following appliances, you may be interested to see what they have to say.

Enviro Customer CareValor Customer Care / Heat & Glo Customer Care / Town & Country Customer Care / Jotul Customer Care / Wood Heat Expert Forum / WETT Inc. (wood safety) / Hearth Patio & BBQ Association of Canada (customer resources) / TSSA (gas & propane regulatory body)

Option 2
We have prepared some PDF handouts with common questions & answers. These can be downloaded on the right side (see FAQ link).

Option 3
The Friendly Fires sales associate who assisted you with your purchase is an industry veteran and may have important knowledge that can help. Our sales team have worked at Friendly Fires for many years and many are former technicians. If they can not answer your question, they can escalate your concern to our Service Department. The Friendly Fires Team page has a list of our customer service contacts, and / or please contact us directly.

Support Videos

Please browse the categories below and hopefully your question will be answered.  If not, please visit our Friendly Fires You Tube Page for a complete list of all our videos.

Video Categories:

A Brief History of Kamado Grills

Whether you’re a BBQ enthusiast or a total beginner there is something that just feels right about cooking on a ceramic kamado grill. This type of cooking device has been around in some form or another for thousands of years. Some say that cooking on a kamado grill connects us with our distant roots.

A Brief History of Kamado Grills
Japanese Kamado Grill

Kamado Grilling History

Japanese Mushikamado | Friendly FIres

Kamado style cooking vessels up to 3000 years old have been found in China, and like much Chinese technology and culture it made it’s way into Japan where it came to be known as a Mushikamado – basically a steaming cook stove, from musu – to steam. The traditional kind can still be found in Japan today looking like the image pictured to the right. It’s mainly used for cooking rice.

Look at this post we recently found on Instagram of rice cooking on a kamado grill!

Kamado cooking made it’s way back to the US from Japan following WWII when many soldiers returned home bringing many exotic and unique goods with them. During the 1970s Kamado grills began to began arriving in from Japan thanks to an importer in Atlanta, Georgia. After making some improvements, such as changing from clay to ceramic, the Big Green Egg was born.

Kamado Grilling Today

For many years the Big Green Egg dominated the field, but other manufacturers began making their own improvements and today this match of traditional and modern technologies has resulted in a range of excellent, high-quality kamado style grills.

Some of the most popular kamados on the market today are made by Primo, Kamado Joe, the previously mentioned Big Green Egg, not to mention the exclusive Ambiance Kamado 25 Charcoal Grill. They are mostly made from ceramic and generally have a very similar design.

Kamado Grill

Pros & Cons of Kamado Grilling

Once you taste food cooked on a kamado grill you’ll find it very difficult to go back! The flavour and juiciness must be tasted to be believed. Precise control of the air flow allows great temperature control and the design makes for a very even heating. If you’ve ever cooked a pizza on a propane grill you’ll definitely notice a difference on a kamado grill.

Some people may find the size restrictive if cooking for large groups. We recommend the larger larger kamados such as the Primo XL that offer a very large cooking surface. Do not be intimidated by the learning curve, it will take a few tries to get the hang of controlling the heat properly using the top and bottom vents – but once you do you’re sure to find it’s pretty intuitive and rewarding!

Our customers Love the Primo Kamado Grill

At Friendly Fires we love kamado grills, we have cooked on them for years and tried almost every kind available. Although the other big names certainly have their merit, and we do carry replacement parts for many of them, the only line of kamado grills we carry is the Primo Ceramic Grill.

These grills are made in the USA and have limited lifetime warranty on all ceramic parts. Our customers have told us over and over how durable and easy to use they are.

As we mentioned above, Primo has beat the cooking area problem by introducing the Oval JROval LG, and Oval XL grills with cooking areas of 210 sq in. 300 sq in. and massive 400 sq in. respectively. A wide range of accessories are also available such as firebox dividers – which allow dual zone cooking, heat deflectors – for indirect heat cooking, drip rackssecondary cooking grills, and more!

On top of all that Primo has created Primo University, a great collection of how-to videos and recipes to give you endless ideas on what and how to cook on your kamado grill.

Fireplace Insert Buying Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Fireplace Insert Buying Guide: Everything You Need to Know

Ambiance Inspiration 29 Gas Insert

Are Gas Fireplace Inserts Worth It?

Is that old, non-functional fireplace in your living room serving as a mere decorative piece? Perhaps it’s adorned with candles, baskets, and creative craft projects, or maybe you’ve pushed a couch against it to ward off the cold air seeping into your home. If this scenario sounds familiar, you’re not alone, and there are solutions worth exploring. But, before you make a decision, let’s delve into whether these options are worth your time, energy, and investment.

So, what exactly is a gas fireplace insert? Essentially, it’s a purpose-built fireplace designed to fit snugly into an existing wood-burning fireplace. This existing fireplace could be an old, traditional open-burning masonry fireplace or a factory-built, zero-clearance fireplace with bi-fold doors.

Friendly Fires offers various sizes of gas inserts designed to slide seamlessly into your old wood-burning fireplace, delivering efficient heat and ease of use. Whether you opt for LPG or natural gas, a gas fireplace insert offers substantial improvements in efficiency compared to an open wood-burning fireplace. Moreover, it seals the chimney, preventing cold air from infiltrating your family room.

Gas inserts are lauded for their convenience. You can control the heat output, fan speed, and overall comfort from the comfort of your recliner with just a remote click. Unlike burning wood in a fireplace, this convenience comes without the hassles of bugs, bark, dirt, ashes, and burnt specks on your carpeting. In summary, a gas fireplace insert offers ease of operation, a cozy ambiance, high efficiency (often exceeding 80%), chimney sealing benefits, and enhanced home value, making it a worthwhile investment.

What Gas Fireplace Insert Should I Buy? Which Is the Best?

Determining the “best” gas fireplace insert is subjective, much like choosing the best Beatles song or the best movie of all time. Individual preferences, needs, styles, and product features all play a role. However, most would agree that “value,” encompassing reliability, dependability, performance, and aesthetics, is the key consideration.

How Much Does a Gas Fireplace Insert Cost?

The cost of a gas fireplace insert project can be divided into four main components. First, there’s the insert itself, along with any optional features you desire. Various insert sizes, decorative fronts, and other options can influence this cost. Secondly, there are expenses related to venting components required for proper chimney relining. Next, you’ll need to budget for extending electric and gas supply lines to the firebox. Lastly, factor in labor and installation charges.

Taking all these costs into account, you can anticipate a gas insert project falling within the range of $4,500 to $6,500. Most projects can be completed in a single day for your convenience.

How Much Does It Cost to Operate a Gas Fireplace Insert?

The cost of operating a gas fireplace insert is determined by the amount of gas consumed. You can adjust the gas consumption manually or with a remote control. Most gas inserts allow for adjustments between 15,000 to 40,000 BTUs per hour. Higher gas consumption results in taller, livelier flames and more heat in the room.

In the USA, assuming a burner set at approximately 30,000 BTUs/hour (a common input for many gas inserts), each hour of operation costs around 50 cents for natural gas and 67 cents for propane (LP).

For Canadian consumers using the same example, the 30,000 BTU burner uses approximately 0.83 cubic meters of gas per hour, costing about 17 cents per hour at a rate of 20 cents per cubic meter. For propane (LP), the burner uses about 1.25 liters per hour, equating to an hourly cost of approximately $1.25 at $1 per liter.

A few additional points to consider:

  • Most people do not operate their gas fireplace insert 24 hours a day.
  • Some remote controls can automatically adjust the gas consumption based on the thermostat’s heating demands.
  • Fuel rates may vary monthly, and gas companies have fixed charges and other adjustments that affect the final fuel cost.

How Do I Know If I Need to Replace My Gas Fireplace Insert?

Gas fireplace inserts are designed to last for many years, especially those sold by Friendly Fires. However, there may come a time, typically after 15-20 years or more, when replacing an older insert with a new model makes sense. If your fireplace insert experiences frequent component failures and requires frequent service visits, an upgrade might be warranted.

Additionally, you may want to explore the latest technological innovations and decorative options offered by new models. These upgrades can breathe new life into your family room and provide greater control over your comfort.

Gas Insert vs. Wood Burning Insert: Which Is Better?

The choice between a gas insert and a wood-burning insert often comes down to lifestyle preferences. It’s a personal decision based on the convenience of gas versus the effort involved in burning wood.

The saying, “Wood heat will heat you four or five times,” reflects the effort involved in handling wood, from cutting and splitting to hauling and burning. Consider factors like access to a wood supply, the equipment needed for wood preparation, and the time and energy required for wood burning. Health considerations are also important. While burning wood can save money on heating costs, convenience and ease of use may prompt you to opt for a gas insert, leaving more time for leisure activities.

In conclusion, the decision between a gas insert and a wood-burning insert depends on your lifestyle and priorities. Weigh the convenience and effort involved in each option to determine which aligns best with your preferences and needs.

Starting a Wood Fire with a Cold Chimney (How to stop smoke coming back in the house)

We receive a lot of phone calls about problems with wood stoves or fireplaces where smoke is coming back into the house.  One of the most common reasons for this is cold air in the chimney.

In the video below, Jason walks us through a few methods for heating up the chimney and creating a positive draft of air up the flue.  Once this happens smoke will be pulled up the chimney and not into your home.

Tools required – newspaper, lighter, electric heater, fire starter cubes.

Please let us know in the comments below if you have any other questions at all or if there are any other videos you’d like to see!

Please also view our wide range of Wood, Gas, Pellet, and Electric Fireplaces and Stoves.

How to Light Pilot Light on Natural Gas or Propane Fireplace or Stove

It’s getting to be that season again where we’re starting up our fireplaces and stoves.  One common question which we get every year is, “How do I light my Pilot Light?”.  Most units have a very similar process for getting the pilot lit, we’ve included a few videos below that should light your fire!

If you still have questions please do leave them in the comments below and we’ll do our best to help!

How to Light Pilot Light on Natural Gas or Propane Fireplace

Lighting the Pilot light on an Enviro Westport Stove

We have a wide range of Gas Fireplace Replacement Parts to help keep your Fireplace or Stove in top shape.  We’ve also got the largest supply of Wood Fireplace Replacement Parts in North America.

How to light the pilot light on an Enviro Westport Gas Stove

Lighting the pilot light on an Enviro Westport or Westport Steel stove is slightly different from the piezo ignitors on most gas fireplaces and stoves.  In this video Gene walks us through the steps to light the pilot light.

Wood Pellets Green Mountain Grills BBQ Pellets

Wood Pellet Smoking Tube Green Mountain Grills Thin Blue Smoker

Pellet Grill Accessories Green Mountain Grills

BBQ Rubs and Sauces Green Mountain Pellet Grills

Green Mountain Pellet Grills

Primo Charcoal BBQ Rosting Tips

Primo BBQ Greek Burger Recipee

Primo Oval Citrus Turkey BBQ Recipee

Primo Charcoal BBQ Smoker Recipe Spare Ribs

Primo BBQ Frozen Pizza Fresh Pizza

Best Margherita Pizza BBQ Recipe

Primo Roasted Rack of Lamb BBQ Recipee

Primo Smoking Baby Back Ribs Recipee

Primo BBQ Porterhouse Reverse Sear Technique

Primo Charcoal BBQ Components