Firewood and Hearth

  1. Why You Need a Meat Smoker, and Which Type is Best for You

    Why you Need a Meat Smoker

    When you need to take your backyard BBQing to the next level, it’s time to invest in a meat smoker. There’s hardly a better way to get delicious, juicy, fall-off-the-bone meat than a slow-cooking smoker that infuses an iconic smoked flavor into your meat. Even a cheap cut of chuck beef can end up becoming a delicious, tender roast that will impress your guests — and you can keep the price of your meal your best-kept secret! 

    This guide will discuss the six types of smokers, how to use them, where to use them, how long it takes to smoke meat, and the health benefits of smoked meats. Also, you’ll discover how hardtop shelters are a must for protecting your meat smoker from the elements. 

    smoked meatsmoked meat

    What Is a Meat Smoker?

    A meat smoker is a device that cooks meat slowly through a tried-and-true method of cooking meat under low heat and smoke. This art has been passed down from generation to generation and was once one of the only ways to preserve meat without a refrigerator. Not only was smoked meat vital for survival, but its delicious flavor has also kept it in BBQ cookbooks long after refrigerators became mainstream. There’s no denying the quality and texture of smoked meat that can only be produced by a meat smoker. 

    Depending on your abilities and needs, there are several types of smokers to enhance your BBQ game.

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  2. Top 5 Fun Fall Backyard Activities

    fall activities | backyard activities

    The fall is a fun time to get outdoors and have a great time with the people you love hanging out with. But your fall fun doesn't have to be limited to festivals, fairs, and fishing holes: there are plenty of ways to entertain right in your own backyard.

    Whether you want to have an intimate gathering with the family or a blowout party with your neighbors and friends, we have some ideas in mind. Here are our top 5 fun fall backyard activities, which can also be adapted for gatherings of any size.

    backyard movie nightbackyard movie night

    Backyard Movie Night

    Grab the popcorn, drinks, candy, some outdoor portable chairs, and some blankets, and turn your backyard into a movie theater! If you have a laptop and a projector, you can stream one of the latest movies onto a portable screen, a sheet, or the side of a shed. Better yet, if you have a Sojag gazebo in your backyard, you can enjoy the open air, have a roof over your head, and attach a screen to the posts or the eave of the structure. 

    While a

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  3. How to Build a Paver Patio with Firepit

    How to Build a Paver Patio with Firepit

    Backyard fire pits are one of this year’s most popular home trends. If you’ve been dreaming of adding a paver patio with fire pit to your backyard, you’re in luck! This is a relatively simple DIY project that most people can do in just a few days.

    Laying a paver patio generally costs about $350 and will take a full day. Once that’s complete, you can add firepit in an hour or two. Depending on the size of the firepit and the materials you choose, you can expect this part of the project to run you anywhere from $50 to $150. 

    To get started, follow the simple steps below. Once you see how easy it is, you'll wish you had done it sooner. 

    Gather Your Tools and Materials

    It’s always a great idea to take stock of the tools and materials you need before you begin a project. To build a paver patio with firepit, you’ll need the following items:

    • Pavers
    • Paver sand
    • Paver base
    • Wall block stones
    • Tape measure
    • Wheelbarrow
    • Shovel
    • Rake
    • Level
    • Hand tamper
    • Marking spray paint
    • One 2 x 4
    • Bricks or stone (optional)

    Note that there are many different ways to build both patios and firepits. This tutorial will explain how to build a simple paver patio and wood-burning fire pit made of wall block stones.

    Build the Paver PatioBuild the Paver Patio

    Build Yo

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  4. Why and How to Season Firewood in the Summer

    Why and How to Season Firewood in the Summer

    Once winter blows out and the spring buds start to peak from the tree branches, we tend to put the cold of winter out of our minds. Most of us prefer not to think about it until we start to feel a chill come back into the air during the autumn. However, people don't often realize that it is likely too late to store firewood effectively by this point. It is more likely to take much longer to cut and dry firewood. That is why it is best to think ahead, cutting most of your firewood in the summer.

    In this article, we run you through why it is important to season firewood during the summer months, how to do it, and how to store it once you have cut and seasoned it. By the time we are done, you will be a summer seasoning pro.

    Why is it Important to Season Firewood in the Summer?

    Using summer gives you plenty of time to prepare compared to cutting and seasoning your wood right before the winter weather hits. There are also several other reasons why you should use the summer to cut and season your firewood. 

    The heat

    One of the biggest disadvantages to the summer months is also one of its greatest advantages. You might be sweating buckets while you are outside trying to chop down trees or find and collect kindling. However, the heat of the summer exponentially speeds up the entire process of seasoning. Unless you live in an area of high humidity, the dry air also helps to suck out moisture faster.

    We should caveat this with a warning against heat exhaustion. The heat helps us season our firewood so much faster but can also lead to heatstroke and dehydration. Be sure to stay cool and hydrated when seasoning and storing firewood during the summer months by taking breaks in the shade as often as you need.

    Free of winter snow and ice

    As the autumn months close into winter, you get more chances of blizzards blowing through, ice patches freezing over, and other weather that will ultimately stop you from taking

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