Unless you’re Smokey The Bear, you’ll agree that nothing takes an outdoor party over the edge like a little bit of fire. The ambiance alone is worth the effort — and nothing does a better job of keeping the party going after the sun’s called it a day.

Of course, there are many ways to add some flame to your summertime festivities. You can always go with the classic fire pit and pile of logs — or you can wow your guests with something much more appealing (and more efficient): a Swedish fire log! Sure, it’ll take a bit of prep work, but don’t you worry. It’s totally worth it.

First, make sure you’re allowed to burn stuff in your backyard. (The last thing you want is the fire department showing up…) Second, clear away anything flammable from where you’ll be setting up shop. The Swedish fire log can shoot a sizable flame into the air, so you’ll want to keep it away from any nearby trees as well.

Now comes the fun (but difficult) part: creating your Swedish log! Ideally, you’ll start with a circular log about 14 inches wide and two to three feet tall. From here, bust out the chainsaw and cut eight vertical slices into the log, starting from the top and cutting downward like you’re slicing a wooden pizza — but be sure to leave the base intact! This way, the log can stand upright without tipping over.

Now, grab some wood shavings, pine needles, tree bark, or any other kindling you have and stuff it all into the log. All those cuts you made will bring oxygen to the fire, keeping it burning for much longer than a classic log fire. Even better? Once the kindling is burned up, the log itself will continue aflame!

Once your Swedish log is ready, all you need to do is light the kindling… and there you have it. A fire that’s beautiful to watch, provides warmth, and stays lit for longer than most of your party-goers will remain awake.

Want to see one in action? Just watch this video:

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