CreekTreeUSA’s Blog

We are living more and more outside our homes now, taking advantage of our backyards, patios, decks and porches as alternative living spaces. We hope this CreekTreeUSA blog will provide information about products that enhance that outdoors’ experience, as well as articles on our outdoor neighbors like hummingbirds, birds, butterflies and other creatures that use our outdoor garden habitat products. We will continue adding articles that will help you learn about their natural habitats and how to welcome them into your back yard and garden.

Tablitas Marinada – Mexican Beef Short Ribs on The Grill

Tablitas Marinada

Tablitas Marinada from La Azteca Mexican Food Store

Tried something new on the BBQ grill this last Memorial weekend for a small family get together. Tablitas Marinada are beef short ribs, but instead of being cut along the length of the bone they are cut across the bone in strips about 3/8 inches thick. I picked these pre-marinaded ones up at La Azteca Mexican Foods on Beckley Ave. (the I-35 service road) in Lancaster, Texas. They are also available without the marinade, but I wanted more time away from prep that weekend. Talk about easy, just get your grill up to medium heat, and cook about 2 to 2-1/2 minutes on a side. This should make them medium done, they aren’t supposed to be any rarer than that, and they come out tender and juicy. Also had grilled chicken and fajita chicken on the grill, but the tablitas were the hit.

I understand that you might also be able to get them at Albertson’s but haven’t seen any there. You might shop around, or do what I do, go to the nearest Mexican Food Store.

Happy Grilling!

Outdoor Grilling, Smoking & Barbecuing – Chicken Breast a la CreekTree Recipe

Here’s one of our favorite chicken recipes, it tastes wonderful and it is so easy to make on the grill!
You need:
Chicken breast halves, one for each diner you’ll have.
Cavender’s Greek Seasoning
Extra virgin olive oil

About an hour before grilling, wash the breasts halves and trim off the excess fat, tendon, ligament or whatever. You just want the white meat. Pat dry, and arrange on a flat rack, then sprinkle liberally with Cavender’s Greek Seasoning on both sides. Wrap the rack in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 45 minutes.

Prepare the grill and charcoal for cooking (don’t forget to brush the grill with vegetable oil after you clean it!). You are going to grill with high direct heat.

Remove the rack from the fridge, and let stand for about 15 minutes before you are going to throw them on the grill. When you’re ready, brush one side of each breast half with olive oil and place on the grill, oil side down. This will get you a really nice grill sear. After 2-3 minutes, give each half a 90 degree turn to get a second sear. When ready, brush each half on top with the olive oil and turn the half over, and finish cooking them. Don’t cook them too long, you want them done but still juicy on the inside. Remember, the side that sears first is the presentation side, but you’ll want grill marks on the second side as well.

After they’re done, let the chicken rest for 5 minutes or so, tented with aluminum foil, so the juices will redistribute. Then serve with a nice green salad, or steamed asparagus, maybe some yeast dinner rolls on the side, too. Great!

Don’t really know how popular Cavender’s is nationally, but we have used it for years, not only on chicken and pork, but on steamed veggies as well. It perks up whatever it’s on, and we stay well supplied with it.

Let us know how you like the chicken!

Outdoor Grilling, Smoking & Barbecuing – What DO I Need To Start Grilling?

CreekTreeUSA Grilling Tools

Grilling Tools & Accessories

Well, the first thing is a grill. It can be a big griller/smoker set up that uses either gas or charcoal (check out Home Depot, Lowe’s, Sam’s, or even the local Kroger/Brookshire’s in season), or it can be a small portable grill, suitable for camping and 1 to 2 person meals. Personally, I use one of the big double sized charcoal grills (from Sam’s) for get togethers and smoking large cuts, and one of the small portables for when just the wife and I want a burger or chop, or when we’re off on vacation. Also, have a 23 inch diameter firepit with a 24 inch grill grate that works for grilling those side dishes. You can get either gas or charcoal grills in about any size you want, from the humongous professional grill to the smaller than average hibachi. We carry some of the portable charcoal grills in our store, just to give you an idea :)

Next you need some grilling tools. You can start with some of the extra cheap sets, but you’ll be disappointed. You need to keep in mind the finer points of the tools, and while you don’t have to pay with all your gold bullion, choosing the right tools, like Raichlen and Companion Group tools, can save you a lot of $$$ in the long run. You’ll need a grilling spatula, tongs, fork and grill brush. You can find various sets containing the tools you need, or sometimes you can spring for a heavier professional tool if you find them on sale.
1) The spatula doesn’t have to have a lot of gadgets incorporated in the design, it does need to be long enough to protect somewhat from the heat, and really needs a sharp leading edge for getting under that fish, burger, and other loose items you may grill, without tearing it apart.
2) Tongs should be the locking type, and strong/heavy enough to handle some of those heavier cuts without losing it’s grip. Meat and ashes is not a good combo.
3) The same goes for the fork regarding the length, it should be at least 18 inches long. But don’t overdo it, either. I don’t use the fork much, relying mostly on the tongs & spatula, but at times it’s really handy.
4) Grill brushes come in all shapes, size, materials, etc. A brass brush is best, and you can find double headed ones, single headed ones, some with scrapers, and some with pads. Choose the one that you think suits you best, but the grill should be HOT when you use it. We carry several types in our store, come take a look.

You need a recipe, if you’re just starting out, and there’s grilling recipes all over the Web. For starters, try Steven Raichlen’s Best Of Barbecue page and go to the Recipes. Great traditional and superlative new ideas.

Gotta have propane gas or charcoal, depending on the grill. Propane is handy but not as versatile. Charcoal is messy, but you can do a LOT with it. And for charcoal, some way to start it, chimney (my favorite), electric or lighter fluid.

Two kinds of charcoal, briquets & lump. Without a doubt, briquets are the most widely used form of charcoal, and briquets are used by most competition barbecuers for their convenience and consistency. However, I prefer natural lump charcoal made from wood that has been burned in the absence of oxygen, making it the most natural form of charcoal, and does not contain the often found furniture scraps, wood dust, borax and petroleum binders in many briquet products (honestly, these probably all burn off before you get the food on the grate anyway). However, the lump does start faster, burn hotter, and produce less ash that the briquet. On the other hand, it’s a bit more expensive (though I have found 40 pound bags at Sam’s for under $15), it burns faster and the bags can contain itsy small pieces that are not really worth using. So take your choice, either one will produce a wonderful meal on the grill!

What else? Well that gets you going, and that’s all I used for a LONG time. But doing it more now, and finding there’s a LOT of things to make grilling easier and better. I’m talking wood chips, smoker boxes, wood chunks, heat gloves, grilling baskets, grid pans, meat claws, skewers, beer cans (yep, beer cans), instant read thermometers, sauce mops, grilling planks … WOW, SOMEBODY STOP ME! … these are a few of my favorite things!

By The way, isn’t Father’s Day coming up in June?

Outdoor Grilling, Smoking & Barbecuing – Direct & Indirect Heat

You are going to find some grillers that will only use indirect heat, and just abhor direct grilling. Other BBQ’ers say indirect heat is fine for low & slow smoking of big cuts, but direct heat is best for chops, steaks sausage, chicken pieces, fish filets and the like. But you have to know the options and what they mean before you can take sides on this. You also need to have tried the various options before you can have an opinion. So let’s get into this with both feet.

Direct grilling

This is what most non-grillers take to be the preferred method of cooking outdoors. The food, both meat and vegetables, are cooked on grates directly over a heat source at high heat. As said, typical foods that are direct grilled include steaks, chops, chicken breasts, fish fillets, vegetables, and bread.

Setting up your grill for direct grilling

When cooking for one or two people only, you can use a single zone fire, an even layer of coals to cook the food over, which can be kept at a fairly high temp. (If you’re using a gas grill, just turn on and light the most convenient burner.)

A three zone fire gives you better control of the heat. You’d mentally divide the firebox into three zones. One, the hot zone, has an even double layer of coals, covering about one-third of the firebox, and is used for searing the meat where appropriate. The second one-third has a single layer of coals covering the bottom to be used for cooking the food. The last third will have no coals at all (but it’s still going to get hot, remember) and it’s a warming zone or safety zone if food is beginning to burn.

For a gas grill, the heat depends on how many burners you have. If two, use one burner on high, one burner on medium, and the warming rack is used for the safe zone.

Indirect grilling

When you have a cut of meat that is large enough (or not very tender) that it would burn to a crisp before it was cooked through with direct grilling, you’ll want to use the indirect grilling method. Using this method, the food is placed on the grate next to the coals, not over them, and closing the grill lid holds in the heat, and you wind up with what is essentially an outdoors oven. The temp is kept low to avoid burning, and you better plan on this taking longer than the high heat direct method. It’s the best method to use when you want to introduce that great flavor of wood smoke to the food. With a temp of 275-350 degrees there’s plenty of time for the food pick up those wonderful smoky flavors as it cooks and tenderizes. It’s also the best method for enjoying a cold one while the food gently cooks.


Setting up your grill for indirect grilling

You’re going to need more charcoal for cooking this way, and better remember that it will need to be replenished, depending on how long it takes to cook the meat. I generally use several chimney starters that I light during the cook time to be dumped to the firebox as needed to maintain the temperature. Just fill the chimney, put about 3 wadded sheets of newspaper underneath and light them. Twenty to thirty minutes later you have a fine glowing coal bed. You can also use an electric starter (which I find more awkward & less consistent) or lighter fluid (which can leave a bad taste if it’s not all burned off before using). On the initial dump, rake half the coals to a pile on each side of the firebox. Place a foil drip pan between the piles (you might want to use water or some other liquid (broth, wine, beer) in the pan to help keep the meat moist, too). Replace the grill grate, and put the meat on the grate over the drip pan. Using wood chips on both piles of coals to generate smoke works wonders with the flavor.You will need to adjust the top and bottom vents on the grill to maintain the cooking temp you want, and perhaps replenish the charcoal every hour or so.

If you use a gas grill. you’ll just light the appropriate burners to approximate the positions used on a charcoal grill. Now, you can’t just toss wood chips on the burners here. However, if you’ll soak some chips for an hour or so, then drain them, wrap them in aluminum foil and poke holes in the top with a pencil or skewer, this can be placed over the burners and does a good job of providing the smoky flavor we crave. There are also commercially made up smoke pouches available for gas grills (we carry them in our store). You need to make sure you’ll have enough gas in the tank to fully cook the food, or at least have a spare filled tank handy.

Two kinds of charcoal, briquets & lump

Without a doubt, briquets are the most widely used form of charcoal, and briquets are used by most competition barbecuers for their convenience and consistency. However, I prefer natural lump charcoal made from wood that has been burned in the absence of oxygen, making it the most natural form of charcoal, and does not contain the often found furniture scraps, wood dust, borax and petroleum binders in many briquet products (honestly, these probably all burn off before you get the food on the grate anyway). However, the lump does start faster, burn hotter, and produce less ash that the briquet. On the other hand, it’s a bit more expensive (though I have found 40 pound bags at Sam’s for under $15), it burns faster and the bags can contain itsy small pieces that are not really worth using. So take your choice, either one will produce a wonderful meal on the grill!

Getting Your Bird Brain Firepot Back To Work! Fuel Gel Alternatives

When the first firepots/flamepots/firelites came out they were immediate hits. Besides being decorative and attractive, they created an ambiance, enhancing the mood of any event. Indoors or out, from romantic encounters to party time, or just a relaxing few moments by yourself, these ceramic or glass or metal adornments added a comfortable aura with their warmth and attention-getting fascination.

Now that Bird Brain has closed its door, and the Bird Brain/Sterno Solid Fuel Gel is very scarce indeed if not totally gone, many firepot owners are very unhappy that suitable fuel is no longer available. However, that is not necessarily true. There are products out there available right now that you can use to fuel your firepot and bring back the happy glow they give to your evening events. You can also upgrade your Bird Brain firepots without a fuel gel reservoir as long as the hole is approximately 2-1/2 inches in diameter.

There are two brands that come to mind immediately.

Pacific Decor 2 Hour Single Use Fuel Gel This is a 2 Hour Single Use Gel from Pacific Decor, the 3.2 x 2.2 inch can sits in the stainless steel cup instead of on any kind of adapter, it’s 2.2 inch diameter is just about the right size for most firepot’s stainless steel cup. This is too large for the Bird Brain 2 inch cups, so you can’t use it there (though there’s nothing to keep you from pouring the fuel into the reservoir, except that defeats the purpose of the Single Use Can). It comes in regular and also citronella which can be used outside to help deter hungry mosquitoes and the like.
Pacific Decor description is:

  • Mesmerizing, robust, high dancing Yellow Flames
  • Odorless, smokeless, non-toxic, ,Clean burning
  • Environmentally friendly, disposable no refill can
  • Convenience of no pouring, no mess, no clean up
  • Safety as a single use can eliminates refill hazards
  • Flamepot stays much cooler and flame burns cooler

CreekTreeUSA carries Pacific Decor Fuel Gel by the can, in 6 packs, or by the case.

Evergreen Enterprises Organica Firepot Fuel & Media Evergreen Enterprises Organica “Fuel” & “Media Wick”This a completely new fuel concept and it’s available now. Seeing is believing, so for a quick intro on the Organica Fuel and Media, see this Youtube video. It will open in a new window.The main points on this product are:

• Organica will not burn without the media roll! (The Organica wick can be cut down to fit smaller sized reservoirs, including those 2-1/4 inch one in the small Bird Brain Firepots.)

• Organica is certified by the US Dept of Agriculture (USDA) as 100% Bio-based.

• Organica has the lowest emissions of any type of fuel

• Organica is classified as non-flammable

• Organica can be extinguished with water

• The Organica flame burns with hues of blue, orange, and yellow

Also, can be used to fuel the smaller Bird Brain firepots as well, since the “media wick” can be customized and used in about any size stainless steel reservoir, you just need to cut down the wick to the proper size. However, we’re told Organica will not work with ceramic reservoirs, again, no explanation for why not.

One other thing, since Organica is classified as non-flammable, you can ship it by air, i.e. USPS Priority Mail. All the other fuels must ship ground transport, either USPS Parcel Post, or UPS Ground.

CreekTreeUSA carries Organica Fuel, wicks, and a starter kit with 2 bottles of fuel and a wick tube.

Pacific Decor Replacement Firepot Fuel Cup Both of these require you have a stainless steel fuel cup for your firepot. But you say your firepot wasn’t shipped with one (Bird Brain quit shipping them when their Solid Fuel Gel with the Ring Adapter came out), or has otherwise gone missing. See the item at left, it’s the standard size, and comes with a lid/snuffer and removal fork, just right for your standard size firepot (that’s 2-1/2 inches for the reservoir hole).

This is available at CreekTreeUSA in the Firepot Fuels and Accessories department.

Three Day Plant, Tree & Backyard Decor Auction – The Greenery Nursery in Red Oak Texas

In anticipation of their move to bigger digs, The Greenery held their first 3 day auction from 2/17-2/19. Previous auctions there were for 2 days, but Scott wanted a longer one to clear out a lot of inventory, thinking it’s better to sell it than move it. And sell it they did … $600 – $800 trees went for less than half their retail cost, shrubs were similarly auctioned off. Flowers, iron yard art, trellises, … they all went … and a $3500 dollar antique wagon went for about $1000. Boulders, stack rock, patio rock pallets went at up to 70% discounts. Besides the items we knew we wanted, we won a great 5 foot stone firepit that will set off our patio, plus a 6 year old mountain laurel with great shape at substantial savings. If you live in the Metroplex or Ellis County, don’t miss their next auction (June?) if you’re doing or re-doing your landscaping.

But it wasn’t all fun, Friday was chilly, but Saturday wound up being blustery and rainy, we had to get out the rain boots and ponchos, wading through puddles all day, but the auctions went on anyway. Both the Greenery personnel and their customers faced the weather and kept the bids going, from about 9 AM until after 7 PM that night (I hear some bidders had to use the flashlights on their iPhones to see what they were bidding on). Scott and son Bruce, plus Charlie, Chino, Juan and the others all made it worth while, and the CiCi’s catering lunch on Saturday, with free coffee, hot chocolate and snacks all day, every day really helped.

Sunday turned off sunny and bright, with a lot of the puddles dissipating during the morning, so when the auction started up again at noon, everyone was in high spirits and ready to bid some more.

All during the weekend sale, Deborah and Cassie (Scott’s wife and daughter) kept the back office running smoothly. If you won an auction, within just a few minutes you could pay off and be gone, or you could let your auction goodies accumulate, and check out when you were ready to leave. All in all, they processed well over 1100 lots during the 3 days.

Now all this was just getting ready for The Greenery’s move this month to a new location, just across Highway 77 from the old place, where they’d been for 25 years. Twice the acreage for twice the selection, and a new office custom designed for The Greenery. Must be over 3500 square feet in the office, with the walls displaying possibilities in decor. The Greenery will be continuing their landscaping and consulting services from there. And there’s more! A separate building will house The Studio, a jewelry and gift shop with fantastic hand picked items for you. The Studio has been located on Highway 77 just east of The Greenery for years.

Now they just finished this great auction, but come March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day no less!), The Greenery starts hosting their Grand Opening Sale at their new location. So if you weren’t able to take advantage of the auction, don’t dare miss this sale if you’re looking for landscaping bargains. This is a family run, family oriented business, and they’ll treat you right. Take a look at their web site at The Greenery, Red Oak Texas.

eAlternatives To Liquid Fuel Gel For Your Ceramic Firepot, Flamepot, Firelite – Solid Fuel, Single Use Cans, Organica

When the first firepots/flamepots/firelites came out they were immediate hits. Besides being decorative and attractive, they created an ambiance, enhancing the mood of any event. Indoors or out, from romantic encounters to party time, or just a relaxing few moments by yourself, these ceramic or glass or metal adornments added a comfortable aura with their warmth and attention-getting fascination.

The primary fuel, liquid fuel gel, for the current crop of firepots/flamepots/firelites underwent a voluntary recall in the fall of 2011, not for any problem with the fuel gel itself, but because some users (43 cases we understand) did not refrain from trying to refill the fuel cup while it was still burning, resulting in spot fires and burns. Liquid fuel gel is no longer on the market. Several alternatives have been developed to work better and safer. We’ll first give you a list of the alternatives, then go into a longer description after that.

  • Bird Brain Solid Fuel Gel – comes in a 6 pack of single use cans with a metal ring adapter, was developed by Bird Brain and Sterno, the adapter replaces the stainless steel cup. UNFORTUNATELY, this is no longer available. Please see our blog on Get Your Bird Brain Firepot Back To Work.
  • Windflame FlameGuard – uses a can, shield, and wick assembly to replace the cup, uses bottled liquid bio-alcohol as the fuel
  • Pacific Decor 2 Hour Fuel Can – Single use can of liquid fuel gel, drop it into the stainless steel fuel cup provided with the firepot, light it and it burns for about 2 hours
  • Evergreen’s Organica Fuel and Media – A liquid fuel that won’t burn unless it has its media wick, safe and easy to use for all size stainless steel reservoirs.
  • patioglo – TBA

As always with ANY type of fuel, observe and heed label warnings and directions for safe and efficient use of the product.


All of these were a long time coming, as the developers wanted to ensure their offering was acceptable to CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission), and each took their own path to that end. All of them are deemed Green energy fuels, clean burning with no soot or cleanup, and no hazardous fumes. And all, in some way, are safer than the circumstances than resulted in the voluntary recall.


Sterno/Bird Brain Solid Fuel Gel Retail Six Pack
The Bird Brain Solid Fuel Gel was developed by them and Sterno, and is manufactured by Sterno. The flame burns higher than the familiar Sterno, but at a lower temperature, to preserve the ambience of the liquid fuel gel. The fuel is sold as a 6-pack of the gel, plus a ring adapter and a can removal tool.

The ring adapter replaces the fuel cup, and does not fit their firepots with the smaller 2 inch diameter cups or the larger 3 inch cups. The inner flanges are bent down and made to conform to the inside of the firepot. The single use can is opened, placed in the ring adapter, and lit. The single use cans burn for about 90 minutes each, depending on conditions of course, so the retail six-pack will burn a little longer than the liquid gel 32 oz. bottle did, and pricing is about the same.

The ring adapter fits the Bird Brain 2.5 inch firepots cup hole snugly, with very little wiggle room. For the Windflame and patioglo firepots with their 2.75 inch holes, this method will also work, though with an extra 1/8 inch on either side there is a little more wiggle room, but the fuel gel can is steady when placed in it, so this is a usable fuel for most of those firepots as well as the Bird Brain’s.

Bird Brain is supposed to have the resolution for the smaller 2 inch diameters sometime in January, but so far nothing has been announced.

The 6 packs are available in our CreekTreeUSA store.


Bird Brain Solid Fuel Gel in use
Pacific Decor 2 Hour Single Use Fuel Gel
This is a 2 Hour Single Use Gel from Pacific Decor, the 3.2 x 2.2 inch can sits in the stainless steel cup instead of on any kind of adapter, it’s 2.2 inch diameter is just about the right size for most firepot’s stainless steel cup. This is too large for the Bird Brain 2 inch cups, so you can’t use it there (though there’s nothing to keep you from pouring the fuel into the reservoir, except that defeats the purpose of the Single Use Can). It comes in regular and also citronella which can be used outside to help deter hungry mosquitoes and the like.

Pricing may be slightly higher than the others, but the convenience would outweigh that, plus each can burns about 25% longer than the Bird Brain Solid Fuel Gel. Pacific Decor touts this as:

  • Mesmerizing, robust, high dancing Yellow Flames
  • Odorless, smokeless, non-toxic, ,Clean burning
  • Environmentally friendly, disposable no refill can
  • Convenience of no pouring, no mess, no clean up
  • Safety as a single use can eliminates refill hazards
  • Flamepot stays much cooler and flame burns cooler

3/5/2012 – Our shipment of this item has arrived, and is now available in our CreekTreeUSA store

2/9/2012 – The VP Ops at Pacific Decor graciously sent us a sample can for their product and we checked it against Bird Brain, Windflame and patioglo firepots. The diameter fit was really good, a little wiggle room but not enough to matter. The depth wasn’t a problem either, the top of the gel can came even with the lip of the stainless cup on most checks, + or – 1/8 inch. That’s fine, it doesn’t obscure the flame or sit so high the can is obvious. We have these on order, and expect a supply in about 10 days.

The Pacific Decor is our recommendation for the time being until/unless something better comes along.


Evergreen Enterprises Organica Firepot Fuel & Media


Update as of 5/8/2012 – Evergreen Enterprises Organica “Fuel” & “Media”

This a completely new fuel concept, and it’s really been hard to find any answers about it. However, we have enough info to know it’s very interesting, it’s finally available, and our order should be here next week. This “fuel” is completely non-flammable unless the “media” is present in the metal reservoir as well. I do not understand how this works, so I’m taking it on faith and the YouTube video.

• Organica will not burn without the media roll!

• Organica is certified by the US Dept of Agriculture (USDA) as 100% Bio-based.

• Organica has the lowest emissions of any type of fuel

• Organica is classified as non-flammable

• Organica can be extinguished with water

• The Organica flame burns with hues of blue, orange, and yellow

Also, from what we understand, this should be able to fuel the smaller Bird Brain firepots as well, since the “media” can be customized and used in about any size stainless steel reservoir. However, we’re told Organica will not work with ceramic reservoirs, again, no explanation for why not.

One other thing, since Organica is classified as non-flammable, you can ship it by air, i.e. USPS Priority Mail. All the other fuels must ship ground transport, either USPS Parcel Post, or UPS Ground.

Pricing on this doesn’t appear cheap, because you have to buy both the “Fuel” and the “Media” but if the burn times pan out on this, it’s going to be about the same price per burn as the other offerings.

Windflame Flame Guard  Insert Kit

Purefuels Bio-alcohol Fuel


Windflame has gone in a completely different direction.

The stainless steel cup still comes with the firepot, at least for now, but you also get the first incarnation of their “WindFlame FlameGuard Technology”.

FlameGuard consists of a metal canister, metal shield and material wick. Rather than gel, you use a Bio-alcohol Liquid Fuel, such as is pictured lower left. You charge the canister with the fuel, insert the wick into the shield, then screw the cowl onto the canister and replace the cup. Lighting the wick produces an impressive flame up to six inches, though we haven’t tried it that high. Flame height can be adjusted by trimming the wick down or pulling a bit more out of the shield.

Because the flame has to be put out and the FlameGuard cooled before the canister can be recharged, this gets around the problem that the liquid gel fuel had with users trying to fill a flaming fuel cup.

It’s currently suggested that the cup can be used as a snuffer.

The fuel currently recommended until Windflame gets their own brand on the market is purefuels Premium Bio-Alcohol Fuel which is used primarily used in decorative fireplaces. Pricing on this is competitive with the other methods.

This method can probably be used with any of the firepots whose diameter will accept the canister and whose height is higher than about 4-5 inches.

CreekTreeUSA carries the fuel in our store, and the Insert Kit comes with the Windflame Firepots, arrangements can be made for other brands.


Windflame Firepot with Flame Guard in use

New Delivery of Kitras Art Glass, Witch Balls and Oil Lamps

Still haven’t figured out what to get that one person that stalls your imagination as to the Christmas gift? Kitras Art Glass items are hand blown in Fergus, Ontario, Canada by artisans using centuries old techniques to create the most beautiful suncatchers, oil lamps, witch balls, gazing balls, even wine stoppers! Appreciated by everyone that sees them, these fine works in glass can be seen in our shop at the Kitras department at CreektreeUSA.

The most impressive glass is the Tree Of Enchantment line, you can’t believe how these can be created!

Fuel for WindFlame and patioglo Firepots On Its Way

Spoke yesterday with the WindFlame representative, finally with some good news. They are offering a different method to fuel their firepots, which should work for those with openings of 2.7 inches (about 2-5/8 inches) or larger, up to several inches, and should work equally well with both WindFlame and patioglo firepots. For the time being they are getting away from gel, and will be using a canister with liquid bio-ethanol that comes in a bottle utilizing a flame arrester. This method resolves problem that the liquid gel had, as this makes it impossible to refill the canister while it’s burning.

The mechanism consists of the canister itself, a cowl that covers the canister and a fiberglass wick. After the wick is in place, the filled canister screws into the cowl and the whole thing slips into the reservoir opening. Lighting the wick gives much the same ambience as the old liquid fuel gel, displaying a slow, lazy 6 inch flame, and burns at a temperature low enough for the firepot. The bio-ethanol burns with no smoke, soot or odor, and a filled canister will burn for almost 2 hours.

The fuel, wicks and canister sets can be sold separately, as well as new purchases coming with them. WindFlame says we should have the canister sets this week. We have a bio-ethanol supply on order which should be here this week, and we’ll try to make them available immediately for all our customers with WidFlame or patioglo pots.

WindFlame has two other fueling methods in the works also. The first is an innovative reservoir with a fiberglass insert to control any spillage and negate the dangers of refilling. A video can be seen on the WindFlame site at their gallery page. The second method is a single use solid gel similar to other manufacturers. Both of these are supposed to be available around year end.

We’ll continue to keep you posted on developments and availability on this topic, so check back often.

Which Firepots Have A Workable Fuel Gel Substitute & How to Identify Them.

We are going to use the products Model Number to help identify which firepots have a fuel gel solution available. The model number shows on the products description listing to the right of the picture, at the bottom. On the Category Index and Search Index pages, the Model Number is just above the picture.

The Model Number also indicates the manufacturer: if it includes BRB- it’s a Bird Brain Firepot, if WF- it’s WindFlame, and if MG- it’s a Marshall Gardens patioglo. If the model number has an LG- prefix, no specific solution has been provided for fueling it, though in the case of the WindFlame and patioglo you might choose to try the Bird Brain Solid Gel 6 Pack (see our blog post on this here).

If the prefix is LG-BRB-, this indicates a Bird Brain Firepot that the reservoir opening is too small (the 2 inch opening, as a Loki model) or too large (like the Dragonfly). You’re going to have to wait until the first of 2012 (no definite date yet) to use your small ones. As for the larger ones, no resolution has been forthcoming yet.