The Fire Triangle
The fire triangle illustrates the rule that the combustion reactions require three elements to proceed. Reduce or remove any element and the fire will lose power, smolder, or go out altogether. This simple rule is critical when cooking with charcoal and especially wood fuel, as we’ll shortly see in How Wood Burns.
- Concentrates the combustion energy in a smaller volume
- Reduces distances between burning material to maximize radiant intensity
- Captures some convective energy within the fire itself
Assuming we maintain good geometry/heat, a fire’s thermal output will be constrained by a shortage of air or a shortage of fuel – never both at the same time. We’ll discuss these control methods in Common Pits.