Get your Incense Supplies Together.

Burning Frankincense on hot coals is the most ancient method, and the most rewarding method of burning incense.  This tutorial will guide you through a simple set of steps for lighting coals, selecting resins, and will include additional insights into the practice of burning incense.

Items needed:   incense burner, tongs, coals, candle and frankincense resin,lighter and a safe place to put your incense burner that can handle heat, such as a fireplace, wood stove or stone surface hot pad.

Supplies for burning Frankincense

Light your candle, and select your coal.

I have lit a candle for a steady flame and  I have used my tongs to pick up my all natural incense coal.  Natural low heat coals take almost 20 minutes to turn completely hot, but are well worth the wait for overall scent and safety.


Ignite your coal with your flame.

Hold your coal above the flame until one corner is red hot.  It took my coal about 1-2 minutes to ignite.


Place your coal in your incense burner.

Now that your coal is lit, place your coal in your incense burner with tongs, and move your incense burner to a heat resistant surface.  These small brass burners can get hot to handle quickly!  I chose a stone with a flat surface for this demo.

Wait for the Coal to fully ignite.

Now that the natural coal is lit, and in a proper vessel, and on a heat resistant surface, you must patiently wait for the coal to become fully ignited.  It will have a charred grey appearance when it is ready.  This can take 15-20 minutes.  At this time, I already had my frankincense resin out, and decided to make a cup of frankincense tea with it!  You can read my blog entry about how to make Frankincense tea here.  Frankincense Tea

Frankincense Tea


Select your Frankincense.

Select your Frankincense resin with the tongs.  My selection is a piece of Superior Hojari from Oman.

Frankincense Resin, Superior Hojari

Place the Frankincense on the coal.

After picking up your piece of Frankincense resin with tongs.  You will immediately begin to notice its rich fragrance.

Your Finished!

You have just lit your first piece of Frankincense, and will now begin to experience frankincense to its fullest.

Burning and Enjoying Frankincense


Final Notes..

  • Be very careful with hot coals!
  • If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to ask or reply!
  • Low heat coals are ideal because they slowly release less heat, and do not scorch the resins.  Low heat coals are also ideal for certain resins that melt or burn quicker like Maydi (Boswellia frereana).
  • Any type of Frankincense or resin incense can be substituted and used.

Supplies Available at

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