How To: Eat Fire (And Look Damn Good Doin' It)

Eat Fire (And Look Damn Good Doin' It)

How to Eat Fire (And Look Damn Good Doin' It)

Eating fire is a guaranteed method of not only impressing an entire room, but also instantly settling any questions as to whether or not you're a complete and total stone cold BAD ASS. When you can casually whip this trick out in a bar, you're not only going to get your drinks bought for you for the rest of the night, but at least three phone numbers scrawled on the backs of napkins.

In this How To, you'll learn how to snatch a live flame out of the air, pop it in your mouth, and exhale a satisfied plume of smoke. Certificate of Badassery: Achieved.

What You Need

  • 100% Cotton Balls
  • Lighter or fire source
  • Patience, steady hands, and a balls-out fearlessness about open flame

Step 1 Gear Up

Go out to your local pharmacy and pick up a bag of 100% Cotton Balls. That 100% Cotton label on the bag is the only thing between a sexy, relatively safe fire trick, and hours of burning agony in the Emergency Room after you've chemically melted a cotton ball to the inside of your mouth. Be completely sure you're working with REAL COTTON.

How to Eat Fire (And Look Damn Good Doin' It)

Step 2 Prep Your Tools

Tear one of the 100% Cotton Balls into smaller pieces. The larger the piece of cotton, the more flame you have to stuff into your mouth. Start with a small piece of cotton, and work your way up a larger one.

How to Eat Fire (And Look Damn Good Doin' It)

Step 3 Get a Flame Source

Light a candle to use as your flame source. Having a steady source of fire to work with makes this trick a lot easier - and most classy bars and restaurants already have candles on the tables, so it's good to practice with one.

How to Eat Fire (And Look Damn Good Doin' It)

Step 4 Palm the Cotton

Take your piece of cotton and palm it. Palming is a way of holding an object so that your audience doesn't know it's there. You can learn more about palming in this video. 

For this trick, all you need to do is hold the cotton ball on the inside of your palm and keep it there with your thumb.

How to Eat Fire (And Look Damn Good Doin' It)

How to Eat Fire (And Look Damn Good Doin' It)

Step 5 Light It

With the piece of cotton palmed in your hand, casually pass your hand over the candle flame. The cotton ball will ignite as soon as it touches the fire - when it does, transfer it to a grip between your thumb and index finger. If done correctly, it will look like you are plucking a flame from mid-air.

How to Eat Fire (And Look Damn Good Doin' It)

Remember! Fire burns UP.  As long as you hold the cotton by its base, and don't hold it long enough for the fire to completely consume the cotton, you will not get burned. Wave the flaming cotton back and forth in front of your audience. The movement will not only distract from your audience from what exactly is lit on fire, but also create a great visual effect.

Step 6 Eat It

Once your audience has been suitable impressed by your ability to control the very element of fire itself, open your mouth wide and put the piece of flaming cotton inside. Immediately close your lips, and press the cotton to the roof of your mouth with your tongue. The fire will go out the instant you deprive it of oxygen (when your mouth closes), but just in case, the saliva on your tongue will be plenty to extinguish it.

How to Eat Fire (And Look Damn Good Doin' It)

Step 7 Breathe Smoke

Keep your mouth closed for a moment after you've consumed the flame, then open it and breathe out. The smoke generated from the cotton will plume out of your mouth. You can also continue to keep your mouth closed, and breathe the smoke out your nose instead. 

Congratulations, you are now a dragon.

How to Eat Fire (And Look Damn Good Doin' It)

Step 8 Dispose of the Evidence

What you should have after completing this trick is a room full of astonished new admirers, and a burnt ball of wet cotton in your mouth. Chew the cotton until it's small enough to comfortably keep in your mouth, then discretely spit it out as soon as you get a chance. 

How to Eat Fire (And Look Damn Good Doin' It)

Step 9 Bask in the Adoration

Sit back and let people go crazy over you. For best results, act completely casual, like eating fire is something you do all the time. "Oh, that?", you can scoff. "I was just feeling a bit peckish/that candle looked delicious/our appetizers weren't getting here any time soon."


  • The first few times you practice eating fire, do it over a non-flammable surface. You'll drop the first six or seven cotton balls in abject terror as soon as your self-preservation instinct kicks in and realizes that you're holding something on FIRE. Keep trying! 
  • Expect to singe the tips of your fingernails a bit before you get the hang of it. Just a side effect of being enough of a bad ass to play with live flame.
  • You can watch a great how to video on eating fire here:


  • USE 100% COTTON. For the love of god, use 100% Cotton.
  • Don't accidentally swallow the cotton ball.
  • Don't do this trick too close to large quantities of flammable alcohol.

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1 Comment

I can't wait to try this! I wish I would have known about this in college, it would have been perfect for those late night/early mornings at the bar!

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