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I've done it several times. If your wood's dry, it works fine. I didn't change anything about how I built my fire- just stacked it up and burned it top-down. I don't have any new cracks. The difference between even 20 degrees F and 50 or better isn't much when you consider that you're firing to 900 orr so degrees in the long run... If you're worried, just build a smaller fire to start and work your way up over the course of 1/2 hour or so.