Best Firewood To Burn Chart
Kiln-dried or seasoned logs?
The long-term efficiency of any wood burner depends on what type of firewood you choose. It can be confusing, but taking time to select what’s best for your needs can save you real effort and money – and can also be highly beneficial for your home, business and burner, whether it be an open fire, stove, chiminea or pizza oven. Our best firewood to burn chart will help you select the right logs for your needs.
1. What is the best firewood to burn?
All trees take in water, which means that when logs are cut they contain a certain amount of moisture. To be able to burn properly, this moisture level need to be less than 20%. It can take a long time for the wood to dry out naturally, so kiln drying can be utilised to speed up the process, reducing levels by as much as 80% in just one week.
This means that when you buy kiln-dried logs, you can be sure they have been consistently dried to a moisture level of below 20%. With less moisture comes more heat and a much more efficient burn. Purchasing your logs from a reputable supplier will give you the peace of mind that you can create the perfect fire.
2. Hardwood versus softwood
It’s important to ensure your kiln-dried logs are stored in a dry and safe place before asking another important question – what wood burns hottest and longest? When anyone talks of softwood, they’ll have in mind the species of trees known as gymnosperm, which carries varieties such as fir, cedar and spruce. You’ll find this type of wood both burns and ignites quite quickly, despite having the same energy constituent as hardwood. In terms of British Thermal Units, hardwood carries the highest number.
Hardwoods are created by a type of tree known as angiosperm, or those grown by reproducing flowers. Oak, ash and beech are three good examples and, as you might expect, this type of wood is much denser than softwood. On our best firewood to burn chart, hardwood wins first prize every time, because you’ll need twice as much softwood to reproduce the same burn efficiency as hardwood, which is much denser in its make up. Birch is an unusual hardwood as it can actually be used unseasoned and burns quickly. For this reason, it’s often best combined with a slower burning wood such as oak or elm.
3. Does pine make good firewood?
The simple answer, contrary to popular belief, is ‘yes’, even though it’s a softer type of wood. Why? Because although it burns quite quickly, it can create lots of heat and a crackling fire, bringing with it a great aroma. Of course, it really needs to be dried or seasoned properly, and it can create creosote if used for longer periods. In fact, the whole drying out process could take up to six months. It’s also sappy and contains lots of resin, but in the right application it’s fine. And it’s worth remembering that pine makes excellent kindling. Take note – wood smoke is generally a sign of an inefficient burn and can also be a danger to your health.
4. What to choose?
As our best firewood to burn chart has already shown, there’s much more to wood burning than meets the eye. So let’s take a brief look at which wood is best for a range of uses.
- Hardwoods are often best for open fires and wood burners.
- Oak, maple, ash and beech are ideal for a pizza oven.
- Alternative natural and green olive firewood is excellent for a chiminea.
- Pine is an aromatic choice for a small open home fire.
- Kiln-dried hardwood logs from a reputable supplier are perfect for your stove burner.
- Oak creates a low level of smoke – good for home heating.
As you can see, by selecting the right type of fuel the ideal burn can be simple to achieve and mean you get the most from your money.