The Best Types of Firewood to Burn in Your Fireplace

Ray Leonzi1 comment

How much firewood do you burn in your fireplace or wood stove? Do you ever think about the types of wood you are burning? There are many types of wood that burn better than others in your fireplace or wood stove, so Coffee Wick came up with a list of some of the best. Before we get into the list of the best firewood to burn, here are a few random facts about firewood.

Random Firewood Facts

  • How much is a cord of wood? A cord of wood is 128 cubic feet, stacked. I have a Ford F-150 with an 8 foot bed and it took 2 truckloads to get approximately 1 cord of firewood

  • Is it best to season your firewood? Completely dried out firewood works best. The best way to tell if your firewood is still wet is if it smokes a lot while burning. The wood will sometimes bubble due to excess moisture still trapped inside the wood. The wood can also make a hissing noise while burning too.

  • Where do you get your firewood? Firewood can be bought, picked up on the side of the road after some tree work has been completed (ask the owner of the house if you can take it) or some people even buy permits or get permission from landowners or municipalities to cut down trees and haul it out on their own.

  • What is heat value? Heat value is how much heat the wood generates as compared to say heating oil. The higher the heat value, the better. Oak and maple have a very high heat value.

  • Tips for stacking and storing firewood. I like to stack my firewood on wood pallets. This keeps the firewood off of the ground so it doesn’t get wet and begin to rot. I usually cover my firewood with plastic tarps over the winter to keep the snow off. I only cover the top and leave the sides exposed to keep the airflow going. During the spring and summer time I take the plastic tarps off and let the wood breathe and season over the warm summer months. It usually takes a good year to have the wood fully seasoned.

Best Types of Firewood

Hardwoods are the best, burn the hottest and last the longest. Hardwoods are easy to get as most are readily available. Types of hardwoods are red and white oak, maple, yellow birch, ironwood, apple and hickory to name a few. Oak and maple wood are likely to be the most readily available (well it seems that way here in the northeast). Hardwoods need to be seasoned longer than other types of wood to make sure they are not wet. Trying to burn wet wood is no fun. Also, I have to say oak is one of the heaviest types of woods to load in the pickup right after the tree has been cut. Make sure you have help with you, especially if you are taking it home to split. Un-split wood is extremely heavy, especially oak!

Softwoods are still ok to burn however they will not last as long as the hardwoods mentioned above. I like to burn the softer type woods in the fire pit as I am not looking for a lot of heat throw in the spring or summer.  Types of softwoods are any type of pine, cedar, redwood , hemlock and fir. These types of woods are also readily available. They will season faster, burn quicker and still let off enough heat to enjoy your fire.

I like to split my firewood the old fashion way. I use a railroad spike and a sledgehammer. They work great, separating the wood pretty easily. The best part is that it’s a great workout, plus it gets you out of the house to enjoy some fresh air.

I hope you enjoyed this article and it helps you decide which type of firewood best suites your needs. Now if you need something to light your firewood, our Coffee Kindling Fire Starters work extremely well. They are made with recycled coffee grounds and all natural soy wax, burns for 30 minutes and leaves no residue. Pick up a box today and try us out. As always, Light. Sit Back. Enjoy.


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