What Firewood Burns Best

What Firewood Burns Best

It may be spring now, but let’s be honest: The snow is still coming down. Why is it that winter lasts for 5 or more months in some places? Anyway, if it’s still cold where you are, and if you have a wood-burning fireplace, we have some helpful information for you. There are many different types of wood out there, and some types burn better, or in other words, longer and hotter, than others. Take a look at this article to find out what firewood burns best and to see if it’s one you use, or one you may now start to use.

As a rule, you want to burn the heaviest firewood you can find. You also want to burn the driest wood you can find. Another good tip is to make sure that you are burning ‘seasoned’ wood, which is wood that has been cut down for at least one year (oak is best seasoned for at least 2 years). Seasoned wood tends to produce more heat than ‘green’ wood, which is fresher and which may be hard to light and maintain the burn. Green wood has too much liquid inside of it. We are not listing any ‘eco’ logs here, but feel free to research into that realm as well. In short, the heaviest, or highest density wood will yield the highest recoverable British Thermal Units, or BTUs. A BTU is a standard unit of measurement, which represents the amount of heat energy in various fuels.

Here is a list of the best burning firewood in no particular order. Perhaps some of these names will be new to you:


Hickory-This wood has a high number of BTUs and is dense.

Oak-Just make sure you have seasoned it well (see above).

Black Locust-This is a very dense wood, which has a number of BTUs similar to hickory.

Beech-Best burned seasoned; does not necessarily burn well when green.

White Ash-Best burned seasoned, but will burn when green.

Hawthorn-This wood burns slow and hot; it’s great for winter fires.

Rowan-This wood burns slowly with a consistent output of heat.

Thorn-This wood emits very little smoke.

Yew-A slow-burning wood.

Walnut-This wood also emits very little smoke!

Here is a list of the so-called second-best burning firewood:

Apple-You’ll love the sweet, fragrant aroma.

Birch-This wood burns quickly, so you may want to have a lot of it handy.

Cedar-Watch the sap deposits with this wood with prolonged use. Other than that, it’s a consistently good-burning wood.

Cherry-Like apple, you’ll get a wonderful aroma if you season this slow-burning wood.

Hazel-This wood burns quickly, so season it to so slow down the burn.

Hornbeam-This wood has a nice, slow burn.

Fir-Like cedar, watch the sap deposits. This wood produces a smallish flame.

Maple-A popular and easily found wood.

Pear-Requires seasoning.

Plum-This wood produces a good heat output; may be best for fires in the fall.

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