People who want to cook over a fire are often most concerned about the quality of the coals. Examples of this type of wood include Black Locust and Hickory woods. With density comes a hotter burn and better, longer-lasting coals. It burns out fast, doesn’t burn to coals, and doesn’t create much heat. Water has a huge contribution to smokiness. By Jennifer Poindexter. It is therefore recommended for burning in a home fireplace for providing heat in the dead of winter. A cord of wood is a lot of wood – more than a regular household can get through in one winter. This chart lists the best burning woods from best-to-worst. The other general rule to follow is that hardwood smokes less than soft wood. Okay, now that we've determined the difference between seasoned vs green or wet firewood and the difference between a full cord vs a face cord, let's look at the amount of BTUs generated from a specific firewood type. Firewood BTU Ratings Charts for Common Tree Species. Best Firewood: High Heat Value 1 cord = 200 to 250 gallons of fuel oil Driftwood – wood that has washed up from the ocean or waterways – has often absorbed toxins, salts and minerals from the water that, when burned, are released into the atmosphere. Consider, for example, how smoky green leaves are when thrown onto a fire. In the chart above, we have provided approximate weights for a cord of seasoned wood for each variety. Higher BTU woods with low smoke output are therefore very popular for home fireplaces at wintertime. Wood that’s been seasoned will have been given a few months of exposure to sun and wind to allow the moisture to absorb out of the wood and for it to fully dry out. Best Types of Firewood for Burning (Chart)2. However, softwoods do light quicker and can be cheaper, but they are more resinous than hardwoods, meaning they are more likely to build up tar deposits in your flue. This is because hardwood is more dense and burns slower. We measure the heat of wood using BTUs. Spruce does just that; it’ll be burnt to nothing before you know it and you’ll have very little heat to show for it. A fire that doesn’t have a good amount of oxygen flowing through the fire will sputter and cause excessive smoke. It burns very hot, making it ideal for home heating and interior fireplaces. Make sure you do your own research and due diligence and adhere to the rules laid out in our terms and conditions and disclaimer. Green wood causes excessive smoke in comparison to dry wood. You can click on the different types of firewood in the chart to learn more about them. All woods give off a fragrance, but some are significantly more notable than others. Furthermore, make sure you’re only burning woods that have been well seasoned so their moisture content is between 10 and 15 percent. It is a hot burning hardwood that concurrently has low smoke output due to its smooth, clean burn. The firewood BTU rating charts below give a comparison between different firewood types. A small breeze or change in wind direction is all it takes to spill embers out of a fire onto nearby fuels. Those toxins may cause damage to you and the ecosystem. The reason is simple: it doesn’t burn well! We measure heat output via BTUs. You’re more likely to buy a quarter or eighth to a cord of wood each winter. Conclusion. Most people in the know consider black locust to be the best firewood for burning. Black Locust is ideal for providing heat. There are many different factors that contribute to how much smoke a fire will let off. It’s best just to avoid poor quality firewood like this. Frequently Asked Questions 5. image from flickr. Shortlist of the 7 Best Woods for Burning 3. It is a quaint old metric, but continues to be the standard to measuring the heating potential of wood. A hotter burning wood will be better for heating your home. When choosing your firewood, we would recommend opting for a hardwood as they are generally denser than softwoods and will produce more heat and burn longer. With minimal sparking, it’s relatively unlikely to cause spot fires, although there is always risk. Make sure it’s well seasoned and has good access to oxygen for a good strong smooth burn. Nut bearing trees like oak and hickory are hardwood and very desirable as firewood as they burn cleaner and longer. Of all major types of firewood, it burns the hottest. On top of that, the rating will change based on the wood’s moisture content. This means there’s less moisture in the wood – which tends to prevent wood from burning smoothly. 1. But remember, this article has shared our opinions and a range of examples, and is based on our online research. Its main use is as a material in tools, ladders and flooring. However, there are some positives to a wood that crumbles as a coal. Hickory, Oak, Ask or Locust varieties will all work well. Venturing into the vast world that is firewood burning can be intimidating to newcomers. Similarly, some trees in protected parks may be endangered species that need protection. Woods that pop and spark will often spit out embers that cause secondary fires. With density comes a hotter burn and better, longer-lasting coals. Oaks and Elms are known for having minimal sparks, while Osage Orange is particularly well-known for its propensity to ‘pop’. If you want to have a fire with a nice fresh earthy smell, consider getting cedar or pine.
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