The most effective kind of wooden to burn in your fire

When choosing the best wood to use on the fireplace, keep in mind that there are many types of wood. Each of these has its own characteristics, depending on whether it is hardwood or softwood, and the resin and moisture content. The best types of firewood are those that burn hot and slowly with a clean flame. These burn evenly and with more heat, without residues of woods with a high resin or sap content accumulating.

The best woods to burn in a fireplace are hardwoods like hickory and ash. Avoid coniferous woods like cedar or pine. If you are wondering, "Does cedar make good firewood?" Or "Is ash good firewood?" Or maybe "Is White Oak Good For Burning?" Then at we have this handy list of the best firewoods below to guide you!


Hardwoods (maple, ash, oak, birch, fruit trees, etc.) are the best types of wood for fireplace use due to their lower sap and pitch content. Wood may be great for construction, but according to experts who use it for other purposes like cooking, hardwoods burn hotter and longer, but are more likely to produce residue called "clinker" due to non-combustible minerals that combine with the ash "Are designated. Hardwoods are more expensive than conifers because they take longer to grow.

When using birch, pay attention to the phloem.

This is the thick, brown layer of inner bark that contains moisture that prevents the wood from becoming completely dry. While birch is great if you're looking to burn, it makes sense to use it with another type of hardwood to reduce smoke. Creosote can build up in chimneys due to heavy smoke, and this tar build-up increases the risk of chimney fires

Coniferous species

Although conifers are cheaper, they are not always the best wood for fires.

It is certainly not the best wood for an indoor fireplace or wood stove. As mentioned above, higher levels of juice, resin and moisture all contribute to the formation of creosote in the chimney or smoke outlet. According to Canadian garbage, trash, and trash professionals Bin There Dump That, you can easily tell if your logs made from the sticky resin are softwood, which makes handling a very messy task. Varieties include spruce, cedar, alder, pine, tamarack, and balsam, although fir is probably the best among these.

Thermal energy comparison

To help consumers find the best wood to burn heat, they can be categorized based on the amount of thermal energy they generate per "wood string" (a string is a compact, neatly stacked pile of wood 4 ft by 4 ft and 8 ft long).

Wood heating and weight values:

species Million BTU / Cord * Value as firewood: Burns easily? Easy to share?

Cord weight

(Lb) **


Cord weight

(Lb) **


Alder, red 18.3 – 19.6 Fair Fair Yes 2000-2600 3200-4100
Apple 26.5 Excellent Yes Yes 3713 4826
Ash, green 23.4-25.0 Excellent Yes Yes 3600 4238
Ash, white, 23.4-25.0 Excellent Yes Yes 3688 4243
aspen 17.0 – 18.0 Bad / fair Yes Yes 1860-2400 3020-3880
beech 27.5-29.5 Excellent Yes No 3100-3900 4890-6290
Birch, black 25.8-27.6 Excellent Fair Yes 2840-3650 4630-5960
Birch, white 20.4 Fair Fair Fair 2978 3723
Birch, yellow 23.5 Excellent Yes Yes 3488 4290
Box elder 17.8 Bad / fair Fair Low 2596 3764
Horse Chestnut, Ohio 13.7 poor Fair Yes 1953 n / A
Butternut 14.4 poor Yes Yes 1900 n / A
Catalpa 15.4 poor No No 2380 n / A

“The best wood to burn in fireplace settings falls into the following category. These have a thermal energy output equivalent to using 200-250 gallons of oil per cable, comments Joshua Burrows, wood and wood-burning fireplace maker.

Here are his recommended varieties:

  • American beech;
  • Sugar maple;
  • Apple;
  • Yellow birch;
  • Red or white oak;
  • Ironwood;
  • White ash;

The middle category includes grades with thermal energy equivalent to using 150 to 200 gallons of oil per string.

  • American elm;
  • Black cherry;
  • Red / silver maple;
  • Douglas fir;
  • Tamarack (American larch);
  • White birch.

The last category includes those with a low thermal energy ratio, equivalent to the performance of 100-150 gallons of oil.

  • Redwood;
  • Aspen;
  • Hemlock;
  • Red cedar;
  • Red alder;
  • Spruce;
  • White / Lodgepole Pine;

What is the best wood to burn in a fireplace?

As we learned above, different types of wood burn in different ways. Not all woods are good for all jobs, and while some are subject to standard wood cutting techniques, others will make you sweat. When you ask, "What is the best firewood for burning?", You must also ask, "What is the best wood for wood stoves?" Or "What is the best firewood for a fireplace?".

The best type of wood to burn in your fireplace - fireplace

To take you further, this list gets more detailed and includes some suggestions of the best wood for the fireplace so that you can make your home comfortable and cozy!

  1. birch
  2. Oak
  3. cherry
  4. Sycamore maple
  5. ash
  6. beech


This wood is always best in combination with other hardwoods (oak and elm are good choices) because it burns faster than others. Peeled birch bark is often used as a natural alternative to fire lighters. You can use birch without being seasoned, although Easy Recipe Depot does not recommend it due to the problems with deposit formation in the chimney. According to experts, we value birch firewood for the heat it generates.


Oak is a very dense wood and should ideally be seasoned for at least 2 years. Because of its high density, it burns very slowly. So it is advisable to mix it with logs that burn faster. An oak tree can be used in situations where you want your fire to last all night.


Another slow burning wood that generates a lot of heat. Cherry also has to be very flavorful. As with the birch, the bark can be used as a fire lighter. When burned, it gives off a distinctive, pleasant aroma

Sycamore maple

Sycamore maple is a good mid-range choice. It is quick to season (approx. 1 year) and offers medium heat compared to other hardwoods.


Ash is high on the list for firewood. It emits a lot of heat and burns evenly. It burns even if it's not seasoned and doesn't need to be mixed with other varieties.


Beech is an excellent firewood and can be used by yourself, although the length of the spice can be an issue – at least 3 years to dry out completely.

Be sure to read our guidelines for:
Splitting logs and firewood for perfect use of the wood burner.

Stack the wood

How your logs are stored is just as important as choosing the right type.

  • Always keep them dry.
  • Stack them on a pallet to allow air to circulate – never store them on the floor!
  • Keep it covered but with one side open.
  • Stack the log layer.

Choose wisely!

It could tempt you to use scrap wood to save money. However, in some cases, this can be a bad idea. Certain woods or wood products contain additives that are harmful to health, cause environmental pollution or produce creosote.

According to building materials experts Progress ABMS, avoid burns if possible:

  • Wood covered with paint or varnish;
  • Driftwood;
  • MDF / chipboard;
  • Hardboard;
  • Lumber (pressure treated).

safety instructions

Using a heater safely is a matter of common sense. Try to consider all the hazards such as: B. Not using too much paper when starting a wood burner (which produces creosote).

Always follow the safety recommendations, e.g. B. the distances around a device and the use of fireproof substrates. Always install a carbon monoxide alarm and make sure the smoke alarms are working.

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