By Carolyn Owen
Feature Image By Didier M.
We all love the crackling of a fire. It’s mesmerizing enough to make you forget what you were doing, and inviting enough so everyone wants to join you. It’s a win win! Want to know what makes it really pop? That’s right. Hardwood. But what about softwood, or treated wood? Check out the Solo Stove Guide to firewood here to learn how to get the best burn on the block:
As long as you are using kiln dried hardwood, you’ll be able to build a hot, roaring fire. Hardwoods are naturally more dense than softwoods, meaning their internal surface area is tougher to burn through, ensuring longer burn times. Check out our favorites below:
This aromatic firewood’s sweet southwestern scent is the first reason to get your hands on a log or two. Second, it’s kiln dried meaning you’ll be able to enjoy a fire with plenty of pops, low smoke, and a consistently present aroma.
This hardwood is just about as dense as they come. For long burns without needing to keep your flame fed, oak is just what you need.
This wood is the champion of the firewood industry, known for putting out high heat and long lasting fires. This wood burns cleanly, so when added to a Solo Stove, smoke shouldn’t be an issue.
Using softwood as a firewood is not the typical practice, but it might be possible to create a decent burn using a few types of softwood if that’s all you have on hand. Softwood burns a bit cooler than hardwood, and burns up easier due to being less dense. Softwood also contains more sap than hardwood, meaning more smoke and creosote building up in your fire pit when you use it. If you’re looking for an affordable option for a short-lived fire pit session, however, softwood might be a good route, especially if you live in a densely softwood-populated area.
A Douglas Fir marches to the swish of its own leaves, and is not actually part of the true fir tree family. This softwood is widely available, and a great user friendly alternative to hardwood. Make sure to get kiln dried Douglas Fir, as there should be less sap and a lower likelihood of mold appearing on your firewood.
This softwood has several anti-fungal qualities, making it a good option for long term storage. Its softness makes it easy to split, giving you a great option for kindling. Its smoky aromas also make it a great partner for the Fire Pit Cooking System.
Poplar comes in several varieties, and is the perfect choice for getting a fire started or just being around your fire pit for a short period of time. Once you throw this one in, it might help to add a hardwood to sustain a flame.
What not to burn in your fire pit
Using accelerants in your fire pit may tarnish the stainless steel, so it’s best to steer clear and use natural fire starters instead.
Chemically Treated Wood
Any kind of wood you may find at a construction site is not fit for your fire pit. This includes wooden pallets, painted or stained wood, driftwood, and chemically treated wood. These treatments contain chemicals that will become noxious fumes. Steer clear at all costs.
Ikea furniture is super fun to put together, as long as you have the instructions. But if you ever have an extra piece of particle board laying around, throw it in the trash. Not your fire pit. The glues meant to hold these particles together can seriously damage your lungs if those fumes are inhaled.