There are many different types of wood you can use for a campfire. But, not all woods are created equal. So – where should you start? Well – we’re about to discuss the best wood for campfires. We’ll also share one firewood you should avoid.
Keep reading to learn more about the best wood for a campfire!
- Best Wood for Campfire
- Best Wood for Campfire Cooking
Best Wood for Campfire
Many types of wood can get used for a campfire, but some are better than others. Hardwoods such as oak, hickory, and maple are ideal because they burn hot and slow. Their slow burn means they will last longer and provide more heat than softer woods like pine or fir.
In addition, hardwoods produce less smoke. With hardwood firewood – you won’t have to worry about your clothes smelling like campfires at the end of the night. So if you’re looking for the best wood for a campfire, stick with hardwoods.
But – there are other campfire and wood burning nuances to consider.
So – let’s take a closer look at the best wood for campfires. In much closer detail!
Hickory for Campfires
Hickory is an outstanding wood for campfires. Hickory burns hot and slow, so it’s excellent for cooking. It also has a nice flavor that can enhance the taste of food cooked over a hickory fire.
In addition, hickory produces little smoke, so it’s ideal for use in areas with a fire ban. Or, if you have nosey neighbors!
And because hickory is such a dense wood, when it burns, it creates long-lasting coals perfect for stoking a fire throughout the night.
Even the best wood for campfires needs a headstart. That's where these fatwood pine kindling sticks come into play. The kindling sticks are 100% natural - derived from leftover pine stumps after harvesting. The kindling fire sticks have a thick internal (natural) resin that enables your fire to ignite quickly - and without struggling.
You can also try the kindling fire starter bundles in different sizes. The lots come in 10, 20, 30, 40, or 50-pound boxes. Perfect for campfires - and bonfires of all sizes. The reviews are also excellent.
Ash is one of the best woods for campfires, as it provides a good balance between these two extremes. Ash burns hot and clean, with few sparks, making it ideal for cooking hotdogs and s’mores. At the same time, ash logs are simple to light. And ash logs keep the fire going for a reasonable amount of time.
Cedar is a relatively dense wood, which means that it burns hot and slow. The slow burn rate of cedar can be beneficial if you want to prolong the fire or if you need to cook food. However, it can also be tricky to get a cedar fire started.
Additionally, cedar produces a lot of sparks. So it’s vital to be careful when burning cedar wood in a campfire. Cedar is a good option for a campfire overall. But it’s critical to be aware of its pros and cons before preparing for bonfire night.
Is Oak Good for Wood Burning?
Yes! Oak is one of the best wood for campfires – no doubt. Oak is a good option because it burns hot and long, providing plenty of warmth and light. In addition, oak wood produces little smoke, so you won’t have to worry about your clothes smelling like smoke when you go home.
Another advantage of using oak wood is that it’s easy to find. Oak trees are common in many parts of the country, so you’re likely to be able to find some oak wood even if you’re camping in a remote location.
Read More – 7 Ways to Reduce Smoke In Your Fire Pit!
Is Pine Good for Wood Burning?
Pine tends to produce a lot of smoke and create large sparks. Pine sparking all over the campsite can be a problem if you’re trying to cook over the fire. Or if you’re trying to avoid attracting attention.
Pine also burns very quickly. Pine’s fast burn rate means you’ll need to keep feeding it logs if you want your warm campfire to last. For these reasons, pine is not generally considered the best wood for campfires.
Best Wood for Campfire Cooking
We think oak, cherry, hickory, and maple are the three best wood for campfire cooking options. But consider the following when choosing the best wood for campfire cooking! First, select firewood that burns hot and produces little smoke. Second, ensure the campfire wood is free of chemicals or other contaminants. And – you’ll also want to ensure the wood is dry and seasoned.
With these factors in mind, here are a few of the best woods for campfire cooking.
Best Wood for Campfire Cooking
- Oak – Oak is a hardwood that Burns hot and produces little smoke. It’s also a good choice for cooking because it’s free of chemicals and other contaminants. It also has a mild – yet pleasant aroma. It’s one of our favorites overall.
- Hickory – Like oak, hickory is a hardwood that burns hot and produces little smoke. It’s also a good choice for cooking because it has a high sugar content, which helps to caramelize food.
- Maple – Maple is another hardwood that burns hot and produces little smoke. It’s also a good choice for cooking because it has a mild, sweet flavor that can enhance the savory flavor of food. Maple is perfect for cooking ribs, steaks, burgers, pork, and more.
- Cherry – Cherry burns hot and has a lovely fragrance! And it doesn’t produce much smoke. It’s also a good choice for campfire cooking because it has a sweet flavor that can enhance the taste of meats and other foods.
What Wood Should You Not Burn in a Fire Pit?
Whether roasting marshmallows or just huddling around the campfire for warmth, a campfire can be a great addition to any camping trip. But not all woods are equally well-suited for burning.
If you’re planning on building a fire pit, choosing the right type of wood is critical. Some campfire woods can release harmful toxins when burned, while others produce too much smoke. Still, others don’t burn well, making for a frustrating and dangerous experience. So, what wood should you never burn in a fire pit?
Softwoods like pine and cedar are poor choices for fire pits. They can produce a lot of smoke! And can release harmful chemicals into the air. Hardwoods like oak and maple are a superior choice, as they burn hot and slow with minimal smoke production.
However, avoid burningtreated lumber, as the chemicals in the wood can be released into the air when burned.
Finally, always use dry wood for your fire pit. Damp wood is more difficult to ignite and produces more smoke. If you follow these straightforward campfire tips? You can ensure that your fire pit is safe and enjoyable for everyone.
Read More – Does Smoke Keep Mosquitoes Away? Or Not?!
What Wood is Toxic Burning?
Wood smoke contains several harmful pollutants, including particulate matter, carbon monoxide, and volatile organic compounds. Burning certain types of wood can release these pollutants at higher levels than others. For example, burning green wood or construction lumber can release more particulate matter than burning seasoned firewood.
Burning treated wood is very dangerous! The chemicals used to treat the wood can get released into the air. In addition, burning painted or varnished wood can release toxic fumes into the air. For these reasons, we advise burning only clean, untreated wood (seasoned cordwood) in your fire pit.
What Kind of Firewood Burns the Longest?
Anyone who has spent an evening around a campfire knows that not all firewood is created equal. Some types of wood burn hot and fast, while others smolder and smoke for hours. So, what kind of firewood burns the longest? The answer may surprise you.
One of the best choices for long-lasting firewood is oak. Oak is a dense hardwood that burns slowly and evenly. As a result, it produces consistent heat over a long period.
Another good option for long-burning firewood is fruitwood, such as apple or cherry. Fruitwoods tend to be slightly softer than hardwoods, but they still burn slowly and produce plenty of heat.
One of the most critical factors when choosing the best wood for a campfire is the seasoning! But – how does campfire wood seasoning work? Keep reading to learn more.
How Long Does It Take to Season Firewood?
If you heat your home with a wood stove, you know that firewood is a valuable commodity. Seasoned wood burns more efficiently and produces less smoke than unseasoned wood, making it a worthwhile investment. But how long does it take to season firewood? That all depends on the wood variety. And the seasoning methods you use. Hardwoods like oak and cherry can take up to two years to properly season, while softer woods like pine may only need six to twelve months.
The best way to speed up the seasoning process is to split the logs into small pieces and stack them in a well-ventilated area. Over time, the moisture will evaporate from the wood, leaving behind fuel that’s ready to burn.
Read More – 5 Smokeless Fire Pit Designs! Easy and DIY!
Keep reading with these related articles!
Campfires are a quintessential camping and homesteading experience! And the wood variety you use can make or break that experience.
We’ve given you our best tips on the best woods to use for campfires and one you should avoid. Now it’s time to get outdoors and start roasting marshmallows! Have you tried any of these woods?
If so – which, in your opinion, is the best wood for campfires? Or maybe you have a fire-starting fix that can help fellow homesteaders?
We’d love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks so much for reading.
And – have a great day!