There is so much to read about firewood and as with most things, there will always be conflicting advice on what is the best firewood, which are the best firewood species, what is the best firewood for burning and there will even be firewood guides.
At Certainly Wood we have been producing firewood for well over 20 years and with our own wood burning stoves in the office and in our homes, we are regular users, so feel pretty well qualified to give some good advice.
Best Firewood for Burning
We strongly advocate the use of British hardwoods as it is locally sourced, rather than coming in from Eastern Europe. We know where it has been grown and being hardwood is much denser and provides a longer burn than softwood. There is however nothing wrong with burning softwood, it’s just the fact that we feel hardwood presently provides better value for money.
You can spend hours and hours reading through various articles, poems and blogs about which is the best firewood species for burning, but to be perfectly honest, if you are burning wood in a stove, as long as it’s below 25% moisture content every species of hardwood will burn perfectly well. The reason I mention wood burning stoves, is because some species like Horse Chestnut will spit, but this
Best Firewood for Camp Fires
If you are gathering your firewood from local hedgerows or woodland, firstly make sure you respect the countryside code and don’t break off branches from trees or bushes.
Wind fall will be best – i.e. trees or branches that have fallen free from the main tree. If detached, then the wood will have started to season so maybe drier.
Collect as many small pieces as possible as these will also have dried faster. Once again any wood will be fine if really dry. Any spitting you get is most likely to be because the wood is not dry enough or perhaps its Horse Chestnut.
Ideally use very well seasoned firewood, or kiln dried logs and don’t put on much bigger pieces until you have built a really good hot base to your camp fire.
Best Firewood for Pizza Ovens
Firstly it has to be really dry – below 25% moisture content and the log size should not be too thick. Many pizza oven users like a mix of ranges as the smaller logs can provide much needed flame at certain times of the cooking process. The drier the wood, the quicker the oven will reach temperature. We would recommend hardwoods such as Oak, Ash, Beech or Birch or indeed any of the fruit trees such as Apple, Pear or Cherry which have the added advantage of providing a lovely aroma which can add to the flavour of the food.
Definitely avoid Horse Chestnut as this will spit and cause all sorts of issues for cooking.
Best Firewood for Heat
Depends whether you want a quick, short burst of heat or a long lasting heat. For the latter we would recommend Oak or Beech, but for a quick heat and great flame go for Ash, Larch or softwoods such as Pine or Spruce.