Which wood? Best types of logs to burn on your fire pit

The type of logs you burn will make a big difference to the heat you generate from your fire pit or fire bowl. Here we list types of wood by their suitability for burning so that you can ensure a good, hot, clean fire with little smoke and spitting.

Note! Whatever wood you use, make sure your logs are dry and well-seasoned. Damp wood will smoke heavily and you will fail to get a good hot fire burning. Kiln-dried wood is an excellent option although a bit more expensive. In general a mix of hard and medium woods creates the perfect balance of heat and flames.

Ensure you use a good natural fire starter such as our Flamers, and get your fire going with suitable Kindling. For advice on lighting your fire see our Fire Starting blog post.

Our partner Certainly Wood supply 100% British kiln-dried logs throughout the UK.

Viking Fire Pit from FirepitsUK

Best wood for burning

Ash: Considered one of the best firewoods. It has a low water content and can be burned green. It is still best when seasoned and will burn at a steady rate.

Oak: One of the best firewoods but must be seasoned well (at least two years).  It provides lasting heat and burns at a slow rate – great when mixed with other hard woods. Use small logs to get the fire going.

Birch: Birch burns easily but also fast, so is best mixed with slower burning wood such as such as Elm or Oak. Birch bark is a great fire lighter.

Hawthorn: A good firewood that burns well.

Hazel: Excellent firewood when seasoned. Burns fast but with no spitting.

 

Good wood for burning

Apple: Needs to be seasoned. Has a nice smell and burns well with a without sparking/spitting.

Beech: Beech has a high water content so will only burn well when seasoned.

Holly: A good firewood that can be burnt green.

Hornbeam: A good firewood that burns well.

Pear: Needs to be well seasoned. Burns well with a pleasant smell and without spitting.

Plane: A reasonable firewood which doesn’t spit.

Rowan: Considered a good firewood that burns well. 

Sycamore (Maples): Considered a good firewood that burns well.

Yew: Considered a usable firewood.

 

Woods to avoid for burning

Horse Chestnut: Horse chestnut spits a lot and is considered a low quality firewood.

Larch: Needs to be seasoned well. Spits excessively while it burns and can produce a lot of soot.

Pine: Pine burns well but spits a lot and can leave behind soot. It can act as a good softwood kindling.

Poplar: Considered a poor firewood and produces black smoke.

Spruce: Considered a low quality firewood, spits due to sap.

Sweet Chestnut: Burns when seasoned but spits excessively. Not for use on an open fire.

Walnut: Considered a low quality firewood.

Willow: Willow has a high water content so only burns well when seasoned properly.