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What makes good firewood?

Updated: Nov 18, 2020

When it comes to firewood, not all wood is equal. Firewood is “wood that is burnt as fuel” (Oxford Dictionary) but as with all fuels, quality is paramount.

Recently in the UK, the government moved to restrict the burning of some types of wood to reduce pollution so you want to ensure that you’re buying the right kind of wood for your fireplace, pizza oven or chiminea.

Seasoned hardwood is the perfect wood for firewood. The kinds of wood that goes into our firewood includes oak, beech and ash. These woods are all locally-sourced from woodlands we manage.

The wood should have a low moisture content. Some people say less than 30% moisture content is fine, however we aim for less than 20% meaning your Black Dog Firewood will burn for even longer.

(As a side note, we’re in the process of obtaining the Woodsure Ready to Burn Label - stay tuned for our announcement when we secure that! “Ready to Burn” wood needs to be consistently under 20% moisture content.)

How do we get the wood this dry? The only way of achieving properly seasoned wood is to let it dry - we store it for a minimum of 12 months (but it can be over 24) before selling it as firewood to make sure it’s had time to get to the right moisture content level.

Well seasoned wood will burn for longer and brighter – meaning it’s better value. We always recommend asking about the moisture content before committing to buy so you know what you’re getting.

What do you need to build a good fire?

Going hand-in-hand with firewood is kindling. You won’t have much fun trying to start a fire in your fireplace without it!

Kindling are short pieces of wood – larger than twigs, big enough to catch the flame and burn until the logs catch fire. We also sell bags of kindling in conjunction with our firewood at just £5 for a bag (55cm x 32cm x 14cm).

You’ll also need:

  • Matches

  • Tinder - this can be twigs or sheets of newspaper will also work

How to store your firewood and kindling

If you’re stocking up for the winter, you’ll want to make sure you have somewhere to store your firewood.

We’ve done the hard work of storing the firewood for you, so you just need to make sure you’re keeping it somewhere dry so it’s ready to use when the weather turns.

That being said, you don’t want to cover your firewood completely. Leave the ends exposed to air so they can continue to dry out. The area you store your firewood should be dry and breezy.

It’s a fascinating world.

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