February 14

Guide to Picking the Best Wood for Your Firepit

Best Wood for Firepit

Here’s a handy guide to helping you pick the best wood for your firepit, so you can fully enjoy the relaxing experience...

Firepits have become the epitome of leisure in the US. There is nothing quite like gathering friends and family around the firepit for some s’mores or mixed drinks.

Just as the conversation is about to get really good – cough cough cough – you realize your firepit is smoking excessively.

Here’s a handy guide to helping you pick the right firewood for your firepit, so you can fully enjoy the relaxing experience.

Source: outsidepursuits.com


Reducing Smoke: The Harder the Better

Hardwoods – think deciduous trees that lose their leaves each year – like cedaroak, ash, beech, and birch typically burn longer and cleaner than softwoods. 

These types of wood burn hotter than softwoods, so you’re less likely to have a smoky situation.

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Reducing Smoke: The Drier the Better

Make sure the wood you’re burning is dry. This means you shouldn’t cut down a tree at noon and burn it at 4:00.

You want to make sure the wood is seasoned, which is fancy-talk for saying it’s been cut down for a while. When you let your wood season, it means you split it into appropriate-sized logs when it was fresh, moist wood.

After it has been cut, you will notice that with time the color fades, the moisture content is reduced, it becomes lighter and harder. In most climates, this seasoning process will take about six months.


Reducing Smoke: The Cleaner the Better

Leaving residue, ash, and trash in your firepit is sure to cause a smoky scene next time you use it.

Often, the residue and ash left in your firepit will absorb extra moisture in the air, and that added moisture can lead to extra smoke. For best results, keep your firepit clean.

Fire Sense 22-Inch Folding Fire Pit

Reducing Smoke: Let it Breathe

Oxygen is an essential component to creating and sustaining fire. Without adequate oxygen, your fire will burn at a lower temperature, which increases risk of smokiness.

Although you may be tempted to cover a smoky fire, you may want to try giving it some breathing room instead. This means not crowding your firepit with extra tinder, debris, or foliage.

The way you position wood in your firepit can make a big difference in the amount of smoke it produces.

Source: picketfenceproperties.com


Reducing Smoke: Logs are Better

Tinder is fine for getting your fire started, but you don’t want to rely on it for the length of your firepit experience. You also want to avoid burning foliage like leaves, twigs, grasses, etc.

These will smolder your fire, creating a smoky, smelly mess. In an ideal situation, you’ll start the flame with tinder, your log will catch, and you’ll be good to go.

Adding other fuel to your flame once the log is on fire will only increase the amount of smoke and smell your fire produces.

A few other tips for the best firepit around:


  • Position your firepit in a safe location, away from buildings, structures, and trees.
  • Keep pets, children, and adults a safe distance from the firepit.
  • Before using your firepit, remove any ashes or debris.
  • Check your local area for “no-burn” days or burning restrictions.
  • Use locally sourced firewood.
  • Always make sure your firepit is fully extinguished before you leave.

Remember, smoke is a natural byproduct of fires. Although these tips will help significantly reduce the smoke produced by your firepit, conditions can vary.

We’re sure that with these tips in mind, you’ll be able to enjoy a low-smoke firepit gathering.


About Me.

Hi, Jeremy Here, 

I am the the guy behind Cut The Timber. On this site, I share everything that learned and continue to learn about wood. From grains, to projects, to saws, and everything in between. 

I grew up camping with my family and ended up becoming an Eagle Scout. Currently, my family and I live on a ranch outside of Montana with tons of trees and fire pit fun. 

If you have any questions, feel free to email me: jeremy@cutthetimber.com


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