The Best Wood for Fire Pits and Outdoor Fireplaces
As the nights get shorter and darker you might want to switch your BBQ and burgers for a bonfire and toasted marshmallow’s. You can buy firewood at many shops or from independent firewood suppliers, but what type of wood is your best option for outdoor bonfires?
Different Types of Firewood and Their Pros and Cons
Soft wood is fairly easy to get hold of. It is usually made up of pine or spruces, this wood is easier to light so may be good if you are not experienced in lighting a good bonfire or if you just want a quick fire now and then. Soft wood can also be used as kindling to get the flames going, before adding harder wood. Wood such as pine gives off a lovely smell when it burns so that is an added bonus However, soft wood does burn quickly which means you will need more of it if you want your fire to last into the evening.
Hard wood includes varieties such as oak, beech and birch. In comparison to soft wood, it will burn for a longer period of time and will give off lots of heat. This is great if it is an extra cold night and you want your bonfire to last long into the evening. However, hardwood does not catch light as easily, so you are likely to still need an amount of soft wood and kindling to get the flames going.
Kiln Dried Logs
If you are an avid bonfire lighter you may want to invest in kiln dried logs, they do come at a cost premium to average hard or soft wood, but the advantages make that worth it. Because kiln dried logs have been chopped, stacked and dried in a kiln they are very free of moisture and so they will be ready to burn immediately, will light easily and will stay lit. Furthermore, they most often give off more heat than regular logs and produce less smoke. If you are wanting to try kiln dried logs you will have to arrange for log delivery from a specialist firewood supplier.
Whatever you choose to buy from your firewood supplier once you’ve had the log delivery it should be stored in a sheltered area like a porch or woodshed. This keeps it dry and ventilated so that it is ready to burn whenever you need it.
Other Tips and Tricks for Safe Bonfires
Once you’ve decided what wood is best for you, and possibly arranged for log delivery, there are a couple of things you should bear in mind for safe outdoor fires.
– Make sure you are away from trees, sheds or fences, and not directly under and cables.
– Keep a bucket or hose nearby just in case.
– Before lighting the fire, check there isn’t any animals living in it.
– Never leave it unattended.
– Always ensure the fire is fully burnt out before leaving it, you should also dampen the area with some water as there may still be embers lurking that could reignite the flames.