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When it comes to heating or building all most of us will use wood, but most people will just simply try to cut a tree, throw it in a fire or frame it up and call it done. Well you just can't do that. You have to consider whether the wood is seasoned, type of wood, how to cut it, how much to use and the strength for building.
Types of wood
Ponderosa Pine Firewood
|Pine- Found anywhere in the world. Pine is called the starter wood, Pine burns fast and good to start a fire. Although a good starter wood its not recommended to keep a lasting fire as you can use a lot very quickly also don’t cook as it will change the flavor as pines are usually a sappy tree. Pine is also the most commonly used wood in home construction. Pine is a strong stable wood so if you want to start home construction look no further. Pine is a fast growing woods can grow several feet in a year if under a good moist terrian. Most pine trees yields several cords( Rule of thumb 15 on 30, 15in base on 30feet high tree, yields a half cord 30 on 60 is a full cord )Note Pine is the easiest to cut.|
Cedar Tree Fallen
|Cedar- Best for fires and heat. Cedar most common in the southwest US, is the best for fire, Slow burning( I burn them in my family's fireplace throw on a single log at 9pm and ill wake up at 6am and still see embers burning) Cedar is not only slow burning but hot. 2 or 3 logs of cedar burn all night as well cedar is a tight wood (dense) meaning the fires burn harder to get to the harder wood making the fire small but the embers HOT. Great for heating an area, or morle. Cedar is not recommend for any real construction as the wood itself is generally small, on a great note cedar is highly resistance to decay, so no worrys of cutting it then leaving it. Only down side cedar leaves a charcoal after taste on food and is by FAR the hardest to cut( if you cut cedar you know I'm not ************) I don’t know if theres a rule of thumb on this usually it take several full grown bushes to even get a cord. This wood is suggested for only the coldest nights or when moral is lowest.|
Oak Fire wood
|Oak- Another easy to moderately hard wood to cut (depends on size) burns hot and leaves no after taste. Some pubs or grills use this wood to cook pizzas, calzones, breads. Oak is not highly used in home construction. It is use more for finishing as its a nice pretty wood, so its recommended to shy away for this if needed in build a home. Rule of thumb is almost identical to pine. Oak is best for moral(as it produces large flames, burns hot, and best to cook food. Only draw back is it burns to ash in only a several hours and its possible to go thought several cords in a week, if that’s all you use.|
Juniper Fire wood pile
|Juniper- Most popular in the deserts. Juniper is a softwood meaning they ignite easily and can heat an area faster then any of the other woods. These woods are usually more plentiful and sometimes more attractive then pine. Only MAJOR thing to consider they can create more smoke and creosote(that tar that gathers in your flute or that black charcoal in the pit). Juniper has a shaggy bark which make it pop and crackle(like crumpling paper all night) when burning. CAUTION: Be sure to use a full fireplace screen or some type of guard as the embers often will jump out of the pit when burning!|
|Aspen- if you use aspen you deserve every pain you get. Aspen grow only 7k and higher. Aspen take a while to even get started but when burning they burn for a while. Aspen drawbacks are its hard to get burning, once burning something they don’t stay lit so you have to keep relighting them, also they produce a rather gross stinky smell, and HUGE amounts of soot and like a balck charcoal rub off. Also the trees so small it would be of any home use. I rather stay shy of this wood in gerneral.|
Specific Types of Firewood- The following is a list of many common types of firewood. Where possible I have mentioned its suitability for the cooking and/or as a smoking wood. Which woods are available to you will depend on several factors including your location and the season:
- Alder - Alder gives off little heat and burns quickly, however, good charcoal can be made from it. Has a delicate flavor with some sweetness. For smoking its mild flavor can accent fish, pork, poultry and game birds nicely.
- Almond - Almond is on my short list of the best firewood types. It is very hard with long-lasting high heat, and a sweet smoke flavor which compliments almost all types of meat beautifully. An excellent fireplace and cooking firewood.
- Apple - Perhaps the king of all cooking woods, this is definitely one of the best firewood types. However, it tends to be more rare as firewood because it is quite attractive and can be used in furniture making and other decorations. It has a heavenly sweet smell which is great for cooking and smoking. It burns hot without giving off much flame, making it ideal for firewood cooking in a fire pit. The flavor is mildly smoky with hints of fruity sweetness. Great with poultry and pork but will compliment just about anything. If you can find any, snatch it up!
- Acacia - In the same family as mesquite, acacia has a similar flavor but is not as heavy and not as hot burning. A good cooking wood.
- Ash - Excellent firewood. Tends to burn very well, even if a bit wet and green. Distinctive flavor goes well with fish and meats alike.
- Beechwood - This has some good heat and flame but tends to give off a fair amount of sparks, making it less suitable for an indoor fireplace and cooking.
- Birch - Birch gives off good heat but tends to be consumed pretty quickly. The flavor is good, similar to maple which compliments pork and poultry nicely.
- Cedar - Lovely smell, like the inside of a cigar humidor. Gives nice steady heat without too big a flame. Excellent for cooking and smoking. Cedar planks can be soaked and used to cook foods like pork and fish (cedar planked salmon being a classic dish) on a grill to great effect. Definitely one of the best firewoods for cooking if used correctly.
- Cherry - Another of the best firewood types, this burns hot and with a low flame similar to apple. It has a mild fruity flavor excellent with almost anything, including poultry, pork and beef.
- Crabapple - Very similar to apple wood in function and flavors.
- Douglas fir - Slow burning with a lot of heat. Good firewood. Tends to be a bit resinous for cooking.
- Elm - Tends to have a high water content so it smokes quite a bit but still has good heat. Ideally this needs long seasoning (up to a few years) to be really dry and burn hot and evenly and without too much smoke.
- Eucalyptus - Like elm, this has high water content and needs long seasoning. There appear to be many different varieties that vary somewhat but in general, once seasoned, these are hard woods that give good heat. They can have a slightly resinous, medicinal, although not unpleasant, smell due to the gums contained within, making them less than ideal for cooking. However, it can be an excellent heat source if well seasoned.
- Grapevines - These precious pieces of wood have a great rich and fruity aroma that flavors poultry, red meats, game and lamb beautifully. Gives off lots of smoke and can have a hint of tartness. Because they tend to be smaller pieces and branches which are available, this is ideal for fast fires to quickly cook smaller cuts of meat. Alternatively, it can be used along with other woods as a smoking wood to add flavor.
- Hawthorn - One of the best firewood types. Burns very hot and long. Excellent.
- Hickory - Considered the "king of smoking woods", hickory is a hard, high heat wood that gives off a strong sweet, almost bacony flavor which works beautifully to flavor pork, ham and beef. Great long lasting heat. Definitely one of the best fire wood types.
- Juniper - This wood snaps and pops a lot. Like pine it is a natural insect repellent with a distinct aroma, smelling like a piney cedar chest. Not great for cooking. The berries on the other hand can be used for flavoring several types of dishes (they are the primary flavoring agent in Gin also).
- Lilac - Very light, subtle smoke flavor with floral nuances. Can be good with seafood and other milder dishes.
- Lime - This is actually a quite poor fuel wood, not giving off much heat. Better for other uses like carving.
- Maple - Smokey but with a mellow, slightly sweet aroma and flavor, this is a good fuel wood. Compliments pork, poultry and game birds nicely.
- Mesquite - Another one of the most popular woods for cooking either as a primary fuel or as a smoking wood. Burns very hot with a smokey but richly flavored smoke. Nice earthy flavor is good with just about anything including beef, fish, chicken and game.
- Mulberry - Like pear, this is similar in many ways to apple. Sweet smelling smoke is great for cooking.
- Oak - Oak is one of the best fire wood types. It requires a good deal of seasoning time (as much as 2 years) but then is a good slow burning wood with lots of heat and a small flame. If it is not fully seasoned the smoke can be very dense and bitter. The flavor is a heavy smokey flavor which is good with bold foods like ribs, red meat, pork and heavy game.
- Other sweet fruit woods - Fruit woods such as apricot, plum, peach, nectarine all tend to be excellent flavoring agents for lighter meats like chicken, turkey, pork, and fish. They tend to be a bit milder and sweeter than hickory.
- Pear - An outstanding firewood similar in characteristics and use to apple.
- Pecan - While not the best firewood for heat, it has an excellent sweet and mild flavor similar to hickory which makes it excellent for smoking.
- Pine - This burns well when well seasoned but has a tendency to crackle and pop because it is resinous and a softwood. Good for kindling since it lights easily but too much can leave a strong piney smell which is nice outdoors but can be overwhelming indoors or with food. Can also leave an oily soot in your chimney. I'd avoid this for cooking.
- Pinion pine - While most pine is a softwood, this type is one of the hardest pines with a pretty outdoorsy fragrance and also has natural insect repelling characteristics. Not good for cooking but a nice outdoor fire pit wood. Popular for use in chimineas.
- Spruce - This is a very sparky wood which burns quickly. Not one of the best.
- Walnut - Walnut, all types, tends to give off a heavy smoke which when used alone can be quite bitter. Best to use along with other sweeter woods like almond, pear or apple with heartier fare like red meats and game.
Well that's it! So what is the best firewood? As you can see, that depends on the answer to the question, best firewood for what? While some are good for cooking, others are not. While some are good starter woods, others are not. I hope this list and info will help you find the best firewood for your needs.
Page originated by: SuperSoldierRCP
Editor Note: Section on Charcoal moved to its own page for organization purposes.
About Fire , Firewood , Fire Starting , Fire Places , Alternative Fire Starters, Heating Appliances
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|Started By||Thread Subject||Replies||Last Post|
|Survivor_Gill||Lumber Brainstorm (page: 1 2)||29||Jan 20 2010, 2:11 PM EST by SuperSoldierRCP|
Thread started: Dec 19 2008, 5:20 PM EST Watch
Just a thread for various suggestions.
You should mention that these are tree genera and usually encompass a number of species.
Also, I know this seems to be related strictly to burning, but you should also consider the structural and practical attributes of the wood. For example, cedar's resistance to decay, pine's fast growing quality, etc.
Also, throw in other names. For example, I know that Aspen and Poplar trees are related somehow.
|womule2005||firewood and its uses||2||Oct 10 2009, 4:23 AM EDT by SuperSoldierRCP|
|SuperSoldierRCP||Cooking||1||Apr 21 2009, 5:50 PM EDT by z_warrior|
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