Here’s What to Burn in a Fire Pit without Smoke

Last updated on March 11, 2022

You should burn very dry firewood in a smokeless fire pit. That’s part of the process that makes it smokeless. Here are all the types of wood you can burn.

Firepit fuel should be made out of dense woods such as oak, hickory, ash, cherry, etc. These woods are denser than softwoods and contain more wood fibers that burn longer and hotter. This makes them great for fire pits.

Hardwoods burn hotter and last longer than softwoods. Wood should be cut, split, and air-dried before being used in the fire pit. This kind of wood has better fuel efficiency.

What's Inside?

Seasoned or Kilndried Firewood

firewood

Seasoned firewood refers to “dry” firewood that has been stored for a long time. This means that the wood has been dried out and is ready to be used as fuel.

Firewood should be dried well before use. You can buy a cheap moisture meter to test the moisture level of your wood. Once you’ve found the right amount of moisture, you can store it safely until you need it. Keep it dry before using.

Kiln-dried firewood is more expensive than air-dried firewood, but it is still cheaper than other types of firewood. It burns well because it doesn’t produce much smoke.

Kiln-dried firewoods do not have mold or insects. You can store them easily in your house. Wood pests like the Asian long-horned beetle and the emerald ash borer won’t move around. You should get kiln-drying firewood as soon as possible. Otherwise, it will lose its benefits.

Naturally, kiln-dried firewood comes at a higher price tag, but the fuel efficiency makes up for it.

All firewood should be stored in dry conditions. Moisture content should be kept to a minimum. When storing firewood, make sure there is enough room for the wood to expand.

Avoid Softwoods

Hardwoods are better for starting fires because they burn longer. Pine, redwood, spruce, and evergreen wood are great for starting fires. Once the fire is going, put your softwoods on top, so you don’t get burned.

Softwood logs are very loud when you burn them. This makes the fire very noisy.

Avoid Green Wood

Greenwood should be avoided when starting a fire because it produces more smoke than seasoned wood. Seasoned wood is dry wood that has had time to absorb water. This means that the wood is less likely to produce smoke.

Use Wood Types That Don’t Naturally Produce Much Smoke

Hardwoods produce less smoke than softwoods when burned in firepits. Hardwoods burn very hotly and fast, producing less smoke than softwoods. Oak produces the least smoke, followed by maple, hickory, beech, ash, elm, and birch. Pine produces the most amount of smoke.

Avoid Household Waste

Don’t use cardboard or paper products near your fire pit. You may inhale harmful chemicals. Use only wood, kindling, and tinder. Newspaper is fine at the start of the fire.

Don’t try to make a fire by stuffing too many papers into it. You might get burned.

Use the Log Cabin Method

Stack up your firewood in the fire pit using the log cabin (or the teepee) method. That simply means putting the logs of wood into the a-shape of a log cabin. This allows for better air circulation and better combustion.

Alternatives

Natural gas fire pits and bioethanol fire pits are both green options. But if you’re looking for an eco-friendly option, go with a wood-burning fireplace instead. Wood burns more efficiently than other fuels. Fortunately, there are eco-friendly wood alternatives to try to make sure you’re using wood that doesn’t harm the environment. Here are some wood alternatives:

Bamboo

Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants in the world. It grows quickly and requires little maintenance. The bamboo plant itself isn’t toxic, but some species contain cyanide. If you want to buy bamboo, look for non-toxic varieties.

Cedar

Cedar is another great alternative to wood. It’s a slow-growing tree that requires minimal maintenance. Cedarwood is naturally resistant to rot and decay. Cedar is often used for outdoor furniture.

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus trees grow rapidly and require little maintenance. They’re native to Australia and New Zealand. Eucalypts are known for their ability to withstand drought and heat. They’re also good for clearing up pollution.

Fir

Fir trees grow slowly and need lots of space. They’re native to North America. Fir trees are commonly found in parks and forests. They’re best suited for cold climates.

Oak

Oak is a hardy tree that grows fast. It’s native to Europe and Asia. Oak trees are very popular for landscaping projects. They’re also good at resisting rot and decay.

Pine

Pine trees grow slowly and require lots of space. They grow well in areas where they receive plenty of sunlight. They’re native to China, Japan, and South Korea.

Spruce

Spruce trees grow quickly and require little maintenance. Spruces are native to Canada and Alaska. They’re best suited to colder climates.

Willow

Willow trees grow quickly and require less space than most other trees. They’re native to Europe and Asia as well. 

FAQ

Can I use a smokeless fire pit during a burn ban?

You cannot burn a fire pit that produces a lot of smoke during a burn bad. But you may be allowed to use a smokeless fire pit because it doesn’t produce smoke or odors.

How long does it take to light a fire pit?

It depends on the size of the fire pit. A small fire pit will take a few minutes to light. Larger fire pits can take longer.

How many times can I use my fire pit before it needs to be replaced?

The life span of a fire pit varies depending on the type of material used. However, a typical fire pit should last about ten years.

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