IS YOUR FIREWOOD DRY ENOUGH TO BURN? 8 Simple Ways to Find Out

There is no fire that will light and burn reliably if the firewood’s moisture content is high.  Freshly cut wood can contain up to 50% water and therefore NOT suitable for burning. Heating your home with wood? Do you build campfires for fun,
warmth or grilling food? Entertaining family and friends by a fire pit on your deck,
patio or backyard?

YOU NEED DRY WOOD!

HERE ARE A FEW WAY’S TO HELP DETERMINE IF YOUR FIREWOOD IS DRY ENOUGH TO BURN.

1. OBSERVE THE COLOR   As wood ages it becomes discolored. It darkens into shades of gray. This is a good sign of dry wood (See pic below).

Logs of Oak Wood for Grilling
Left: 1 year old split wood – dry Right: 1 month old split wood – wet

2. LOOK FOR CHECKS OR CRACKS. If the wood is dry, you will often see checks or cracks on the ends of the logs (See pic below).

Checks and Cracks of Wood

3. USE A MOISTURE METER
Simply press one of these tools against your firewood logs and it can
determine its moisture content. Remember that 20% moisture is optimal. 4. LOOSE BARK   Inspect the firewood. If the logs have loose
bark or no bark at all, this is a good sign that the wood has aged. 5. SOUND   When you strike
two like pieces together, dry wood will sound hollow with a sharp “crack”. Wet
wood will sound like a dull “thud”. 6. WEIGHT   Dry wood
is much lighter than wet wood (same species). 7. SPLIT FIREWOOD is better.
Un-split wood dries very slowly. But when wood has been split, more
surface area is exposed which leads to faster drying.

8. Last but not least…. TRY BURNING SOME! If the wood is wet with a high moisture content, it will sizzle and bubble at the ends. This is NOT good.

HERE’S ANOTHER WOODBURNER PRO TIP:

It’s one of the best ways to “season” firewood. First split the wood. Then stack it outdoors and off the
ground for at least 1 year. Cover the top of the wood pile only and place it in
a location where it is well-ventilated and exposed to sunlight. Bingo! There
you have it…. the most efficient way to season your firewood supply.

But there’s more… stay tuned to The BZ Blog for upcoming articles with our best tips on how to season and store your wood supply.

BZ

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Brian Zebertavage

ENTREPRENEUR, WRITER and FOUNDER of WOOD BURNER PRO LLC. An OUTDOORS ENTHUSIAST with an EYE FOR ADVENTURE. Follow Brian's BZ BLOG for INFORMATIVE STORIES, UNUSUAL FACTS, TIPS and INTERESTING FUN.

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