Before starting any fire it is always important to take into consideration the type of firewood you’re using and if you have zero clue about firewood, don’t stress as below we lay out all the important terminology you will require while choosing your ideal firewood as well as techniques on starting a fire and the proper measurement of firewood.
Hardwood and softwood are common terms you will see when choosing your firewood and ultimately the main difference is that softwoods are perfect for starting fires while hardwood is great for sustaining fires. Softwoods are less dense and serve as the perfect firewood for starting campfires as they produce large flames and burn quickly which can also be the downside of choosing softwoods if you are looking for something to last you the whole night and that’s where hardwoods come in. Hardwoods are much denser and create a hot, long-lasting fire ensuring that there are coals the next morning so you can easily start the fire again, however, because they are denser they take longer to ignite than softwood. Therefore it depends on your preferences and the purpose of your fire on which firewood to go with.
Some of the most common types of hardwood are birch and apple wood. Within the Birch tree family, black birch is one of the most sought-after firewoods, as it has dense fibres which allow it to burn hot and long and it also has a unique and sweet aroma. Offering a pleasant aroma as well Apple wood is also highly sought in cooking competitions as it burns well and leaves hot coals behind that are perfect for cooking over. The pleasant smelling smoke produced by Apple wood is mild and not overpowering and offers sweet flavors that complement almost any meat so if you are looking to cook using firewood then Apple wood is highly recommended.
Fir and Larch are your most common and popular choices of softwood as both these firewoods burn better than most softwoods and offer less sparks and smoke compared to other firewoods. Among the fir family, the Douglas fir is the most popular go-to as it is easy to split into kindle sized pieces, it is easy to light, and can offer a similar smelling smoke to pine so if you use Douglas fir for cooking you will be able to get a pine flavor added to the food. Just like Douglas fir, Larchwood is a high-density softwood which means that it will burn longer compared to other softwoods. It also dries quickly and just like Douglas fir can be split easily as well.
When choosing your firewood it’s also important to understand how much you’re buying. Firewood is mostly measured in cords which are cubic measurements of 4ft(1.2M) by 4ft(1.2M) by 8ft(2.4M). Cords are also split into eights, quarters, halves, three quarters, and a full cord, so when buying the perfect firewood for you be sure to keep all of this in mind.