You might think that you can use any kind of wood in your log burner. However, the truth is that you might want to think again. The aim is to use logs that deliver heat over your desired period and in a safe way. Therefore, it makes sense to use the best wood for log burner use, so read on to find out more.

The importance of choosing optimum firewood

As we have touched on above, the best logs for log burner use will allow you to create a fire that meets your exact needs. It might seem easy enough to think that scrap wood makes the best firewood, but this is not the case. You will need to consider the safety of the firewood you use, as well as how economical it is and there are legalities to consider too. This is the reason it helps to learn more about the best logs for log burner use.

The best wood for log burner use improves performance

You want your log burner to perform as efficiently as possible and that is where the best firewood will help. It must be dried correctly and seasoned in order for it to burn with little smoke and efficiently and cleanly.

The best wood for log burner use will generate enough heat and will burn well, while it will also last, giving you excellent performance.

Keep your log burner burning with seasoned firewood

Keep your log burner burning with seasoned firewood

Safety and reduced maintenance

Fire safety is vital when it comes to your log burner. You should be using the best firewood that is seasoned. Use the wrong type of wood and your chimney will suffer from an accumulation of creosote which can prove dangerous as it can cause chimney fires.

Should you also avoid using the best firewood, then you can expect to carry out more chimney maintenance. The accumulation of creosote will have to be dealt with by experts which means regular cleaning and more costs.

The best firewood meets all legislation

The sale of wet firewood was banned by DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) in February 2021. Therefore, all wood that you purchase for your log burner should be correctly seasoned.

Seasoned firewood and wet wood

So, you have read about seasoned firewood and wet wood but what are the differences between the two? The two kinds of woods are prepared differently.

Wet wood is harvested freshly and is not prepared, so if you chop down a tree this will be called wet wood. It will have a high moisture content which means that it will not burn well in your log burner, which means it’s not the best wood for log burner use. It will generate a lot of smoke and won’t burn efficiently.

When firewood is prepared correctly and seasoned, it is done so in two ways. It is either air-dried, which means that it is left to dry naturally in the air, or it is kiln dried. Either way, this will mean that the firewood moisture content will be less than 20%.

The many types of firewood

While you might be focused on selecting the best wood for log burner use, it can prove handy to understand the type of firewood that you are purchasing. There are many types, and they are all different, such as the way in which they burn, how long they burn and the aroma they release.

Dried and seasoned firewood is always the right choice for your log burner

Dried and seasoned firewood is always the right choice for your log burner

Therefore, woods are placed into two categories known as hardwoods and softwoods. Some hardwoods include:

  • Ash
  • Oak
  • Birch
  • Sycamore
  • Maple

Softwoods include:

  • Pine
  • Spruce
  • Willow
  • Cedar
  • Fir

There are many other types of woods in these two categories, but these are some of the most commonly used.

Is hardwood or softwood the best firewood for your log burner?

The best logs for log burner use are generally hardwoods. This makes the best firewood because it is dense, which enables it to burn for longer periods. In addition, it will generate more heat and will not give off as much smoke as some of the other best logs for log burner purposes.

If you want a simple hardwood that does everything you need, then oak is the best Firewood option. However, if you are looking for a wood that gives off a wonderful scent when burned then cherry might be the best firewood for you.

Wood you should avoid using

You might be tempted to start considering other types of wood for your log burner. You might be driven by the ease at which you can get other types of wood and the cost. Despite this, you won’t be getting the best firewood for your log burner.

There are some types of wood that you should avoid as they can contain chemicals that can cause harm and some also contain salt, which can cause your log burner to corrode. This includes:

  • Driftwood
  • MDF or Plywood
  • Cross-laminate timber
  • Hardboard
  • Pressure-treated lumber

The amount of firewood you need for your log burner

The amount of best firewood that you need will depend on how you use your log burner. As a guide, if you are using a 5kW log burner that will be used during October and April and during the weekends and evenings, then you are likely to need around 4m³ each year.

There are techniques to calculate the number of logs needed for a log burner

There are techniques to calculate the number of logs needed for a log burner

What about using wood you collect from forests and woods?

It might be tempting to think that the best wood for log burner use can be found in nature. Collecting your own wood can seem attractive but it is not as simple as collecting the wood you need. In its basic form, if you collect wood from a forest, then the landowner effectively owns it, so you will be breaking the law. So, it is best to play it safe and purchase your firewood from a trusted company.

When are the best logs for log burner ready to burn?

The most important thing to remember when purchasing firewood is that it is suitable for burning. So, you will need to make sure that it is seasoned correctly and ready for throwing onto your log burner. Who you purchase your firewood from will need to make sure that it is seasoned but you can give it the once over yourself to make sure that it is the best firewood currently available.

So, what checks should you carry out to make sure that it is suitable for burning?

The Firewood Colour – Seasoned Firewood should have a grey colour which means that it has been well seasoned. If you notice any green colour, then this could indicate that it has a high moisture content.

Check the Weight – Fresh wood contains a lot of moisture which adds to its weight. What this means is that the best logs for log burner use that have been seasoned will be lighter. So, give your firewood a check by picking it up and feeling its weight.

Bark Should Be Loose – The bark on seasoned firewood should be loose bark as this shows that it has dried sufficiently enough.

Spot Cracks – If there are cracks in firewood then this is an indication that it is ready for burning.

Give it a Knock – Use your knuckles to give your wood a tap, if it sounds hollow then it is suitable to burn.

Give it a Smell – Fresh wood will have an aroma, but dried wood will not have the same aroma.

A pile of logs ready for burning

A pile of logs ready for burning

How to store your wood the right way

If you have placed an order for your firewood, then it is crucial that you store it correctly. You want to make sure that your firewood remains in the best possible condition because the last thing you need is for your firewood to become unusable because it has become damaged.

The best thing you can do is install somewhere to store your logs. This should offer the right level of ventilation and should keep your logs off the ground to ensure your logs do not absorb any water that comes from the ground. All sides of your shelter should be designed to aid ventilation as that will help it to dry out while a roof will help to protect your logs from the elements.

Should you be unable to invest in a proper log shed, then do everything possible to keep your wood well-ventilated, sheltered and away from the ground.


There is a lot more to choosing firewood than many might realise. If you have a log burner and you want to benefit from all that it offers, then it pays to invest in the right firewood. This should be seasoned wood that has been dried correctly so it delivers heat, efficiency, and longevity, which is why it makes perfect sense to purchase your wood from a reputable provider.

Cozilogs advice and help with firewood selection

In this Cozilogs guide, we have provided guidance on selecting the best firewood. If you would like to get more information about buying firewood for log burners from Cozilogs, please do not hesitate to contact us through any of the available methods:


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