What is the Best Firewood to Burn in a Fireplace?

Did you know there are over 1,000 types of trees in the U.S. that we can use to create a fire? How are we supposed to know which variety is the best firewood with so many options from which to choose?! At IHT, our experts are well versed in creating a great fire to enjoy during the winter. We have narrowed down the information to make selecting the best firewood to burn in a fireplace at your house simple.

Green wood is NOT the best firewood

Green wood is wood that has not been properly seasoned. Freshly cut wood still has quite a bit of moisture, making it challenging to burn at best but likely impossible. Even if you can get this type of wood lit, it will not burn efficiently. Most of the heat will be released as steam, creating a LOT of smoke. Green wood is NOT the best firewood for use in a fireplace, insert, or stove.

Softwood is also NOT the best firewood

Pines and evergreen trees are considered to be softwood. Their wood is more porous than hardwoods, allowing the sap to move around the tree trunk. This sap makes for a fast, hot fire with many crackles and pops, with volumes of smoke. The smoke in your home can be a big enough problem. Contending with the pops that come from this sort of fire can be a significant fire risk if you do not have proper screens in place or if you do not clean your chimney regularly. For safety and health reasons, it is better to avoid using softwood indoors as your main source of firewood.

However, softwood can be safe and helpful if you would like to have some for kindling when starting your fire. Some small pieces of pine and cedar will burn fast and hot to get the rest of your fire up and going. Remember, it is vital to keep it to smaller bits, then pile on more suitable firewood for a larger fire.

Hardwood is the BEST firewood

Hardwood trees have flat leaves, no needles, and denser bark than their softwood counterparts. The denseness of the wood allows your fire to burn slowly and for a long time. Qualities like these make hardwoods the best firewood for use in your fireplace.

There are quite a few types of hardwoods you can choose from. Hickory, Oak, Ash, Maple, Cherry, and Apple are the most popular. All of these will burn for long periods and are cleaner to burn. 

When choosing between these woods, do be aware of the smells they can produce. Woods like Apple, Hickory, Maple, and Cherry will all have intense aromas associated. While many people LOVE these smells, if you are looking for something with less scent, Ash wood is likely the best bet for your stove or insert.


If you are looking for a new fireplace for your Colorado home this winter season, look no further than IHT. We have many fireplace options to choose from Kozy Heat® and Majestic® and our fireplace experts are here to help you make the best decision for you. Stop by our Zuni location today or give us a call at 303-755-4772.

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