How to Burn Firewood: Eight Quick and Simple Steps in 2023

How to Burn Firewood? The colder season is fast approaching, and you are wondering how to use your stove or hearth to keep warm. 

You probably have scanty knowledge of the necessary steps or no clue. In any case, you’ve stumbled on the right article. 

Correctly burning firewood can prevent/slow down creosote build-up, increase heat output, and prolong your apartment’s life. 

Without further ado, let’s jump into the eight tips on burning firewood. 

How do you Burn Fire Wood? 

The following segment gives a step-by-step guide on effectively and efficiently burning your firewood. 

  • Burn the right fuel

First and foremost, use quality fuel that burns cleanly and efficiently, e.g., pellets. When you opt for firewood, use the well-seasoned types you harvested during spring and let to dry for about six months.

The moisture content of the logs should range from 15 to 20% and have an even coloring. 

Burning wood pellets

(Burning wood pellets)

Caution; Do not use materials like magazines, diapers, waste, glue, paperboard, etc., because they produce noharmfulmissions.

Consequently, the residues might build up on the chimney and cause chimney fires, or it’ll force you to have constant cleaning. 

Season your Firewood

You probably chuckled on this one. And no, we do not imply a method similar to seasoning chicken. WhWe meanir-dry your firewood before burning it to achieve the recommended dry wood. 

Air-drying firewood

(Air-drying firewood)

Burn Small Pieces of Wood

Thirdly, use crumpled-up newspapers and lots of kindling to start your fire. Then, slowly and continuously add small pieces of wood because they will burn hotter. When the fire gets hot, add three more pieces of wood to your stove but leave spaces intween them for good airflow.

Kindling a fire

 (Kindling a fire)

Avoid usick and large pieces since they’ll cause a low-temperature fire and decrease the combustion rate

Supply Enough Combustion Air

We all know that oxygen is necessary for a fire to burn. Therefore, ensure yoyou supplyufficient oxygen by keeping all the air control open. Also, keep the wood-stove door slightly open for the first five minutes.

Check the flue exhaust gases to know if your fire is burning hot oIf it’s burning hot, the flue gases will have low particulate emissions and appear like vapor. If it isn’t, you’ll see smoke-like vented gases. 

Cycle your burning 

Next, keep the heat flowing by adding more logs to the fire. Rather than waiting for a single log to complete burning before adding the next, keep the logs hot by cycling your kindling.

Hence, ifaddingore firewood pieces, willgnite and keep the flame burning for a long time with less smoke. 

Keep the hot coals raked

C.ontinuously raking the coals improve the airflow and keeps them burning hot. Do this before placing additional firewood to assist in faster ignition and kindling. 

A man raking coals

 (A man raking coals)

  • Check out the color of the smoke

If the smoke is yellow and black, know that the fire is producing a lot of emissions. Normally, the chimney or firebox shouldn’t have any smoke if there’s effective burning. 

  • Use a clean and efficient stove or boiler

I.f you’ve been using an older stove, we believe it is time for an upgrade. Settle for low-emission stoves that lower air pollution emissions like black carbon and encourage efficient burning. 

Alternatively, you can check for other stove models approved by U.S Nordic Eco-Label Environmental Protection Agency. 

Moreover, you can use solid fuel appliances that burn pellets for residential heating. 

Is it OK to burn wet firewood?

Wet pine woods

(Wet pine woods)

Short answer, No.

There are inevitable situations like your logs getting wet unintentionally during camping.

In such a scenario, you can place them around the burning campfire for the moisture to evaporate via the heat.

Then, use the dried logs afterward for your campfire. 

Disadvantages of using wet firewood

  • First, it runs a risk of damaging your flue or chimney.
  • Then, it produces a lot of residues that can result in chimney fires.
  • Also, it generates more smoke compared to dry firewood, and the residues tend to build up in flues or chimneys.
  • Finally, it pops and crackles often and will certainly ruin the calm ambiance of a fireplace or campfire. 

For the reasons above, we encourage you to always opt for dry firewood with low moisture content (less than 20%). 

How do I tell if my firewood is wet inside?

OfOftenyour logs may appear externally dry. But, on the inside, they’re wet. The best way to detect wetness is using a moisture detector to get the moisture reading. 

Likewise, manually feel the ends to gauge the moisture level and check the appearance of the center rings. Unfortunately, it is not a reliable procedure. 

How to dry wet firewood

Drying wet firewood will mostly depend on the time you have. 

Drying firewood: Not much time

Note; Be extremely careful when following these steps to prevent any risk of fires. 


  • Start by turning the oven to 100 degrees and the fan to allow air circulation.
  • Next, while the oven is getting to the needed temperature, put the logs on the oven racks with the pieces not touching each other.
  • Then, allow the moisture levels to balance by placing a water tray on the oven’s bottom.
  • After every ten minutes, check the wood.
  • If the moisture level is at your desired level, let the hot wood cool down.

Drying firewood: Plenty of time

If you’ve got more time on your hands, store the wood in a conducive environment with enough sunlight and wind.

Burning wood

(Burning wood)

How to store your firewood to dry it out and keep it dry

Storing your firewood to keep it dry helps prevent bugs from inhabiting your woodpile, among other advantages.

Drying firewood covered with plastic tarps

(Drying firewood covered with plastic tarps)

Tips and tricks include;

  • Keep the wood in a natural drying state (direct sunlight).
  • Secondly, since wind dries wood effectively, ensure sufficient air circulation through the woodpile. 
  • Then, cover the top of the wood with waterproof material.
  • Lastly, if the ground is moist, place the wood off of it.


With the preparations done and the procedure elaborated above, you are now ready for the cold season.

The key takeaway is always to check the moisture level of the firewood before embarking on its usage.