What Firewood Burns The Hottest-(A Guide To Pick the perfect Wood For Your Next Fire)

It’s getting cold, and there’s nothing quite like relaxing with a fire burning in the fireplace. Or, maybe you’re having some guests over for a gathering and would like to provide a lovely setting.

Whatever the case, fire is always great for keeping warm or creating a nice ambiance. But not all wood burns the same.

It’s essential to know “What Firewood Burns The Hottest.” Therefore, before you build your fire, let’s consider what firewood is best for you. 

1. What Type of Wood Burns The Hottest?

Raging fire

Raging fire

A quick and easy answer is dense woods such as Oak, Maple, or Ash. The woody material is what burns and gives off energy. So by volume, the thicker woods burn longer, hotter and cleaner. Though thicker wood can be more expensive, they are the best choice for firewood that burns the hottest

2. What Type of Wood Burns The Longest?

Man holding a clock

A man holding a clock

Softwoods like Pines, Firs, and Spruces ignite but fizzle out quickly. Dense woods like Oak, Hickory, and Ash have more wood packed into every square inch and take longer to burn. Softwood is advisable to start your fire, while thicker wood keeps it going.

Good Firewood

Stacked firewood

Stacked firewood

Before throwing your logs on the fire, consider the density and moisture of the wood. Of course, the thickness is critical in how long the wood will burn. It is important to remember that the dryer the wood is, the better it will burn.

Woods To Avoid

Do not burn sign

Do not burn sign

Though various hardwoods are great for firewood, there are some woods that you should avoid burning. To keep yourself safe, you do not burn driftwood, treated and painted wood. These woods have harmful chemicals that will release during the burning process. Be careful when making your selection.

3. Hottest Burning Firewoods?

We are going to look at these woods’ BTU ratings. BTU stands for “British Thermal Unit.” The BTU is a unit of measurement used to measure the cooling or heating capacity. The BTUs are rated in millions. One BTUs heat is comparable to the heat a single match will give off.

Osage Orange

Coming in at a 30.1 million BTU rating. Making Osage Orange one of the hottest burning woods.

Red Oak

A good wood to use in a wood-burning stove and, of course, heating. Producing 24.6 million BTUs makes this a good wood for an early evening fire.

Black Locust

Burning at 28.3 million BTUs. Black is one of the most rot-resistant woods and is a great choice for campfires.


Similar to the black Locust, Hickory produces 28 million BTUs. A great wood that burns hot and clean. A good choice for your fireplace.

The Beech

Beech burns at 27.5 million BTUs. Beech is dense and has a low moisture content, making it a good choice for a long-lasting fire.


Burning at 27.1 million BTUs, Hornbeam is a high-heat, long-lasting option for firewood.


The same tree that grows your apples can also be a good choice for firewood. Applewood burns at 27 million BTUs and has a pleasant smell. This wood could be a sweet-smelling option for your next fire.

Black Birch

Black Birch lets off a sweet smell and burns at 26.8 million BTUs. Making for a great high-heat firewood

What Firewood Burns The Hottest: Mulberry

Mulberry a fantastic choice for long lasting-lasting fires. Producing 25.8 million BTUs

What Firewood Burns The Hottest: Sugar Maple

Sugar Maple, A.K.A “Hard Maple,” a common wood to find and provides great heat at 24 million BTUs

What Firewood Burns The Hottest: Pinyon Pine

A fireplace favorite not only for its heat (27.1 million BTUs) but also aroma and insect repelling benefits.

What Firewood Burns The Hottest: Honey Locust

An easy split wood burns in a range similar to Black Birch at 26.7 million BTUs. Honey Locust is an excellent choice for firewood.

What Firewood Burns The Hottest: White Ash

Strong, hard, and high in heat at 24.2 million BTUs. This clean-burning firewood is a great choice to throw on the fire.

What Firewood Burns The Hottest: Sycamore

Due to its lower density, Sycamore falls in the more moderate heat level (19.1 million BTUs).


And there you have it! A guide to answering the question, “What Firewood Burns The Hottest?”. Now that you know what to look for, grab your chainsaw and start cutting. Remember that the drier wood burns better, and do not use driftwood, sealed or painted wood. Be safe, and of course, stay warm!