What Firewood Pops The Most? – Tips For Choosing The Right Firewood

What Firewood Pops The Most? You may enjoy the loud popping sound that your fire makes. And you may even love watching the pieces of firewood fly around your fireplace. 

You may be someone who runs at the sight of burning wood flying out of your fireplace. Whichever one you are, it’s always good to know what firewood pops the most. 

You should know what causes firewood to pop and possible ways to remedy or increase it. This knowledge will help you choose suitable firewood that meets your preference. 

Read on to discover more about this.

Why Do Fireplaces Pop?


The popping sound you hear in your fireplace results from sap and water in the firewood used for burning. When the firewood is lit, the sap/water becomes steam and forms gasses. As the wood burns, the pressure of these trapped gasses builds up and eventually blasts out of the firewood one after another, popping as they do. 

When burned, it is unlikely that your firewood won’t produce a pop sound. Wood would still contain water regardless of how well-seasoned. However, the less the moisture content in the firewood, the less pop you hear in the fireplace.

Is Popping Firewood Dangerous?

When firewood pops, pieces of it sometimes come flying out of the fireplace. It becomes dangerous if that piece of hot, flaming firewood drops on you or other flammable objects nearby. The fire from the wood could catch up on your clothing, possibly burning your skin. If it lands on flammable objects, you may have a fire disaster. 

There are measures you can apply to eliminate these risks: 

  1. Make use of dryer wood. Consider other options if you prefer a louder popping sound from your fireplace.
  2. Cover the fireplace with metal to stop the wood from bursting out.
  3. Keep flammable materials far from the fireplace.
  4. Ensure that a fire extinguisher is nearby. If fire from the wood catches on to anything, you can quickly put it out.
  5. Never allow your children to get too close to the fireplace.
  6. Gradually add firewood to your fire to regulate how it burns. 

Which Firewood Pops the Most or Less?

Pine Tree

Pine Tree

Hardwoods are a lot drier than softwoods and will pop less. Also, seasoned wood has the appropriate moisture content for burning, producing a lesser popping sound. 


Softwoods pop the most because they contain much more sap and moisture than hardwoods. Fir and pine are your best choice of Softwood if you prefer the loud crackling and popping sound. 

  • Cedar
  • White Spruce
  • Popular 
  • Larch

Hardwoods don’t pop as much as softwoods, but they are perfect for burning. The best kind includes;

  • Apple
  • Ash
  • Hickory
  • Oak
  • Hawthorne
  • Maple
  • Cherry
  • Hornbeam

Seasoned Firewood

You can dry firewood either by exposure to sunlight and wind or using a kiln. The result from the former is what we know as seasoned wood. Kiln drying is, however, a much faster and better way to dry your wood.

Kiln Drying vs. Seasoned Firewood

  • Kiln drying involves chopping your firewood and placing it in the kiln to dry. It takes about an hour to dry wood this way. This is opposed to the 1-3 years it requires seasoning the same kind or amount of wood.
  • Kiln-dried wood burns hotter and faster. They are also much drier, so they will not pop loudly. Seasoned wood contains more water than kiln-dried wood, making it pop more when burned. Many prefer to use seasoned wood because it pops more.


Wood Pellets

Wood Pellets

Hardwood and Softwood can be chopped into smaller pieces to form pellets. Due to their size, they are much drier when compared to wood of other sizes. As a result, they produce little to no popping sound. Pellets are perfect for those who prefer their fireplace to pop less.

They are also a good choice for your fireplace as they burn hotter and more efficiently than most wood. 

Treated Wood

Treated wood is never a good choice for any burning. It contains chemicals that, when burned, release toxic substances into the air. It also produces a lot of smoke, causing air pollution.

How to Prevent Wood From Popping

Close-up of Kiln

Close-up of Kiln

If you are in the category of people who prefers to eliminate or reduce that Popping sound, consider the following:

  1.  Your best option is to make use of kiln-dried wood. As we know, it is much drier than other woods hence producing less popping sound.
  2. Another option is to use pellets. We have started earlier why they are such a good choice. 
  3. Keep your fireplace clean. Ensure that you get rid of residual ash and wood remnants from previous burning.
  4. It is never a good practice to add too much wood at once when making your fire. Keep the wood moderate, and add to the fire gradually as it burns.


Now that you know what firewood pops the most, you will find it easier next time to buy the right kind. If you prefer less noise from your fireplace, opt for kiln-dried hardwoods.

If you are adventurous and love to sit around the fire as it pops loudly, reminiscing about good times, you should go for Softwood. And If you desire to hear almost no sound, pellets will give you good value for your money. It barely pops yet burns efficiently.