Best fire pit wood will impact how long your fire lasts and how clean it will be. The question goes, how can you decide which wood to pick?

Types of Fire Pit Wood to Use Indoors or Outdoors

We’ve researched on your behalf to tell you about the best fire pit wood types for your outdoor or indoor fire pit. Now, keep reading to know the best uses and if they may have some issues so you evaluate it upon your preference. 

List of Fire Pit Wood Types To Use

1. Ash

This firewood is an all-purpose wood for all patio heaters and steel wood fire pits. 

Detail Trunk of an Ash Tree

– Properties

It burns with almost no smoke, especially if you pick seasoned ash wood that has been dried to remove all the moisture. But, still, the unseasoned one burns better than most types of hardwood.

If you don’t want to wait long to dry the wood, you can use a kiln or a furnace to remove the moisture. However, we don’t recommend burning this wood while it’s green or moist because it doesn’t burn efficiently and can produce a lot of smoke, so this is an aspect to be mindful of. 

– Reason to Use It

It’s an excellent choice for a pit table where all the family gathers for a summer or fall night because it burns clean with almost no smoke. So, if you’re looking for almost no smoke firewood, ash will work for you, and this is its best use. 

The ash ignites easily and burns with medium-high heat. It’s also quite easy to split compared to other types of hardwood. 

– Issues

Ash firewood is a bit hard to find because of the ash borer beetle, which attacks ash trees, being a common pest. But if you can grow an ash tree, you can process this wood in spring to season it for winter.

Depending on the variety, ash firewood can produce between 19 and 23.6 million BTU when burned. So it’s not the hottest burning firewood, but definitely the cleanest one that you would find. 

2. Oak

If you’re a fan of portable wood fire pits, you can bring oak woods along on a camping trip, and you’ll even find some oak to burn on sight. Yet, in some situations, people will also burn it before it’s seasoned.

Oak Wood to Light the Fireplace

– Pros

Oak wood is affordable firewood for any wood burning pit. Treated wood or seasoned oak is certainly better because it’s dry and doesn’t need much energy to burn. 

Burning this wood in a kiln is actually the best option to remove the moisture. The kiln also kills any pests found in the wood, making it absolutely safe to burn.

– Cons

One of its downsides is that you should avoid using it on a natural gas fire pit because the high heat will make it crack. In addition, if the moisture is still trapped in, it will take a long time to dry out completely

– Reason to Use It

The trees grow almost everywhere, and the wood can burn for a long time, producing little smoke, so it can be used for warming up an indoor living space or for cooking. 

On the smoke detector spectrum, it produces a little more smoke than ash, but only a thin white line of smoke with no chocking black clouds. As a result, it’s an excellent choice for your stove bonfire, as different types of oak burn between 26 and 29 million BTUs, so this is an exquisite wood for warming up as it releases heat. 

– Issues

The only problem with oak is that the bigger logs are pretty hard to split. Yet, it’s everyone’s favorite because you can literally find it anywhere. 

3. Beech

Compared to most types of hardwood, beech is tougher, harder, and heavier. It’s also durable and has a pale cream color, but it holds paints and stains well. 

Pile of Beech Fire Wood

– Advantages

Beech is a terrific option to consider if you want to enjoy an entertaining dining experience in your outdoor living area. It’s an excellent choice for a Solo Stove’s owner because it burns hot and produces intense heat. 

– Reason to Use It

People love beech wood for various reasons. First, it’s not that hard to get. Second, it loses most of its water content when it dries, ending up with only 12 to 10 percent moisture. As a result, it burns with little smoke, so it won’t ruin your outdoor experience.

On the other hand, when beech firewood burns, it infuses your food with a nutty and mouth-watering aroma. Use it with your Solo Stove Fire Pit, and your outdoor gatherings will be something else. 

It can be used for an indoor fire because it burns hot for extended periods. It actually burns hotter than ash and most types of oak firewood at 27.5 million BTUs. This means you should always avoid using it on a propane gas pit that won’t tolerate this heat. 

But it’s important to know exactly how to put out a fire pit before using beech firewood because it sparks a little, especially when it’s not completely dry, it will be exhausting. 

– Issues

The biggest issue of beech firewood is that it’s hard to split, which is crucial for the seasoning process. Moreover, before using this wood, you’ll have to season it for at least two years. After that, it will be ready for use. 

4. Maple

If your main purpose is to use your fire pit for grilling and cooking, then maple wood is the suitable firewood for you. 

Burning Maple Wood in Fire

– Advantages

Maple wood is a hardwood that burns better and longer with little smoke, just like ash and oak. It’s used in flooring and woodworking after being stained. The wood is strong and durable and can mimic the look of more expensive wood.

– Reasons to Use It

The sugar maple sap adds a delicious aroma to the food when the wood burns, so it will be an excellent choice if you have a Hampton Bay Fire Pit or a Solo Stove Yukon, both used for cooking. People often use it when they’re smoking pork or turkey. 

It also wins if you’re in a hurry because it’s less dense than oak, so it burns a little faster. So, with a delicious aroma, little smoke, and long burning time, there’s nothing we don’t like about maple wood. 

Maple wood is also an excellent choice for indoor heating due to its low smoke production. Moreover, the sweet aroma creates a pleasant ambiance in your living area without being too overpowering. Some types of maple firewood are lightweight, so they’ll work for you if you’re fond of using portable fire pits.

– Issues

The most prominent problem with maple wood is that it’s expensive. In addition, it also takes a longer time to season than ash and oak, so it needs some extra planning ahead.

If you try to burn green maple firewood, you might end up with too much creosote or black buildup. This could make your Solo Stove Bonfire a little challenging to clean.

5. Cherry Firewood

Although there are several varieties of cherry trees, you’re most likely to find black cherry or wild cherry trees. 

Beautiful Cherry Tree in Blossoms

– Advantages

Cherry firewood lights up quickly, so it can be a great choice if you’re still learning how to build fire pits. Moreover, it burns for long, so you can use it for cooking or warming up. 

Compared to other types of hardwood, cherry firewood produces about 20.4 million BTUs, so it’s not as hot as maple or oak and will be suitable for a cast iron fire pit. It also creates a moderate amount of creosote, which is an organic compound.

– Reason to Use It

People love using cherry firewood for its fruity aroma. Whether you use it for your Stove Yukon or indoor fire pit, the nutty and rich tones will definitely improve the mood. The cherry firewood doesn’t produce a lot of sap, so it’s less messy and quite easy to split, making it a great choice for your fireplace or indoor pit. 

Compared to other types of hardwood, this is one of the fastest types to dry, so you can have seasoned cherry firewood within six months to a year. Moreover, cherry wood is a slow-burning wood with minimum sparks. In addition, note that it’s also easy to ignite.

– Issues

Due to the wood grain pattern, cherry logs become harder to split if they come from a mature tree. Also, it’s not the hottest wood to burn, so using it for warming up might not be the optimum decision, it won’t generate much heat as expected.

6. Applewood

Applewood is another good choice if you want low smoke production and high heat output. The apple tree is usually cultivated for its fruits, but once it is cut it can no longer produce fruits, you can definitely make use of the wood.

Brown Fungi on Applewood

– Advantages

People typically use applewood for smoking meat, but they need to soak it in some water first. This way, it will produce more smoke and infuse your food with a pleasant and delicious flavor. 

In addition, its a great advantage that it burns for a long time and doesn’t produce any sparks. It also burns clean with little smoke, producing high-quality coal and little creosote.

– Cautiousness 

You should be cautious because it burns hot at 28.6 million BTUs, you need to make sure that your fire pit is made of high-quality stainless steel or copper to withstand the heat. It’s best to split applewood when it’s still green because it becomes tough to split once seasoned. 

– Reason To Use It

Applewood is fruity and sweet, so it’s an excellent choice for your Tiki Brand fire pit, which provides a source of heat and light in your backyard. 

– Issues

Note that the issue with this wood is that it is expensive to buy and takes about two years to become seasoned. In addition, it’s hard to ignite, so you need to mix it with other types of wood to burn. Moreover, unless you store it properly, it will attract mice. 

7. Hawthorn

Hawthorn is a slow-burning firewood that can enhance your outdoor living space. The wood is dense with a fine texture, just like cherry and applewood. It also has several knots and turns. 

Ripes Hawthorn Berries in Autumn

– Advantages

People choose hawthorn wood because it burns fast and lasts for long, burning at 25 million BTUs. This makes it an excellent choice for a campfire or fireplace, as it provides warmth for a long time. In short, it burns bright, long, and produces heat.

– Why Use It

Hawthorn is a reliable firewood that won’t cause sparks and will burn efficiently for long hours. It will work for you if you don’t want any strong aroma to overpower your food or fill your indoor space. 

Most people go for hawthorn firewood if they already have a tree on or near their property. This can be a good way of using the wood of a dead tree. Moreover, it takes only six months or less to become seasoned, unlike other types of hardwood, hence it is a loved one. 

– Issues

Hawthorn’s wood surface is covered in sharp thorns that should be handled with care. The wood’s texture is quite dense, so it’s a bit hard to split. In addition, you might not be able to buy it easily because it’s rarely sold commercially. 


Selecting the best fire pit wood can make or break your wood burning experience. Several types of wood can work for your fire pit, but you should ask yourself why you need to burn the wood. 

  • Hardwood types like ash, oak, beech, maple, cherry, applewood, and hawthorn are best for indoor and outdoor fire pits. 
  • Ash burns the cleanest and is the easiest to split. Hawthorn wood, cherry, and applewood are the most difficult to split. 
  • Oak has a pleasant smell, but beech, maple, cherry, and applewood infuse your wood with a more delicious aroma. 
  • Not all types of fire pit wood burn the same, hence you should check if you are searching for some to warm your outdoor space, or if you wish to have one with no smoke fire pit to burn in a spacious indoor area.

Now the question is with all these amazing options, which firewood are you picking for your next fire pit gathering?


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