12 Firewood To Burn In A Fire Pit (and NOT)



Best firewood to burn in a fire pit includes Oak, Hickory, Ash, Fruit Trees, Birch, Dogwood, and Maple.

When you are going to make a fire pit, there are many different types of firewood to choose from. The type that you select will depend on the type of fire that you want.

If you want a fire that is more substantial and will burn much longer, then wood like oak or maple would be a better choice.

For those who want fires with less heat and smoke, burning pine or cedarwood is a great choice.

If you are looking for something even more aesthetically pleasing, the rainbow eucalyptus might be perfect for your needs.

If you are still unsure of what wood is best for your fire pit read on because I have compiled a full list of the perfect firewood for your fire pit.

12 Best Firewood To Burn In A Fire Pits

What Is the Best Firewood for Fire Pits?

Hardwood like ash, hickory, and oak wood is the best fire pit wood because it burns longer and hotter than other materials, such as softwoods or even coal.

There are many different kinds of firewood, but ash, hickory, and oak are typically the best for use in fire pits.

Read More: What Is A Rick Of Wood? (Size, Weight, Price, Look)

This means that hardwood will also create more heat for a shorter amount of time while burning which can be invaluable in colder climates where extra heating may not always be an option.

Best Types of Hardwood For Fire Pit Burning

  • Oak
  • Hickory
  • Ash
  • Fruit Trees
  • Birch
  • Dogwood

There are many types of hardwood trees that will provide a great deal of heat for your hearth.

The most popular type is oak, which may be harvested in the spring or summer months when it has reached about 12% moisture content to keep from shrinking too much upon drying.

If you want more heat and less smoke, hickory is another good choice as well. They can produce up to 18% more energy than other species!

12 Best Firewood To Burn In A Fire Pits

12 Best Firewood To Burn In A Fire Pit

Picking the right firewood to burn in a fire pit is important. I have compiled a list of the best firewood to burn in your fire pit.

1. Birch

Grows in the side and northern parts of North America; most popular use these days is as firewood.

Birch fire pit owners should note that this particular hardwood produces a lot of soot so it may be best for fire pits only.

It does well with long-burning fires because trees are slow-growing, but need to split them before they burn worthlessly fast.

2. Oak

It Burns quickly even when unseasoned (needs at least 18 months drying time) which makes it ideal for a fire pit or quick cookouts on a high heat like grilling.

Easy to find in the eastern regions of North America, but not as popular because it’s difficult to split and can be heavy when dry.

3. Pine

Grows best around saltwater or high altitude so you probably won’t see these trees growing close by your home unless you live near a beach.

They also have very little resin making them perfect for long-burning fires since pine is full of natural oils that produce more heat than other types of wood like oak.

4. Maple

Has an attractive grain which makes it great for furniture, flooring, and now firewood too! (maple tree sap is actually what creates maple syrup).

This type produces low amounts of smoke but needs ventilation if used indoors because the gases from burning will make you feel sick.

This tree will grow in the eastern and central regions of North America but it’s not very common.

5. Hickory

Has an attractive grain too, which makes it great for furniture, flooring and now firewood; hickories are the heaviest hardwoods that you can find making them best to use with a fire pit.

6. Alderwood

Is a good source of heat and burns quickly. However, it creates less light than other types of wood which might be an issue if you plan on using your fire pit for ambiance as well.

7. Applewood

Is a great option for someone who wants to keep their fire burning long after they have added more logs. It burns hotter and slower than other types of firewood and has an excellent aroma from the smoke that it produces.

8. Olive Tree Wood

Olive Tree Wood does not produce any sparks when lit which makes it a good choice for anyone trying to avoid having soot all over the walls near them or in hard-to-reach places within their patio.

This type of wood also produces a lot of heat and has an excellent scent.

9. Pecan wood

Pecan wood produces less ash than other types, but also doesn’t burn as long, so you will need to add more logs frequently if you are using pecan for your fire pits needs. It leaves behind really nice coals after use too!

10. Beechwood

Beechwood has a sweet smell when burned in a fire pit but can cause coughing or sneezing due to the ash that’s produced after burning.

It also doesn’t create much light so don’t use this type if you want a firelight from your fire pit while reading your favorite novel!

11. Elmwood

Elmwood burns very slowly which makes it perfect for those looking for long-lasting heat or those trying to create light effects with their fire pit.

Elm also produces sparks upon contact with metal and should not be used around children because the bark contains hydrocyanic acid which may result in death by suffocation. If you have a dog or cat, please keep elmwood away from them as well.

12. Popwood

Poplar is a good option for those who want to produce less smoke when burning and are looking for an inexpensive type of wood.

Poplar burns quickly but also creates more sparks than other types of woods do so use caution around any combustible materials while using this type.

The downside? Poplar has little heat value unlike other types of wood such as oak or hickory – so if you’re trying to stay warm during cold winter nights at your fire pit, poplar might not be the best choice from all these options listed here!

Best Time To Cut Down Trees For Firewood?

The best time to cut down hardwoods like oaks and hickories would be during winter because they have lower levels of sap flow; this reduces the chance their wood could rot before being used.

Other types might need a chemical treatment if not kept dry enough while waiting for use later in the year.

How To Let Hardwood Dry For A Fire Pit

Again, in order to dry these hardwoods before use, you can either let them air-dry or heat up your oven and place a few pieces of wood on its lowest rack for about an hour at 150 degrees F before removing it from the oven.

Some people opt for placing their freshly cut logs into piles outside until they are ready to be used, but keep in mind that this will take much longer than letting them sit inside!

What Wood Should You Not Burn In a fire Pit?

You should never burn pine or cedar in your fire pit. Pine will give off a chemically unpleasant odor and will leave behind a sticky, sooty pitch when it burns.

Cedar is also laden with resins that will produce an unpleasant smell and emit toxic creosote smoke that can irritate your lungs.

  • Varnish or paint coated wood (these release toxic fumes)
  • Certain types of wood can produce toxic smoke like pine
  • Burning wood that has been painted is a bad idea. The paint will release the toxins into the air.
  • If you’re going to burn railroad ties, make sure they have not been coated with any type of chemical.

Is pressure treated wood good for fire pit?

Is pressure-treated wood good for a fire pit? No, The chemicals used as preservatives are toxic so that means that if you going to burn pressure-treated lumber all the harsh chemicals will be released and could lead to health risks.

How to choose the best type of firewood for your fire pit?

In order to choose appropriate firewood, you need to consider what size logs you want and how long they will last before needing replacement.

It’s important that your fire pit is in a well-ventilated area because some types of wood produce more smoke than others.

The most popular choice for a fire pit is oak or birch but it also depends on personal preference.

Some people prefer avoiding cottonwoods at all costs because their higher moisture content means that when extinguished, they’ll smolder instead of going out as other woods do.

There are many different types of firewood so take these considerations into account before buying your next supply.

Why is pine not good firewood?

When burned, pine emits gases that produce smoke with a higher concentration of tar particles and acid droplets. These substances can irritate the eyes and lungs when inhaled over long periods of time.

Pines need to be dried out before they can be used as firewood, which means that if you’re trying to salvage your fallen tree limbs you may want to rethink your plans!

Is It Ok To Burn Cardboard in a Fire Pit?

It’s not uncommon for people to build bonfires out of old newspapers, magazines, and other paper products like cardboard.

And it’s often assumed that these materials are safe to use because they’re already made from fiber, but this is an assumption we can’t make with certainty until the papers have been burned up completely.

As such, most experts recommend against burning any type of paper product in a fire pit or barbecue grill due to potential exposure risks from inhaling toxins like benzene and carbon monoxide.

Best Fire Wood To Use In A Fire Pit For No Smoke?

Burning green hardwoods will produce more smoke, so it’s best to use air-dried, seasoned woods in your fire pit.

Avoid burning green softwood or any other wood with a high moisture content if you don’t want lots of smoke.


If you want to know what the best firewood is for your outdoor fireplace, consider using a mix of hardwoods.

Hardwoods like oak and maple are excellent choices because they produce long-lasting fires that give off more heat than softwoods like pine or cedar.

These types of wood also burn cleaner which means less smoke will make it into your home from outside.

Hope this article helped you decide what the best firewood will be for you.

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