Best Wood to Burn in a Fire Pit guide 2022

In this post, we will tell you about the best wood urn in a fire pit. While there are several safe wood alternatives for burning in your fire pit, not all of them will burn evenly. Consider the function of the fire before choosing a wood type: Is it only for show, or are you preparing a meal over an open flame? 

The answers to these questions will impact the kind of wood you buy. They’ll also inform you what kind of firewood you shouldn’t use.

The experience will be more pleasurable for both the person who is keeping the fire and those sitting around it if the appropriate firewood is used. Pick a simple wood to light and burn as cleanly as possible. 

This is often due to the density and moisture content of the wood. In terms of moisture content, consider seasoned vs. kiln-dried wood.

Hardwoods are often denser and dry faster when it comes to hardwoods vs. softwoods. That means that whether you’re at camping or in your garden, they’ll generate a low-maintenance, consistent fire that will burn for hours. 

Softwood has a lower density. While it’s easy to ignite and typically less expensive, it burns fast, necessitating the purchase of additional wood and more frequent maintenance.

What Are the Best Woods to Burn in Your Fire Pit?

These hardwoods are recommended for burning in your fire pit by Bradley Hite, owner of Firewood Nashville, and other experts because they are easy to ignite, produce little smoke, and are economical.


This is one of the greatest choices for a long-lasting, consistent fire. Ash is both simple to get by and inexpensive. It takes a little longer to light, but once it does, it produces a lot of heat for those winter evenings.


Another timber that is often found in Southern California is walnut. Walnut is a long-burning wood that produces little smoke, making it ideal for fire pits and outdoor fires during social events. You won’t have to stop your evening from adding additional wood to the fire after you have it starting, which is an extra plus for party hosts.


Avocado burns quicker than the previously listed hardwoods and produces more creosote accumulation in fires. This means you’ll need more wood and have to replenish it more often during the evening.

 It’s also best avoided in fire features with chimneys since it produces more creosote accumulation, and it’s best utilized in fire pits. 

Avocado firewood is on this list for two reasons: It’s excellent for starting fires (and then adding some oak for added longevity), and it’s plentiful for those who own or live near avocado orchards, which are popular in Southern and Central California.


For a warm fire, beech is your best bet. It’s dense, and when correctly seasoned, it burns fiercely and smells good.


Hite advises cherry if you want to create an atmosphere without stoking the fire for hours before your visitors come. He claims that it will ignite rapidly, enabling you to enjoy the fire rather than constructing it.

Bigleaf Maple 

Although Bigleaf Maple is a hardwood, it contains fewer BTUs than Pacific Madrone or oak. As a result, it does not produce as much heat. This is important for those who want to use their fire pit or patio fireplace as a heat source, but it is less important for people who just want a welcome fire feature for social events or drinking wine by the fire with their spouse.

Bigleaf In general, maple firewood is less costly than oak or madrone. It’s also quicker to ignite, so although a maple log won’t last as long as an oak log, it’ll be easier to get started, and maple will still last longer than softwoods. It also takes less time to the season than oak firewood.


This popular wood can be found all around the nation and burns slowly and cleanly without producing a lot of smoke. It’s simple to split, but drying it out correctly might take years.

White Oak is a kind of tree (aka Oregon White Oak)

Because white oaks are plentiful in Southern California, you should have no problem locating this fuel. This one generates more ash than the black oak and other oak possibilities described above, which may make it less attractive, but it burns long and hot, making it a solid addition for any best wood for fireplace and fire pit usage list.

Live Oak on the Coast

Because this coastal hardwood is tough to split, you may want to rent a log splitter or hire a local tree trimmer to break it for you if you lose a Coast Live Oak on your property. However, after you’ve trimmed it down to size, you’ll have long-burning firewood that produces little smoke. Because oak firewood may smolder for hours, you’ll want to make sure you properly extinguish the fire before retiring for the night.

Valley Oak is a tree that grows in the valley (aka California White Oak)

Another California native hardwood that produces excellent fuel for fire pits and patio fires is Valley Oak. This oak, like other oaks, may take two years to season. Valley Oak firewood burns long and slow after dry and ready to use. Although oak firewood is more costly than softer woods, you’ll use less of it and get more bang for your dollars.


Pine is a good option if you seek a low-cost wood that will establish the atmosphere. When burnt, it readily splits and crackles, adding atmosphere. However, experts recommend using wood as kindling rather than fire logs since pine burns so rapidly.


Almond wood is far more challenging to come by than other types of firewood, such as oak. If you reside in a region with almond trees, though, you may be able to purchase this fantastic choice. This is another hardwood that will cost more than some of your other options, but it will season faster than oak and provide you longer-burning logs with less cleaning afterward.

Madrone in the Pacific

This timber burns hot and slow and produces less ash than other hardwoods. Madrone firewood is more challenging and expensive than softer woods, but it makes a long-burning, warm fire. Madrone, like oak, will leave embers that are still warm the next morning. 

This makes it a popular alternative for those who use firewood for heat in colder climes. However, for those of us in Southern California who use it in fire pits, this means making sure your fire is entirely out at the end of the night.

Split this one while it’s still green since splitting it will get tricky as it dries out.

While it might take up to two years for oak firewood to dry completely, madrone usually is fully seasoned and ready to use after only one year.

What Are the Worst Woods to Burn in Your Fire Pit?

In a fire pit, not all types of wood are safe to burn. Frequently, wood found at a campground or near your house may not burn effectively and may even be harmful to your health.

Wood that is green in color (freshly cut)

This refers to any wood that has been freshly cut and hasn’t had time to season or dry. This makes lighting and maintaining a consistent flame extremely hard. Each wood species dries at a different pace, but stacking and covering young wood will ultimately provide perfect burning wood.


Don’t use wood that has washed ashore on the coast in your fire pit. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, damp wood, particularly from the water, does not burn effectively and may produce potentially harmful pollutants (EPA).

Wood for Construction

Much of the timber used to construct houses has been chemically treated, rendering it unfit for use in a fire pit. Screws, nails, glue, and other finishes may be present, posing extra dangers.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What kind of wood should never be burned in a fire pit?

According to the EPA, you should never burn “wet, rotten, infected, or moldy wood” in a fireplace or fire pit. Softwoods, such as pine or cedar, are often avoided because they burn quickly and produce a lot of smoke.

What’s the most excellent kind of wood to use in a fire pit?

Hardwoods like oak, hickory, ash, and maple are the most acceptable options for fuel, but they take longer to catch fire. Softwoods like pine, fir, and cedar may also be used as fuel, although they burn more quickly and produce more smoke than hardwoods. If you have the choice, use them more as a fire starter.

Final Verdict:

In this post, we have told you about the best wood to burn in a fire pit. Hardwoods, such as oak, are the most remarkable wood for fireplaces. Hardwoods burn for more extended periods and produce less smoke and residue than other types of wood.

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