Possibly one of the most unassuming and underrated firewood options available is mesquite. Mesquite trees grow plentifully in Texas and are often considered a pesky weed by landowners. However, for those in the know, mesquite makes some of the best burning firewood around. The wood is dense and produces a lot of heat, making it a perfect option for cold winter nights. So the next time you're stocking up on firewood, don't forget to include mesquite in your list!
What is mesquite firewood good for?
Mesquite firewood is a good option for those who want a long-lasting, hot-burning wood. Mesquite is one of the densest woods available, so it burns slowly and evenly.
Mesquite firewood is ideal for use in outdoor cooking and smoking because it imparts a strong flavor to food. It's also popular for use in fireplace and stove settings because it creates an intense heat that can quickly warm up a room.
How to select the best mesquite firewood?
When it comes to choosing the best mesquite firewood, there are a few things you need to take into account. The first is the quality of the mesquite wood. If the wood is dry rot or invested with insect, then pass on it.
The second thing to consider is the moisture content of the wood. Mesquite should be well seasoned before burning; otherwise, it will produce a lot of smoke and sparky embers that can be dangerous. Seasoned mesquite wood has a moisture content below 20%. You can buy pre-seasoned mesquite wood or season your own by stacking it in a dry place for 18-24 months before using.
Thirdly, you need to think about how big your fireplace or fire pit is because different sizes require different amounts of fuel - meaning you'll need more or less pieces of mesquite wood accordingly. And finally, make sure whatever type or amount of mesquite firewood you choose meets any local burn bans that may be in effect where you live due to drought conditions.
The different types of mesquite trees and what they are typically used for
The most common type of mesquite tree is Prosopis glandulosa, also known as honey mesquite. These trees can grow up to 20 feet tall and produce small yellow or white flowers. The beans from honey mesquite trees were a staple food for Native Americans in the Southwest, and they continue to be an important part of the diet for many people in this region today. Honey mesquite wood is also commonly used for smoking meats because it imparts a unique flavor that is popular among barbecue enthusiasts.
General maintenance tips for using mesquite firewood
Mesquite firewood is a great option for those looking for an alternative to traditional wood options. Here are some tips on how to properly maintain your mesquite firewood:
- Season the wood before using it. This will help reduce smoking and improve the overall burning experience.
- Store the wood in a dry, well-ventilated area. Mesquite is known for being a very dense hardwood, so proper storage is key to preventing rot and insect infestation.
- Make sure you have plenty of airflow when burning mesquite in your fireplace or stove. Due to its density, mesquite can produce more smoke than other woods if not burned correctly.
Is mesquite firewood hardwood or softwood?
Mesquite is a type of hardwood that is perfect for use in fireplaces and wood-burning stoves. It burns hot and slow, providing long-lasting heat. Mesquite also produces very little smoke, making it ideal for indoor use.
Mesquite firewood BTUs
Mesquite firewood gives off 25.5 BTUs per cord. That's some serious heat that can cook your food or heat your home through the winter.
Splitting and seasoning mesquite firewood
Before you can start cooking with this flavorful wood, you need to split and season your mesquite firewood. Here's how:
Mesquite is known for being a tough, dense wood - which makes it great for long-lasting fires but not so great when it comes time to split it. You'll need to use an axe or maul (a heavy hammer designed specifically for splitting wood) to get through the thick layers of bark and heartwood. And be prepared; it's going to take some elbow grease! Once your logs are split into manageable pieces, they're ready to be seasoned.
Burning mesquite firewood
Mesquite wood burns very hot and provides great flavor to food. It is a popular choice for grilling, smoking, and baking. When burned in a fireplace, mesquite produces large amounts of heat and smoke. If you live in an area where mesquite trees are common, it's likely that you can find this type of firewood for sale or even for free.
Burning mesquite firewood has many benefits:
- It Burns Hot: Mesquite fires burn at a temperature between 700-1100 degrees Fahrenheit â€“ much hotter than most other types of wood! This high heat is perfect for searing meat or cooking pizza on the grill. It also means that your food will cook faster when using mesquite as fuel.
- It Adds Flavor: The intense heat produced by burning mesquite imparts a unique flavor to grilled foods, unlike any other fuel source. Many BBQ enthusiasts prefer the taste of foods cooked over mesquite coals because of the added smoky flavor it provides.
- It's Easy to Light: Unlike some woods which can be difficult to get started burning, mesquite wood lights easily thanks to its low moisture content (between 10-20%).
- Long Lasting Flames: Once ignited, a bed of embers made from burning mesquite will keep your fire going for hours.
How much does mesquite firewood cost?
A cord of mesquite firewood ranges between $500-$650 in Texas. If don't live near mesquite trees, then the price could be a lot higher.
How does mesquite firewood smell when it is burned?
When mesquite wood is burned, it gives off a strong and distinct smell. Some people say it smells like BBQ smoke, while others say it has a more earthy or nutty scent. Regardless of how you describe the smell, there's no mistaking that burning mesquite wood produces a powerful aroma.
Does mesquite firewood smoke?
Mesquite firewood does smoke, and it can be a bit intense. The wood is very dense, so it burns slowly and produces a lot of heat. Many people enjoy the smell of mesquite smoke while others find it overpowering. If you're planning on using mesquite firewood for smoking meat or fish, make sure your grill or smoker is well-ventilated to avoid overwhelming your guests with the aroma.