Is Oak Good Firewood? How Long Should It Dry Before Burning?

Oak firewood is considered by some to be the best firewood to use. It is a hardwood that burns hot and lasts a long time. It is also very easy to find because oak trees are common in many parts of the country. Oak firewood should be dried for 24-36 months before burning it. If you are looking for a good firewood to burn, definitely consider oak.

What is oak firewood good for?

There are many benefits to using oak firewood. Oak is a hardwood, which means it burns slowly and evenly. This makes oak great for creating long-lasting fires that generate nice heat. Additionally, oak produces little smoke when burned properly, so it's great for indoor use. Finally, the high density of oak logs results in fewer sparks and embers than other types of wood - making it a safer choice for home fireplace use.

How to select the best oak firewood?

When it comes to choosing the best oak firewood, there are a few things you need to take into account. Here is a list of what we think are the most important factors:

  • The wood should be well seasoned and dry. If it's not, it will produce more smoke than heat and can actually damage your fireplace or stove.
  • Look for pieces that are about 18 inches long and 6 inches in diameter. Anything larger will be too big to fit comfortably in your fireplace, anything smaller won't give you enough heat.
  • Avoid any pieces with mold on them as this can release harmful toxins into the air when burned.

Now that you know what to look for, here are a few tips on how to find the best oak firewood:

  • Check out local sawmills or tree removal companies in your area. They often have good quality wood for sale at reasonable prices.
  • Ask friends or family members if they have any oak trees on their property that they would be willing to let you cut down (or pay someone else to do it).

Why should you use oak firewood as your fuel source?

  • Oak is a very dense wood, which means it burns hot and slow. This makes it an excellent choice for both indoor and outdoor fires.
  • Oak firewood also has a low moisture content, which means it produces less smoke than other types of wood. This is important if you're using your fireplace or stove to heat your home, as too much smoke can be dangerous to breathe in.
  • The high density of oak also makes it more durable than other kinds of wood, so it's less likely to break down over time when used as fuel.

The different types of oak trees and what they are typically used for

There are many different types of oak trees, and each has its own unique set of characteristics. Here is a brief overview of some of the most popular varieties:

White Oak: White oaks are large trees that can grow up to 100 feet tall. They have a wide, spreading canopy and their leaves are dark green in color with white undersides. The wood from white oaks is strong and durable, making it ideal for use in construction projects such as floors, beams, furniture, and cabinetry.

Red Oak: Red oaks are also large trees that can reach heights of 100 feet or more. Their leaves are deep green on top with reddish-brown undersides, hence their name. Like white oaks, red oaks have strong wood which makes them suitable for a variety of uses including flooring, furniture making, and cabinets.

Black Oak: Black Oaks typically grow to be between 50 - 75 feet tall and have black bark which gives them their name. The leaves of black oaks tend to be lighter in color than other varieties (greenish-yellow) with small fuzzy hairs on the underside. The wood from these trees is very hard and dense, making it ideal for firewood or charcoal production.

Each type of oak tree has different strength properties depending on what you want to use it for so make sure you select the right one.

General maintenance tips for using oak firewood

  • Cut the wood into logs that are no longer than 18 inches, and split them into pieces that are no less than 6 inches in diameter. The smaller the piece of wood, the easier it will be to light and maintain a fire.
  • Before lighting your fireplace or stove, make sure the flue is open so that smoke can escape. An easy way to test this is by holding a sheet of paper up to the damper; if it does not move, then you need to open it slightly.
  • Start your fire with kindling such as small twigs or newspaper balls, and gradually add larger pieces of wood until you have a good bed of coals established. Then you can reduce the size of the flames by adding more big logs while maintaining vent openness.
  • Be careful when using accelerants like lighter fluid or kerosene; too much can cause an explosion inside your fireplace.
  • Make sure ashes are completely cool before disposing of them in a metal container with a lid placed outside away from combustible materials.

Tips on how to store oak firewood

Before burning oak firewood, it is important to store it properly. Here are some tips on how to do so:

  • Store the wood in a dry location. This will help prevent mold and rot from developing.
  • If possible, store the wood off the ground and away from walls. This will allow air to circulate around the wood and keep it dry.
  • Cover the stack of wood with a tarp or other waterproof material if storing outdoors. This will protect the wood from rain and snowfall.
  • Inspect the stored wood regularly for signs of damage or decay such as cracks, holes, or mushy spots

Safety precautions when using oak firewood

When using oak firewood, it is important to take some safety precautions. Here are some tips:

  • Only use dry wood that has been properly seasoned. Wet or green wood can produce a lot of smoke and creosote, which can be dangerous.
  • Store your wood in a dry place away from any potential ignition sources (e.g., furnace, water heater, etc.).
  • Use a fireplace screen to help prevent sparks from flying out of the fireplace.

Oak firewood BTUs

Oak has an average BTU rating between 26 million per cord - 30% higher than other common hardwoods like maple or birch. This means that you can generate more heat from burning oak over a shorter period of time when compared to other woods.

Burning oak firewood

Assuming you would like tips for burning oak firewood:

  • Start by gathering some dry, seasoned wood. You can tell if the wood is seasoned if it is gray or brown in color and sounds hollow when tapped. If your wood is not yet seasoned, you will need to let it cure for at least 24 months before using it as firewood.
  • Next, build a small tepee out of kindling in your fireplace. Then, place 3 or 4 pieces of oak on top of the tepee, arranged so that they form a pyramid shape. Light the kindling underneath the logs with a match or lighter.
  • As the flames begin to grow, slowly add more logs to keep the fire going strong without smothering it. Remember to only add one log at a time so that you don't overwhelm the flames and cause them to die down prematurely. Keep adding fuel as needed throughout the night in order to maintain a consistent blaze.

Does oak firewood make sparks?

Oak firewood produces few sparks when seasoned properly.

How much does oak firewood cost?

The cost of oak firewood varies depending on where you live, but it is typically between $300 and $500 per cord.

How does oak firewood smell when it is burned?

When oak firewood is burned, it emits a strong, pleasant smell that many people enjoy. The scent of burning oak is often described as being similar to that of vanilla or almond extract. It can also have hints of spice and smoky notes, depending on the type of oak wood used.

Does oak firewood smoke?

Oak also produces very little smoke when burned properly. If you see more than normal amounts of smoke when burning oak, there may be an issue. The oak wood has not been seasoned properly - unseasoned or green wood contains a lot of moisture which can cause the wood to smolder and produce more smoke.