Frequently Asked Questions About Firewood
Have a question about the best way to use or store your firewood? Our firewood experts are here to help. Below you’ll find the answers to some of the questions we hear most frequently about firewood. To learn more — or ask a question you don’t see listed here — feel free to reach out to us for more information.
Can Firewood Go Bad?
Yes. Several factors can cause firewood to go bad or lose its effectiveness, including:
- Using firewood that comes from a diseased tree.
- Choosing firewood that has not been treated, seasoned, or kiln dried.
- Using firewood that is not pest-free, which can lead to decay and further infestation of your other wood.
- Employing improper storage methods, which includes leaving firewood exposed to the elements and fluctuating temperatures.
- Neglecting to remove any rotting or diseased firewood from your storage area, which can cause otherwise healthy firewood to deteriorate more quickly.
The best way to avoid bad firewood is to purchase a high-quality product from Cutting Edge Firewood and follow all recommended storage practices.
How Do I Know If My Firewood Is OK to Use?
All Cutting Edge Firewood is free of disease, mold, fungus, and bugs, and has been thoroughly kiln dried for maximum effectiveness. However, using improper storage methods or storing our firewood with wood from other distributors may lead to wood damage. A good piece of firewood is sturdy and clean without visible damage or missing bark. The wood should be firm to the touch and free of discoloration.
A few indicators that your firewood has gone bad include:
- Visible signs of fungus or mildew growth.
- Wood that is soft to the touch, indicating excess moisture or rotting.
- Insects in or on your wood supply, or leftover pest residue or markings that could indicate an infestation.
- Peeling or falling bark.
Which Type of Cutting Edge Firewood Burns Best?
The answer to this question varies, depending on your specific woodburning goals. For example, our cherry firewood produces the least amount of heat and burn time, but the unique aroma makes it the perfect choice for a special event or gathering.
Hickory firewood burns longer than oak and is a popular choice for indoor fireplaces, while many prefer oak when burning outdoors. You can also choose extended burn firewood for an even longer burn, which is perfect for large fire pits and fireplaces or events requiring a strong flame throughout the night.
Can I Use the Same Wood for Fires and Cooking?
Many kinds of wood are suitable for general burning and home heating, as well as cooking and smoking foods, including oak, hickory, and cherry. Other woods — like maple and apple — are great for culinary purposes, but less effective for general use. The wood’s cut and size are also important to note.
Wood burning applications call for logs, split wood, and uncut rounds, while wood for cooking is most beneficial when cut down to small splits or wood chunks. Always choose the correct size firewood, splits, or wood chunks to fit your fireplace, wood stove, fire pit, or grill. For the best results, do not burn firewood outside of its recommended use.
How Do I Build a Long-Lasting Fire?
Building a fire is easy if you have the right supplies. Here’s what you need to do:
- Prepare the area: If you’re building an indoor fire, prepare your wood stove or fireplace by removing any ash or soot leftover from the previous burn and ensuring the area is clear of debris. Open up the fireplace damper and set up the protective grate. If you have a chimney, make sure a professional has cleaned and serviced it, especially if this is your first fire of the season. Doing so will ensure a clean and safe woodburning experience that everyone can enjoy.
- Clean your outdoor pit: If you’re burning outdoors, prepare your fire pit by clearing away any grass or debris inside the pit and creating a comfortable seating area around it. You’ll also want to allow the area ample time to dry after rain, so you don’t waste matches or fire starters by trying to light them in wet conditions.
- Gather supplies: The most essential part of your fire is the fuel. Kiln dried firewood from Cutting Edge Firewood is the best way to ensure a bright, long-lasting fire. You also need a match and some fire starters. For best results, avoid using leaves or household paper products, which could create excess smoke. Never burn garbage or anything that could explode or release toxic chemicals, like batteries and plastics. Excellent-quality wood will help you achieve a warm glow without the need for lighter fluids or accelerants.
- Assemble the fire: Build your fire by placing your wood in a criss-cross pattern known as the “log cabin” method. In this technique, you lay two pieces of wood parallel and place kindling between them. Stack two parallel logs on top of them, facing the opposite direction. Add another layer if you want, then use the fire starter to ignite. For outdoor fires, ignite a small pile of starter and, as the flame grows, add kindling and firewood piece by piece in a tent shape until you have a roaring fire.
How Do I Light a Fire?
All Cutting Edge Firewood is easy to light, thanks to our special kiln drying process. You can usually light your fire with a single match! To begin, choose a long match — like our official cigar matches — and strike it to light your excelsior fire starter. Add pieces of kindling to feed the flame. To make things even easier, add a fire starter package to your next Cutting Edge Firewood shipment. Each kit includes everything you need to start a fire in minutes, including the fire starter, kindling, and matches.
To manage your fire, you’ll need to stoke it regularly as needed. Add more firewood as it burns. One your fire is lit — especially if outdoors — do not leave it unattended. Remember to extinguish it thoroughly before leaving.
How Should I Store My Firewood?
Our Delivery Artisans will gladly unload and stack your firewood in any place of your choosing. For the longevity of your firewood, make sure you store it somewhere that is:
- Covered: Keep your firewood protected from rain, snow, and wind by covering it with a tarp, angled roof, or rack cover. You could also store it inside a small woodshed near your home. Doing this prevents it from being exposed to the elements and sustaining damage or absorbing moisture.
- Off the ground: Always stack firewood off the ground. Otherwise, you risk pest infestation or moisture transferring from the dirt to your wood. That issue can cause wood rot or render your firewood difficult to light. Instead, stack your wood on a raised platform or a sturdy slab made of wood or concrete.
- Near adequate airflow: Adequate airflow is the best way to preserve your wood’s integrity and maintain its effectiveness and aroma. Airflow will also combat any moisture that has made its way into your storage area. Make sure wherever you choose to store your wood is well ventilated, and be sure to avoid stacking the firewood too compactly for the bottom layers to access fresh air.
- Away from the foundation: Always keep firewood several feet away from the foundation of your home, preferably in a raised rack, to keep insects at bay and protect your foundation from accidental damage.
When you choose high-quality indoor fireplace wood from Cutting Edge Firewood, your shipment will be more than functional — our wood also looks great when displayed in your home. If you’re stacking your wood indoors, similar storage rules apply as when you store firewood outdoors. Opt for a ventilated storage area near your fireplace or wood stove for optimal comfort and convenience. Do not store wood in any areas of the home that are exceptionally moist or humid, such as directly under an air conditioner.
How Is Firewood Measured?
Most firewood suppliers follow the cord measurement standard, which refers to a stacked pile of wood that equals about 4-by-8 feet, with each individual piece being about 4 feet long. We wanted to do more than that by creating a uniform product that burns evenly and eliminates any confusion among retailers.
That’s why we sell all of our firewood via box and rack shipments, with specific dimensions listed online, depending on the type and size of wood you choose. By operating this way, we make it easier for you to know exactly what to expect when your firewood shipment arrives — high-quality, durable wood that burns cleanly and evenly every time.