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What are the best logs to burn on a log burner?

What are the best logs to burn on a log burner?

Jonathan Hill |

If you've recently installed a log burner and are wondering what the best logs to use are, you're not alone. The answer, however, might surprise you. The best logs to burn are not necessarily the most expensive, the heaviest, or the most fragrant. It all boils down to one crucial factor: dryness. Let's explore how different types of logs might affect your log burning experience and why kiln-dried logs might just be the answer you're looking for.

The Importance of Dryness in Firewood

The moisture content in firewood can make a significant difference to the heat output, burn duration, and smoke production. Kiln-dried logs, for instance, are renowned for their low moisture content, which can be less than 20%.

This makes them a top choice for log burners, delivering superior performance when compared to their wet or 'green' counterparts. But what makes these kiln-dried logs special? The answer lies in the kiln drying process, which removes more moisture from the wood than traditional air drying methods. This results in logs that burn hotter, longer, and cleaner than most other types of firewood.

But don't just take my word for it. Find out more about why kiln-dried firewood is considered better for yourself.

Comparing Different Types of Firewood

While dryness is key, the type of wood also matters. Different types of firewood possess different properties that can influence their burning qualities.


Oak is well-regarded for its long burning duration, making it perfect for those cold winter nights. This hardwood species is dense; therefore, it burns slower and provides a high heat output. The catch is, oak takes a long time to dry and so, oak logs are often more expensive. To learn more about the burn duration of kiln-dried oak, visit this page.


Ash is another hardwood that is often recommended for log burners owing to its good heat output and burn duration. Considered one of the best woods for burning, ash logs are easier to light even when they're not entirely dry. However, for optimal results, kiln-dried ash is the way to go. Find out more about the burn duration of kiln-dried ash here.


Alder is a lighter hardwood, which burns quicker but still provides a decent heat output and a beautiful flame. Alder is often cheaper than oak or ash, making it an excellent option for those on a budget. To understand the burn duration of kiln-dried alder, check out this link.

The Price Factor

While kiln-dried logs are undoubtedly high in quality, it's worth noting that they tend to be more expensive than their air-dried or 'green' counterparts. This is primarily due to the cost of the kiln drying process. You can learn more about why kiln-dried logs are more expensive here.

However, when you consider the benefits of burning kiln-dried logs - increased heat output, longer burn time, less smoke, and fewer residues - the added cost can often be justified. If you're still unsure whether kiln-dried logs are worth the investment, you can check out this piece to help inform your decision.

Final Thoughts

When choosing the best logs to burn on your log burner, remember that dryness is king. Kiln-dried logs, with their low moisture content, burn hotter, longer, and cleaner than most other types of firewood, making them an ideal choice for your log burner.

The type of wood also matters, with hardwood species like oak and ash being top picks due to their long burn duration and high heat output. However, don't disregard softer hardwoods like alder, which can offer good value for money.

Lastly, while kiln-dried logs may come with a higher price tag, the superior performance they deliver can often justify the investment. So, next time you're shopping for logs for your log burner, don't just look at the price tag - consider the quality and benefits you're getting in return.