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What Is Firewood Popping and How Can We Stop It?

What Is Firewood Popping and How Can We Stop It?

Jonathan Hill |

Tips for stopping Firewood From Popping

Nothing ruins an otherwise perfect evening around the fire like loud pops coming from the firewood. This distracting noise can be caused by moisture trapped in the wood. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to minimize unwanted popping and cracking sounds when burning firewood.

The Cause of Popping Wood

When wood burns, the moisture inside the logs heats up and turns to steam. This builds pressure within the wood and causes it to explode or "pop" when the steam forces its way out. Wet, unseasoned wood tends to pop more due to higher moisture content.

Benefits of Kiln Dried Firewood

Kiln drying is a process that uses heat to remove moisture from cut firewood. Kiln dried wood has several advantages:

  • Less than 20% internal moisture content
  • Burns hotter and more efficiently
  • Produces less smoke and harmful emissions
  • Significantly reduced popping/crackling sounds

The kiln drying process bakes water out of the wood, preventing it from turning to steam and popping when burned. This makes kiln dried wood the best choice for a relaxing fire.

Tips for Preventing Pops

If kiln dried wood isn't available, you can take steps to reduce popping with regular firewood:

Buy Seasoned Wood

Seasoned firewood has been air dried over months to lower the moisture content. Avoid freshly cut "green" wood.

Split Large Logs

Splitting exposes more surface area to dry out. Quarter larger logs before burning.

Stack and Cover Wood

Stack split wood off the ground in a covered area to promote airflow and shield from rain/snow.

Check Moisture Content

Use a moisture meter to test water content. Ideal moisture for firewood is below 20%.

Start with Kindling

Begin with kiln dried kindling before adding larger logs. Gradually build up the fire.

Mix in Kiln Dried Wood

If you have some kiln dried logs, mix them in with regular wood to reduce popping.

Enjoy the Ambiance

By sourcing properly dried firewood or taking steps to reduce moisture, you can eliminate annoying popping sounds and enjoy your firepit or fireplace to the fullest. Look for sustainably sourced kiln dried wood or follow these guidelines for burning smooth, quiet fires. The right wood makes all the difference in creating the perfect relaxing ambiance.