How to Cure Firewood

 

The most important attribute of firewood is its moisture content. Using firewood with high moisture content will produce a smoky fire with a weak heat output but more importantly, as a result of a low temperature fire, built up gases and acids that condense on the chimney will form creosote creating a recipe for disaster that could ignite a major fire. Firewood with a moisture content higher than twenty percent will burn, but it will be hard to light and even harder to keep burning. Firewood should be between 15 and 20 percent moisture to burn properly and to get that dry it must be split and stacked in the open for at least a full summer. This process is known as Wood Curing.


firewood rack

Proper Log Placement

Firewood should be stacked in a base that is at least a few inches from the ground to support the stack of firewood. If the wood is  directly on the ground, insects and moisture from the ground could slow down the curing process. Raising the firewood off of the ground will allow sunlight, oxygen, wind, and other natural elements to dry out the firewood and penetrate the underside of the pile for an enhanced fuel source that will burn brighter and longer. Methods of raising the firewood off of the ground include  using pallets, cinder blocks, and by far the most sturdy, promising option, Firewood Racks.  

 

 Uncovered Wood

Popular Stacking Method

The crisscross stacking pattern is a popular technique that many use to cure firewood. The alternating direction of the logs creates a foundation that sunlight and wind can pass through to draw moisture from the firewood and also, it provides the proper spacing needed to protect firewood from excess dampness and mold. The crisscross stacking method also helps create a sturdier pile that won't topple.  

 


Wood Cover

Protect Curing Firewood

If the forecast is calling for rain or frost, curing firewood can be covered with clear, heavy plastic sheeting with open ends to allow proper air circulation. Dark covers should not be used during the curing process however, if your current log rack has a dark cover or you are in the market for a log rack with a heavy duty cover, fully cured firewood is more than fine being housed in a log rack with a dark cover. As long as the wood curing process was executed correctly, it should take anywhere from 4 months to a year for firewood to become fully seasoned. Softer woods may take up to twice as long to go through the curing process. When firewood reaches a moisture content of 20% or less, it is safe and ready to burn.

 

Tools to make curing firewood a little easier

mingo marker

The Mingo Marker accurately measures and marks logs faster than conventional methods making it easy to cut wood into clean, even lengths for safe stacking and efficient burning.

View more details and watch a video about the Mingo Marker

log splitters

Electric Log Splitters take all of the back breaking hard labor out of splitting firewood. Experience faster splitting sessions and spend more time enjoying the warmth of your wood burning fire. 

View more of our selection of Log Splitters

moisture meter

The amount of moisture in firewood can quickly and easily be determined by using a Moisture Meter. Simply push the four prongs into the firewood's split face to quickly produce a moisture reading between 3 and 40% on a large backlit LCD display. Wood with a 15 to 20% moisture level burns best, producing the most heat and minimum creosote build-up.

firewood rack

Heavy duty Firewood Racks are not only an essential tool used in the firewood curing process, but a convenient accessory that keeps clean, dry, ready to burn firewood on hand. Firewood racks come in various shapes, styles and sturdy materials with fireplace tools and heavy duty covers to reduce fireplace maintenance throughout the burning season.