Best Wood For Fire Pit Options (4 Hardwoods)

firewood burning in a small fire pit with a stone table and a bottle of red wine nearby

It really doesn’t get much more fun than a burning wood fire pit on a cool evening.  Wood burning fire pits create a dancing flame for you and your guests to connect around.  If you’re new to owning a wood burning fire pit, or recently moved to a new area, you may be wondering what the best wood for fire pit is.  Though this is heavily dependent on location and fire pit type, there are a few constants we can review below, as well as a couple things look for that’ll make your life a bit easier.

What Is The Best Wood For Fire Pit Settings?

Ultimately, the best wood for fire pit is hardwood.  Stick to the hardwoods like oak, maple, apple, hickory and so on. That way you’re more likely to have a fire without the spitting, sparking, and hissing.  However, if you don’t have dry wood, you can have all three with hardwood also.  

Problems With Wood Fire Pits

Let’s start out with some of the issues with wood burning fire pits.  First, there’s excess smoke.  Granted, you could go buy or build a smokeless fire pit. After all, models such as the Solo Stove grown in popularity every year. This would solve the issue once and for all.  But not everyone likes the look of a smokeless fire pit.  Sometimes you just want the traditional fire pit like you grew up with.  Some species of wood create more smoke than others.  Wet wood for example will burn eventually, but produces more smoke in the process.  We recommend only using dry wood in a fire pit.  

The next issue is related to wet wood, but also applies to the sap rich evergreens like pine and cedar.  The second big problem is sparks and popping.  One of the most unnerving aspects of burning white pine in particular is the sparks which fly up into the air.  These can land anywhere, and if it’s fall when you often use the fire pit, they can land in a pile of leaves and create a very real fire hazard.  This is not something to take lightly.  First, always pay attention to weather conditions and only burn when the fire marshal has said it’s okay to do so.

Where To Find The Best Wood For Fire Pit Settings

In some places, like Austin Texas, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything but cedar to burn.  Sometimes the best wood for fire pit is the wood you have.  There just don’t happen to be any trees to burn which aren’t cedar trees for the most part.  Yes, there’s the occasional live oak that’ll blow over and get turned into firewood. However, if you’re buying your fire wood commercially, you’re stuck with cedar.  

hardwood burning as the best wood for fire pit settings in nature with green trees and water behind

How To Avoid Sparks From Non-Hardwood In Fire Pit

Sometimes you just don’t have access to hardwood for your fire pit. What can you do to reduce sparks?  You might consider adding a spark guard for your fire pit. These are available in both round and square.  If you use one of these, you’ll soon find out there’s a problem with them, and that is they are obscenely hot when you go to take them off to add wood.  This is where the fire proof gloves come in handy.

When choosing the best fire pit gloves for you, you’ll want to find gloves which protect not only your fingers, but your forearms as well.  Gloves are ideal to protect you not only from heat, but from the splinters you’ll find in the wood as well.  We like the Rapicca Welding Gloves for this purpose.  

These gloves are designed for professional welders, and if there’s something welders need it’s a thick strong set of gloves which will protect them from molten metal.  These have a reinforced leather finger and palm so you don’t have to worry about wearing through them for years to come.  Make sure you have these on whenever you are adding wood or adjusting the fire pit screen to protect you.