What Wood To Burn In A Chiminea?

by Chen Winnie
What Wood To Burn In A Chiminea?


What kind of wood should you choose to burn for the chiminea just bought? It is a question for most people when winter comes. So here comes the article going to show you a list of woods recommended for chiminea, tips to choose wood and note for you.


Types Of Wood For Chiminea

Pinon Firewood

  • BTU: 23 million per cord.
  • Technically a softwood, it is harder, more dense, and has a higher BTU than most softwoods.
  • Popular for its nice pine aroma while burning.
  • Easy to light, puts out plenty of heat, burns long and produces little ash.
Pinon Firewood


Apple Firewood

  • BTU: 27 million per cord.
  • Excellent for smoking heat and heating space.
  • Slow-burning, long-lasting with high heat production.
  • Its smoke has a great, sweet smell, but a little bit difficult to split.
  • Not available in some areas like North America cause it is not native.
Apple Firewood


Hickory Firewood

  1. BTU: 30.6 million per cord.
  2. Excellent coaling properties, low smoke, and pleasant fragrance. 
  3. Burns clean and lasts long.
  4. Ease of splitting
Hickory Firewood


Cherry Firewood

  • BTU: 20.0 million per cord
  • User friendly because it splits easy and dries faster than others.
  • Lovely smell while burning.
  • Seems spark more while burning and is a moderate heat producer.
Cherry Firewood


Walnut Firewood

  • BTU: 20.0 to 22.2 million per cord according to different species.
  • Clean burning hardwood without a lot of smoke or sparks but produces adequate heat.
  • Pleasant aroma and is easy to split.
  • Not available all across the United States.
Walnut Firewood


Oak Firewood

  • BTU: 26 million per cord.
  • Dense and burn slowly means that they provide long lasting heat source.
  • One of the most common trees in North America.
  • Low moisture content guarantees higher heat output.
  • Burns well and produces relatively few sparks.
Oak Firewood

Absolutely there other woods are suitable to burn in a Chiminea other than 6 common fire woods listed above. But here comes another question: green wood and seasoned wood, what are they?  What should you choose?


Know More About Green Wood

what Is Green Wood?

Definition from Google: Green wood refers to wood that has been recently cut down and has not had an opportunity to season. Seasoning refers to the drying on the internal moisture that is in the wood. Green wood is considered to have a 100% moisture content relative to air dried or seasoned wood.


Why Green Wood Is Bad?

  • Hard to keep fire burning

It takes heat to evaporate moisture from green wood before the wood is burned up and fire would contantly go out.


  • Smoky

Water vapor takes the place of clean air that is needed for a fire to thrive and incomplete combustion of fire wood could produce thick heavy smoke. Thicker smoke means more creosote.


  • Corrosive

Acids sulfuric and hydrochloric acids etc would be formed to  corrode your chimney when water reacts with creosote.


  • Creosote builds up in chimney

Green wood smoke is not as hot as seasoned wood and is heavier due to water content would lead to slow-moving heavy smoke gets to spend more time in the chimney flue and then deposit particulates on the inner flue wall.


  • Dangerous

Chimney fire would happen if you burn green wood often then thick and uneven inner flue wall formed after a period of time. It is quite serious when it comes to home destroyed and people died every year because of chimney fire.


Know More About Seasoned Wood

What Is Seasoned Wood?

Seasoned wood is defined as wood that is split and stacked and allowed to dry until the moisture content of the wood is down to 15-25%.


What's The Differences Between Green Wood And Seasoned Wood?

Water Content 100% 20%
Weight heavy lighter
Sound dull thud higher-pitched clink
Split hard  easy 
Bark  still stuck on begin to separate
End light color dark and grey
Catch Alight difficult easy
Heat Generation less heat more heat


I believe you are familiar with fire woods suitable for chiminea with the information above. But what you can't put into a chiminea. It is also a question need to be answered because there are a number of things we do not recommend you avoid burning in a chiminea.


What Not To Burn In A Chiminea?

Treated Woods

Any kind of lumber that is chemically preserved and pressure treated would produce toxic chemicals while burning.



Any kind of rubbish should be totally avoid like plastic, paper, rubber and rubbish bags because they would also release pollutants immediately into the air and smells awful.


Cardboard or Paper

It is at a high risk of causing fire hazards for surroundings because they can produce large flakes.


Poison Ivy

Do not use wood that's wapped in ivy. Poisonous oils contained in vines would be released in vapor from while burning.


Three More Items 

Green woods, garden clippings or food scraps are not recommend to burn because they could cause potential issue to your chiminea.



All in all, it is always the seasoned fire wood you shoud burn in a chiminea instead of green fire wood to avoid all kinds of hassles.









by Chen Winnie