When you’re wanting to find some of the best wood to use for fires while camping or just having a bonfire at home, you truly should consider heat-treated firewood. We know what you’re thinking though, isn’t all firewood eventually heat treated if it ends up in a fire? Not exactly.
One might then ask, what even is heat-treated firewood in the first place?
In a nutshell, heat-treated firewood is firewood that has been treated to remove any insects or pathogens that might be in the wood itself. It is also known for lighting more easily than traditional wood and tends to burn very well.
The best part about it is that unlike some types of wood you might just uncover in nature, heat-treated firewood is safe to cook over. Regular wood you might use in a fire, even though it is going to be heated up, will still be able to expel pathogens.
Therefore, this is the safest option you can have if you’re just wanting something to use pretty much anywhere. On top of this, it’s essentially water-resistant too, and will thus be able to work in multiple different scenarios and places.
How Do You Heat Treat Wood?
This is kind of a weird thing for some because it seems like it would be an easy answer. Yet it’s actually a bit more complicated than one might assume. Keep in mind that the wood itself has to be heated which means it might need to catch on fire some but not for long.
At the same time, you need to make sure you treat it long enough to remove any issues. That means insects and pathogens need to be completely gone. Yet you do not want to heat the wood to a point where it kills the issues but also compromises the wood itself.
Therefore, it needs to reach a proper temperature while not risking the wood itself. The way this is typically done is by putting the wood in a closed chamber until it reaches around 133 degrees Fahrenheit or 56 degrees Celcius.
It needs to be here for at least 30 minutes to kill everything it needs to kill, which will then give you perfected treated wood that is ready to sell. However, current American ruling dictates that it reach roughly 140 degrees Fahrenheit or 60 degrees Celcius for 60 minutes.
Kiln Dried vs Heat Treated Firewood: Which Is Better?
We should not speak negatively about Kiln-Dried Firewood because it can work pretty well. This is as the name suggests, wood that is dried in a kiln oven of some sort. Doing this will essentially bake the wood.
It will take a bit of time to prepare the wood in this area but it will be very efficient. The best part is that it removes moisture very well, roughly 10 to 20 percent. It is important to keep some moisture but the removal of excess amounts natural to the wood is useful. In particular, it is great to have for cooking purposes.
The only true problem with this is that it can bake for an unknown period of time. It will often vary and truly there is such a wide range that it could differ wildly from place to place.
The one big difference is in regard to where it is used and even how it is used. Kiln-dried firewood is often larger and harder to move around. This is why it is typically used for cooking at a restaurant or even a factory that might make certain food products.
You might also see it used for buildings, so it’ll be at most construction sites.
There are certain legality issues with using it outside specific quarantined areas too. Yet none of this is a problem for heat-treated firewood at all.
It comes in various sizes and can be moved around with ease. On top of this, it’s also safe to cook with but it also goes through regulatory checks in how it is made. Thus, it is hard to break any laws using it somewhere in the United States or any other country.
It is hard to say which is better because it often depends on your interpretation. In terms of which is best for everything…it’s heat-treated firewood all day. But if you just ask about the best to cook with, then kiln dried firewood would be better.
Does Heat Treated Firewood Need To Be Certified?
This all truly depends on the country you’re in but if we’re just discussing the United States of America, it truly needs to be certified. Heat-treated firewood is beloved due to being able to use it pretty much anywhere.
Yet this can only be done if it meets certain standards. Therefore, in order to be possible to use in several areas including every National Park in the country pretty much, it has to pass specific certification laws.
You may ask, how do you even know if it is certified at all before buying? Simple, the packaging will inform you of this. It must have either a state or federal seal on it, even both in some places. If none are visible, then it is not certified by the government.
Therefore, uncertified types would not be legal to use all over the country.
Can’t I Just Use Regular Wood Or Wood I Bring From Home?
Truly this comes down to where you might be starting a fire. If you’ll be camping in a random forest somewhere, it really does not matter. This is especially not a big deal if it is private land you or someone you know happens to own.
This USDA certification is important when using firewood in most forests outside of private land. Therefore, State Parks or National Parks will not permit the use of just any type of wood.
On top of this, many will not allow you to touch any of the trees or even wood on the ground to make your fire. This is for understandable reasons, such as wanting to preserve the park.
You cannot bring wood from home because it is likely not free of insects and certainly not free from pathogens. Introducing this when burning wood could be cause for alarm if you introduce something that harms the entire ecosystem of the forest.
This is why it is actually illegal to do this at most of these parks.
The way people have gotten around this is heat-treated firewood. Therefore, using it is pretty smart as it can go just about anywhere.
What Is The Average Cost?
The average cost will differ somewhat depending on the place you buy it at. However, the typical price of 0.75 cubic unit foot bundles cost around $5.00. This is pretty fair in pricing when comparing it to non-heat treated wood.
This can be priced anywhere between $4.00 and $6.00 for the same amount per bundle.
It is also unlikely you’ll need to pay more than $10.00 for any single day camping. If you keep your fire going properly too, it could last for a while.
Therefore, since the cost is roughly the same or less, you’re even getting a better value with heat-treated firewood as opposed to the other.