Best-FirewoodEditor’s Note: This guide to the best firewood is excerpted from the Winter 2012 issue of Living Ready.

One of my friends once said as he looked over his personal library, “When I have a lot of good books I feel wealthy.” I feel the same way about firewood, but different types of firewood have different characteristics. Some burn fast with intense heat and some burn slow and ooze heat throughout the night. Others kick off too many sparks or smoke. Some wood, such as hickory or maple, are great for smoking meats, while evergreens, like pine or spruce, will leave your pork chop with a Pine-Sol flavor.

To help narrow things down, Living Ready put together this guide to the best firewood. Look for the embed code below to paste it onto your own website or blog.

SpeciesHeatlbs./cordEase of LightingCoaling QualitiesSparksFragrance
AlderMed-Low2540FairGoodModerateSlight
AppleHigh-Med4400DifficultExcellentFewExcellent
AshHigh3440Fairly DifficultGood-ExcellentFewSlight
BeechHigh3760DifficultExcellentFewGood
Birch (White)Med3040EastGoodModerateSlight
CherryMed2060DifficultExcellentFewExcellent
ElmHigh2260Very DifficultGoodVery FewFair
HickoryVery High4240Fairly DifficultExcellentModerateExcellent
IronwoodVery High4000Very DifficultExcellentFewSlight
Locust (Black)Very High3840DifficultExcellentVery FewSlight
MadroneHigh4320DifficultExcellentVery FewSlight
Maple (Red)High-Med3200Fairly DifficultExcellentFewGood
Maple (Sugar)High3680DifficultExcellentFewGood
MesquiteVery HighN/AVery DifficultExcellentFewExcellent
Oak (Live)Very High4600Very DifficultExcellentFewFair
Oak (Red)High3680DifficultExcellentFewFair
Oak (White)Very High4200DifficultExcellentFewFair
PecanHighN/AFairly DifficultGoodFewGood
WalnutHigh-MedN/AFairly DifficultGoodFewFair

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