Pine is one of many different types of firewood available to burn in wood stoves.
Pine is a softwood, and both softwood and hardwood logs have their place during fires, as each type has their own benefits and downsides when being used as firewood.
Pine can be a common type of firewood burnt in traditional open wood burning fireplaces, but can you burn pine in a wood stove?
Pine firewood can be fine for use in wood stoves at any stage of a fire, but is more popular for use as kindling when building and starting fires because of its hot and fast burning properties. If Pine is to be burnt in a wood stove it should be kiln dried or properly seasoned down to below 20% moisture content.
We only use Pine and other pieces of softwood when building fires in our wood stoves, or when we’re trying to get a struggling fire going.
We don’t typically burn Pine through the entire duration of our wood stove fires but we’ve explained in more detail below what properties Pine has that makes it useful for certain stages of a fire, and not as useful for others.
Can You Burn Pine In A Wood Stove?
All types of firewood can be burnt in a wood stove, including Pine.
Pine is within the family of softwoods, which have different properties compared to hardwoods.
While softwoods tend to be faster burning and can therefore generate more heat more quickly, hardwoods are typically denser and can burn more slowly, but can produce more heat over a longer duration from every piece burnt.
When it comes to having fires in wood burning stoves, it can be common for:
- Softwoods, such as Pine, to be used as kindling at the start of a fire and as logs when getting a fire going.
- Hardwood logs to be used for the remainder of a fire.
The aim at the start of every fire is to get it going as quickly as possible.
Using the wrong type and size of firewood at the start of a fire can hinder a fire from getting going well.
Large sized pieces of hardwood used when building a fire can prevent a fire from starting because higher temperatures and larger fires are required to help get a large hardwood log to catch fire.
Pine is therefore great for use as kindling when building fires because it can catch alight more easily, burn more quickly and get hotter more quickly compared to hardwood counterparts.
When building fires in our wood stoves we always use softwood kindling, which can include Pine.
Pine kindling used in conjunction with a form of fire lighter (such as newspaper) can help to get wood stove fires started quickly and easily.
For more information we’ve explained how to build and light a fire in a wood burning stove.
Although it’s preferable to use Pine as kindling when starting fires, Pine logs can still be used throughout fires if desired.
Using Pine logs can help create hotter and faster burning fires in your wood stove but you may find that you’re adding logs to the stove more often compared to if you were using hardwood logs.
Pine And Creosote
Although Pine and other types of softwood can typically have higher contents of resin/sap compared to hardwoods, this won’t typically affect the rate of buildup of creosote.
The University of Georgia explains that:
‘Some people assume the sticky resins in pine firewood cause more creosote residues than hardwood. Research has found this to be false.’University of Georgia
The University of Georgia goes onto explain that creosote buildup is in many cases more likely to be due to low temperature fires.
Creosote can be released by fires and line the walls of a chimney or flue.
Creosote buildup can occur in stages and get progressively worse over time, and poorly burning fires are more likely to release creosote compared to clean burning and hotter fires.
We have a complete guide to creosote for more information.
It can therefore be fine to burn Pine throughout all of your fires from a creosote standpoint, but it must be ensured that wood stove fires aren’t smoldering and burning too low in temperature.
We use stove thermometers to see how well our wood stoves are burning.
By seeing what temperature your stove is burning at you can help to ensure that it’s kept within the best operation temperatures. Our stove thermometer shows temperature bands in which you can see whether it’s running too hot or too cold.
If a stove is operating too low in temperature then more creosote can be produced as a result.
If a wood stove is running too hot then it can be burning through the firewood too quickly for it to be an efficient heat source.
Stove thermometers are a great bit of kit of your stove. You can find our recommended stove thermometers in our essential tools guide here.
Seasoned Pine Firewood
At whatever stage of a wood stove fire you’re burning Pine you’ll need to ensure that you’re only using kiln dried or fully seasoned firewood.
Burning Pine that is too wet can lead to fires that:
- Are hard to get going
- Struggle to keep going
- Can be producing more smoke than usual
- Generating little amounts of heat
It’s therefore important that when burning Pine, or any other type of firewood, it should have a moisture content of 20% or lower.
As the moisture content goes above this 20% threshold Pine becomes progressively harder for a fire to burn effectively.
You can use a moisture meter to check the moisture content level of your firewood, and you can find our recommended moisture meters here.
A moisture meter is an essential tool for any wood burning stove. Ensuring that you’re only burning dry wood can lead to more successful and hotter burning fires.
As Pine can commonly be used for kindling, ensuring that it’s as dry as possible will help to prevent your fires from going out when starting.
For more information we’ve explained what the moisture content of firewood should be and how to check in another article here.
Pine can be burnt in wood stoves.
Pine, along with other types of softwood, is more commonly used as kindling when building and starting fires because it has the beneficial properties of burning fast and hot, both of which help a fire to get going during its initial stages.
However, Pine logs can still be used throughout the duration of fires, but will typically burn at a faster rate compared to if hardwood logs were used.
Any Pine kindling or logs should always be properly seasoned to below 20% moisture content before being used in a wood stove to ensure that it burns without any issues.
What A Fire In A Wood Stove Should Look Like