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How to Get Started with an Indoor Wood Burner, Part 2: Fuel

Log burner

Napoleon in one of his existential musings stared into the fire and saw ‘mountains of swirling red flames, like huge ocean waves, exploding up into the sky of fire, then sinking into the sea of flames below.’ Sounds to us like his wood burner was top notch!

Ok so perhaps we are twisting the historical context a little here. The point is that we’re back with part 2 on how to get started with an indoor wood burner. In the first part, we covered which type and size of wood burner might be best for your home, as well as all the accessories you’ll need. If you missed it, you can check that out here. In this section of the series, we’re going to give you all of the information on that essential part of your wood burner journey: the fuel.

So, how do you choose which fuel to use in your indoor wood burner? Well, firstly it will depend on the type of burner that you’ve chosen. Some wood burners can only be used with certain kinds of fuel. For example, many wood burners only use wood products like kiln dried, seasoned or instant light logs. However, if you have chosen a multi-fuel stove you will also be able to use coal products like smokeless coal or house coal.

A quick heads up here people, it’s vital that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions, as some wood burners and stoves are not compatible with certain kinds of fuel, and if you do decide to burn these fuels you could cause serious damage to your appliance, or even cause a fire. This doesn’t sound too clever in our book.

In this article, we’ll give you some great info on all the kinds of fuel that you could use in your wood burner, from kiln dried to crackle logs. We’ll even go over some of the details on kindling and firelighters, so you’ve got everything you need for a warm and comfortable fire happily roaring away in your wood burner.

Smoke control areas

One of the key things that may affect your fuel choice is whether or not you live in a smoke control area. Your local council website is the best place to check this, as the areas are set and enforced by local councils. If you do live within a smoke control area, you’ll need to follow all of the regulations that govern what fuel can be burned in these areas.

What this means in practice is that you either need to choose a Defra approved wood burner, or use smokeless fuels like smokeless coal. If you really want to burn kiln dried logs, and you live in a smoke control area, choose an approved wood burner that’s designed for use with this kind of fuel. Find out more about the rules on smoke control areas here.

Types of Fuel

Wood Products

Kiln Dried Logs

Kiln dried logs are an extremely popular fuel for wood burners, and it’s not hard to see why. With a moisture level of under 20%, they’re super consistent, easy to light, long lasting, and have high heat output.

Plus, kiln dried logs are better for the environment, especially if they’re sustainably sourced. As these logs have been properly dried, you’re not wasting any energy burning off extra moisture content in the wood, so more of the energy in the wood that you burn gets converted to heat in your home.

If kiln dried logs sound like the perfect fuel for your wood burner, we have just the thing for you. Why not try Big K’s FSC certified and Woodsure accredited Kiln Dried Hardwood Logs. They are made from 100% sustainably sourced wood grown in the UK and they’re available in pallet deals and 250kg bags. So you can support the UK forest industry, do your bit for the environment and stock up on high quality firewood – all at the same time.

Seasoned Logs

Another popular wood fuel that’s commonly used on wood burners is seasoned logs. Unlike kiln dried logs, seasoned logs have simply been air dried. This technique leads to a slightly higher moisture content, typically around 30% or below. Properly seasoned logs are an efficient fuel that can be used in many circumstances.

As we always say, our extensive knowledge of the fuel industry allows us to produce the best quality products to meet your needs. So, if seasoned logs sound like the fuel you want to use, we’ve got you covered. Big K offers FSC certified Seasoned Hardwood Logs in either individual bags or as part of pallet deals. With a consistent moisture level of around 30%, these logs deliver a high heat output. Plus, they’re available in pallet deals, so you can buy in bulk and save up to 25%.

Compressed Saw Dust Heat Logs

Introducing the somewhat new kid on the block. Compressed heat log products may be relatively new to the market, but they’re quickly hotting up. These heat logs are made from compressed waste saw dust, and provide an ultra high heat output because the material is so pure. The moisture level can be as low as 8%, meaning they’re perfect for burning and quick to light.

If you’re thinking heat logs could be the way to go, Big K’s Compressed Saw Dust Heat Logs are the perfect option. They’re suitable for fireplaces and stoves and contain only by products of managed forests and recycled wood, with no additives or binders. It’s a 100% natural product, available in packs of 12 logs – or stock up with our pallet deals.

Coal Products

House Coal

House coal has fallen out of favour a little in recent years, as smokeless coal and other fuels become more popular. Also called bituminous coal, house coal can be used in multi-purpose stoves, but is not recommended for use in most wood burners.

Smokeless Coal

Meet house coal’s cleaner and clearer cousin. Smokeless coal can be used in multi-purpose stoves and smoke control areas, making it a popular choice for those with multi-fuel stoves within these areas.

If you live in a smoke control area, or just prefer the convenience of smokeless coal, Big K’s Smokeless Coal produces 80% less smoke than coal, and burns for 5-6 hours. It’s available in 10kg or 20kg bags, and you could save up to 35% by using our pallet deals.

Instant Light Products

Instant Light Fire Logs

Instant light products are relatively new to the market, but they’ve rapidly grown in popularity amongst those who use indoor wood burners. It seems convenience is the name of the game these days. Each log is individually wrapped with the special easy to light wrapper, so they’re super clean and easy to handle. They’re ideal for use on wood burners and stoves, as well as on multi-fuel stoves, and they’re made from recycled saw dust and wax, so they’re better for the environment, too. Plus, some of these instant light products are even authorised for use in smoke control areas.

Looking to make things easier and breezier? Try Big K’s Instant Light Fire Logs. Each log gives you around 2 hours of burn time and they’re perfect for wood burners, multi-fuel stoves and even open fires. Take advantage of our case deals today and get 1 free for every case of 10 you buy.

Instant Light Crackle Logs

These logs are definitely for the fuel nostalgia fans out there. If you want the convenience of instant light heat logs, but miss the crackle and pop of real wood, instant light crackle logs are the perfect fuel for you. These logs are packed in the special instant light wrapper, so they’re super easy to light. The best part? They’re specially designed to crackle and pop when burned – just like real wood.

Are you missing that classic crackling fire vibe? Fear not. It’s time to feed your inner purist with Big K’s Instant Light Crackle Logs. Plus, you can get an extra free log with every case of 10 you buy.

Kindling and firelighters

They say there’s no smoke without fire. That’s true. But there’s also no fire without a spark. So now you’ve been through all of the options for fuelling your fire, we want to tell you a little more about how to get it started. It’s vital that you’ve got the right materials for starting your fire. A fire that doesn’t burn consistently can be smoky and inefficient.

To make sure your fire is easy to light, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got a healthy supply of kindling and some firelighters. If you’re looking to stock up on fire accessories, and make a saving too, take advantage of our latest offer: buy 8 bags of Big K’s Kiln Dried Kindling and get an extra bag completely free. Why not add some of our Woodies Natural Wood Wool Firelighters to your basket too, and enjoy a beautiful roaring fire in no time at all.

Phew, we burnt through a lot of information there. We hope the wood burner picture is getting clearer and clearer for you. In the next part of this 3 part series on how to get started with your indoor wood burner, we’ll go into more detail on some of the ways to get your fire started. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram to be the first to know when we post it.