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Journey into the kiln and heat up your log knowledge

A close up of chopped logs ready to go in the kiln

Wood is ancient. Seriously: we’re talking like 400 million years old. Over the ages, man has found ever more ingenious ways to benefit from this precious resource. Today we’re going to jump into the realm of kiln dried logs. Ok yes, they are not the most glamorous members of the wooden pantheon. However kiln dried hardwood logs have played a vital role in our survival, acting as a fuel to heat homes and hearts across the UK. So what do you know about these dry characters emerging out of the kiln? Let’s get into it.

 

Why should firewood be as dry as possible?

Before jumping into the intricacies of the kiln drying process, let’s take a step back to examine the wider picture at play. Comprehension leads to better choices at the end of the day. Now, wood needs to be as dry as possible for burning. Why? Well when you burn wet or moist wood in your fireplace, heat and energy is used to evaporate all that water from the wood. And you don’t need an Oxford degree to realise that this means a less efficient and lower temperature burn. Not to mention all the impurities, resins and condensates that get stuck in your chimney. These bad boys can defo cause chimney fires if you’re not careful. So basically we’re laying all this out to say that drier wood is obviously the way to go. Drier wood equals a safer, better and more efficient burn.

 

Kiln dried wood is burning in a fire bowl outdoors

 

What should I look out for when buying firewood and logs?

First thing’s first: make sure that you are buying properly dried wood. But how do you know whether each log has been given the hairdryer treatment or kiln dried action? The key is in the moisture content. Anything sub 20% is a good indicator of proper drying processes. Thanks to this low moisture content, the firewood will burn consistently, emitting minimal smoke. This also means you’ll avoid those ghastly black stains on your glass stove door.

 

Can I burn wet firewood?

Moving to wetter territories. Most green or fresh cut wood clocks in with whopping internal moisture level of 50%. And we all know how that story ends – tiny flames, cold shivers and a solitary tear of disappointment. Burning wet wood usually damages the flu in your burner, plus you’ll find yourself groping around in a load of smog and smoke in no time at all. So while it is technically possible to burn wet wood to varying degrees, we wouldn’t recommend that you give it a shot.

 

What is Kiln drying?

Great question: after all we have been banging on about it for all this time. Kiln drying is a heating process that brings the internal moisture levels of green wood down to 20% or less. The drying is done in kilns – specially designed chambers where heated air is circulated over wood to remove internal moisture. Just picture a large oven with a gargantuan fan for air circulation and you’re kind of in the right realm. Just to give an idea of scale: the average kiln can dry up to 100 pallets of wood at once. This is some heavy-duty stuff!

 

Close up of cut sections of kiln dried wood logs

 

How do you kiln dry wood?

Sorry if it feels like we are spoon-feeding you a dollop of the obvious here. But we’re all about being as thorough as possible. You kiln dry wood by…yes you’ve guessed it: drying wood in a kiln. As we touched on previously, using a kiln allows one to control the drying environment, from temperature and humidity, to steam levels and time duration. Typically we’re looking at 70°C temperatures blasted on and off over a period of 4-6 days, depending on the efficiency of the kiln.

So what can you expect once the dry-athlon is complete? In two words: high performance. As kiln dried logs are so dry, they are easy to light with no issues. Expect a killer burn and super high heat output as standard. Finally enjoy a cleaner burn with no excessive tarring or soot in your flue or chimney. Definitely sounds like winning in our book.

 

A close up shot of a bunch of kiln dried wood next to a burnt out fire pit

 

Kiln dried wood versus seasoned wood – which is better?

We’re sure that you have come across the term ‘seasoned wood’ on your existential travels. However here’s a recap. Seasoned wood is simply wood that has been dried in natural outdoor conditions without any human intervention. Of course there is seasoned wood out there. And you can even season your own wood for your fire. However does some serious seasoning stand up to scrutiny? Let’s get a dust up going.

 

Seasoned Logs: Pros

You can cut, dry and season the firewood yourself

An extremely well seasoned log can perform almost as well as kiln dried log

 

Seasoned Logs: Cons

The seasoning process can take anything form 1 -2 years. Yaaawwn!

If you go all DIY and season the wood yourself, other logistics such as storage and space come into play.

Usually you will only hit about 25% internal moisture levels with seasoning. To push down to sub 20% and lower, you’ll require some seriously good weather in the summer. Fat chance in the UK.

Kiln Dried Logs: Pros

You can burn your logs straightaway.

Massive heat and a cleaner burn.

You can pick up your kiln dried logs as and when you need them. There’s no need to fins storage space and so on.

Kiln dried logs are always available on co.uk 24/7

No excessive tarring or soot in your flue or chimney

 

Kiln Dried Logs: Cons

This isn’t really a con but kiln dried hardwood logs and wood are a little more expensive than seasoned logs. However the performance and quality justifies the price and the higher efficiency of burn means that you will save more money in the long term.

 

Where can I buy Kiln dry logs?

In case you have been sleeping under a pile of logs all this time, we’d like to let you know that you can buy all the kiln dried logs you could ever need at bigkproducts.co.uk. We’re not blowing our own trumpet here: but we know a thing or two when it comes to winter fuel, heating and of course kiln dried logs. This is because we have spent decades sourcing and producing the highest quality firewood possible. We know what it takes and the care that is needed. Our passion lives in every fibre of every log. Here’s a breakdown of all our key kiln dry kings.

 

Big K Kiln dried logs characteristics

We have all kinds of kiln dry wood to float your fuel boat. Whichever product you choose, you can rest assured that every log has these key characteristics.

100% Grown in Britain

FSC & GiB certified and Woodsure Ready to Burn accredited

Consistent moisture level of under 20%

Easy to light and long lasting

High heat output with less smoke and a better flame

Ideal for stoves, chimineas, fire pits, pizza ovens, cookers and open fires

Now that you know the main qualities of these dry darlings, let’s check out the different options.

 

A bilk bag of Big K kiln dried wood lies on a pallet ready for delivery

 

Kiln Dried Hardwood Logs FSC® – Bulk Bag  £139.99

If you’re looking to go big, and save big, then our Kiln Dried Hardwood Logs FSC® Bulk Bag is defo the way to go.

 

Kiln Dried Hardwood Logs FSC® and Grown in Britain £7.99

Meet the tried, tested and true workhorse of our kiln dried log range. These compact bags are lighting up life up and down the UK. Why not save up to 30% off and pick up a pallet deal?

 

A product shot on white background of Big K Kiln dried wood in a box

 

Kiln Dry FSC® Wood in a Box £8.99

Of course regular bags do the job. But, we’ve created something for the neat freaks and storage masters out there. Meet our Kiln dried logs in a box. Each Birch log is FSC® certified and Woodsure Ready to Burn accredited so you know that your bun will be off the charts. The best part? We would have to say the awesome box that maximises spatial efficiency and storage possibilities. Ok that’s just jargon for totally awesome. If you’re already salivating at the thought of some box-based action, you can also grab a pallet deal and give your wallet a little extra TLC!

 

More knowledge to make you a boss of the kiln dried kingdom

We have only just scratched the surface of nuance when it comes to kiln dry wood. However blog parameters and attention spans are only so accommodating. That doesn’t mean you can’t brush up on some kiln dry knowledge at your leisure. We have all kinds of deep dive blogs to fuel your curiosity from our handy kiln dry log guide to part two of our world of wood series.

That about does her. Ta-ta and see you again soon dear friends.