Not all firewood is equal this is true both in terms of their heat output and how they smell. A good smelling firewood doesn’t necessarily mean that is good firewood, although there are a couple of wood types which in addition to burning for a long time they will also smell extremely good. A lot of people underestimate how important the smell of the firewood actually is, only to find it unbearable to stay inside while some stinky firewood is burning.
The best smelling firewood is cherry firewood followed by, apple, pear, pine, mesquite, hickory, pecan, cedar, oak, birch, alder, and walnut. Some of these have a fruity smell, while others have a more distinct smell. A lot of these types of wood are also used as smoking meat due to their unique fragrance. If you want fruity-smelling firewood then go with cherry, pear, and apple. If you want a more festive type of smell then go with pine and hickory. If you want nutty smelly firewood then go with a walnut.
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If you have ever used elm as firewood then you have already noticed that elm has an extremely bitter smell when it is burning. If you are living off the grid and you are heating your home with firewood then it is extremely important to use firewood which has a pleasant smell. The different smells that firewood makes will sooner or later be absorbed by clothes and other textiles.
This is why it is important to have a nice smelling firewood for the most part. There are a couple of firewood that do have a nice fragrance to them when they are burning, although this doesn’t guarantee that your firewood will smell nice. The problem with a lot of firewood is with their pests and burrowing insects, if the firewood contains a lot of pests and insects it will smell awful no matter what kind of firewood you use.
In addition to this, it is extremely important for the firewood to be fully cured, which means that when you are burning the firewood it has to be dry. How dry or how wet the firewood is will also determine what kind of smell it will make while burning. There are a couple of wood types that should never be used as firewood, not only because they smell bad but they can also be toxic, for more information check out my recent article What wood is toxic to burn ( Top 13 ).
Best Smelling Firewood
Choosing the right firewood not only affects the heat output but also adds a delightful aroma to your indoor or outdoor fires. Opting for the best smelling firewood can enhance your overall fire experience, creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Different types of wood produce varying scents when burned, ranging from sweet and fragrant to spicy and aromatic. For example, woods like cedar and pine offer a pleasant resinous fragrance, while fruitwoods such as apple and cherry provide a sweet and delightful aroma. Additionally, woods like hickory and mesquite impart a smoky and savory scent, perfect for outdoor grilling and smoking.
1. Cherry Firewood Has A Fruity Smell
The best smelling firewood is cherry, there is simply no other firewood that even comes close to it. The cherry wood gives off a unique fragrance once it is burning, and the best way I can describe it to you is a “festive smell”. A lot of people use cherry firewood during the December holidays, as it makes the entire house smell nice for a fairly long time. Although cherry firewood tends to be fairly expensive, instead of making the entire fire use cherry wood you should use neutral-smelling wood, and add a couple of cherry firewood in the mix, trust me the smell will be amazing.
2. Apple Firewood Has A Sweet And Fruity Smell
Apple firewood is extremely popular with people who are often smoking different meats. The main reason why it is so popular is due to its nice fruity smell, it almost smells sweet. In addition to smoking meat, apple is often used as firewood for heating homes. This is an excellent hardwood which not only burns for a long time but it also gives off a nice fruity smell. You only need a couple of pieces of apple firewood to make a nice smell. If you are new to living off the grid then check out my recent article Off grid living in Delaware ( The Diamond State ).
3. Pear Firewood Has A Fruity Smell
If you like fruity-smelling firewood then the pear is excellent for you. Pear is often used to smoke meat, and it gives off a sweet and fruity smell. In addition to this, it is excellent for heating as it is a hardwood, it will burn for a long time and it will also generate a lot of heat. The main downside of using pear wood as firewood is that it can be rather expensive, but if you like the fruity smell and you don’t want to spend a lot of money then you can get apple firewood which has a similar smell to it.
4. Pine Firewood Has A Festive Smell
Pine is often used as firewood during the holiday season, although not the best firewood for heating but it does make a nice Christmasy smell. Only a couple of pieces of pine firewood will make the house smell like Christmas in no time. The problem with pine wood is that it is a softwood, which means that it burns fast and doesn’t give off a lot of heat. In addition to this as pine contains a lot of sap and oils it is fairly dangerous to burn in a fireplace as it could easily ignite the chimney. If you are living off the grid and you need a backup generator then check out my recent article Best off grid propane generators ( Top 11 ).
5. Mesquite Firewood Has A Strong And Unique Smell
Mesquite wood is often used to smoke meat as it has a rather peculiar smell. The smell of mesquite wood is closer to the smell of barbeque than to anything else, some people love the smell while others are not that fond of it. On the other hand, mesquite wood is excellent for burning, it is a hardwood and it will generate a lot of heat, just keep in mind that it also tends to make a lot of smoke.
6. Hickory Firewood Smells Of Barbeque
Hickory wood is often used by people to heat their homes as they tend to be relatively cheap and they do provide plenty of heat and even a nice smell. There are around 15 species of hickory wood in the country and all of them smell the same when burned although some of them do have a stronger smell. The best part about hickory wood is that it is a hardwood which means that it will make a lot of heat and it will also burn for a long time in addition to having a nice smell.
7. Pecan Firewood Has A Nutty Smell
The pecan wood is part of the hickory genus, which means that both in terms of smell and heat output the pecan wood is fairly similar to the hickory. Basically, the pecan and the hickory wood are the same things, although depending on the region they will have different smells when burned. Most people find that the smell of pecan is somewhat more intense and powerful than the smell of hickory wood.
8. Cedar Firewood Smells Festive Similar To Pine
Cedar is a softwood which doesn’t make it an ideal firewood although it does have a nice smell. Cedar tends to contain a lot of sap and oils, and this is what gives the cedar firewood its nice smell. The smell of the cedar firewood is so good that it is even used for aromatherapy and in a lot of spas around the world. Although you have to make sure that the cedar is fully seasoned, or else due to the sap and oils it could ignite your chimney.
9. Oak Firewood Smells Of Vinegar
Oak is extremely similar to hickory when it comes to the heat output and fragrance as well. The major difference is that the oak gives off a more subtle smell than hickory wood does. Oak is also a hardwood which makes it excellent for heating a home as it burns for a long time and it generates a lot of heat while burning. Just make sure that the oak doesn’t have any burrowing beetles, if it does you have to remove them as this will make the oak wood smell rather bad.
10. Birch Firewood Smells Of Incense
Although birch wood is not ideal as firewood as it is a softwood, but it does have a nice and subtle fragrance. The main problem with all softwoods is that they tend to burn way too fast, and they do not burn hot enough. Most people who use birch as firewood mostly use it as kindling, mostly because it catches on fire extremely fast. Although birch wood tends to burn fairly fast the aromatic smell which it gives off will last for a long time.
11. Alder Firewood Has A Slightly Sweet Smell
Alder wood is often used for making furniture as it is a high-quality wood that looks amazing in most homes. You can also use alder as firewood as it is a hardwood and it also gives off a nice sweet smell while burning. Although it is considered a hardwood it does burn significantly faster than most hardwoods, almost as fast as softwood. Although it is not the best firewood for heating but if you want to make your home smell nice then it is extremely good.
12. Walnut Firewood Has A Nutty Smell
If you are a fan of stronger fragrances then the walnut firewood is for you. Walnut tends to have a nutty smell when it is burned, although it is a rather strong smell for some people. In some areas, the walnut wood is often used to smoke meat due to its excellent smell. Walnut wood is a hardwood, in addition to having a nutty smell, it will also generate a lot of heat and burn for a long time.
- Opt for aromatic hardwoods as they tend to produce pleasant and long-lasting fragrances when burned. Examples of aromatic hardwoods include cedar, hickory, cherry, and apple wood. These woods infuse the air with delightful scents, adding to the ambiance and enjoyment of a fire.
- Fruit tree woods, such as apple, cherry, and pear, are known for their fragrant aromas when burned. They impart a sweet and pleasant scent to the air, making them popular choices for firewood. These woods are often prized not only for their scent but also for their beautiful flame colors and slower burn rates.
- While softwoods generally burn faster and produce more smoke, some softwoods are valued for their appealing scents. Woods like pine, fir, and spruce can emit a pleasant aroma when burned. However, it’s important to note that these softwoods should be well-seasoned to minimize excessive smoke and ensure a cleaner burn.