The latest buzz word to hit the firewood industry is ‘kiln dried’. I’m sure you’ve seen it popping up everywhere, but what does it mean? What are the benefits of using Kiln dried logs when compared to the long favoured seasoned log your grandparents used to split each winter?
As you are all aware, trees rely on water to flourish and grow, as do all plants. But the amount of water contained in a tree might come as a surprise. Some leading scientist’s put it at anywhere from 70%-90% depending on the type of tree. Hence the reason why your childhood attempts at lighting fires down the bottom of the garden, ended in smoke.
To execute the perfect fire, you need to neutralise its opposition: you need to remove the water. In former times this was done by selecting a batch of quality wood stock and storing it in a warm place to dry out: A process known as seasoning the wood.
The problem with seasoning wood is the space required for storing multiple batches of logs, and the time it takes to produce suitable firewood, which can range from 7 months to a full year depending on the type of wood and various environmental factors.
Kiln drying wood solves these two problems and results in much better end product. Affectively a kiln drier is a kin to a time machine! No, it won’t take you back to see the dinosaurs, nor is it bigger on the inside. But it does reduce the drying process time from one year, to an amazingly shorter time of just seven days! We simply pop in the freshly cut wood – known as green wood – light the burner and feed it all the offcuts, then shut the door and let the magic happen.
Over the next seven days the wood gradually bakes and all the water from deep within the fibre gets sucked out as the log dehydrates. This results in an even moisture content throughout all of the logs inside the kiln, which is below 10%. When you compare this to seasoned wood, which is anywhere between 20-40%, you can clearly see how much more effective kiln dried logs will be when burnt. Another benefit – especially if you hate cleaning as much as we do – is that reducing the moisture content to this low level, results in less smoke produced when its burnt and less soot clogging up your chimney.