How to stop a fire pit smoking?
There is nothing worse than sitting around a fire pit and getting covered in smoke constantly but have you ever wondered, How to stop a fire pit smoking?
You’ll never eliminate all smoke but the best way to reduce smoke from a fire pit is to use well-seasoned firewood, use dry firewood, use the right firewood, do not burn rubbish, don’t burn debris such as leaves, and promote good airflow through your fire.
Now as we’ve said you’ll never eliminate all smoke from a fire pit but what you can do is reduce the amount of smoke it produces. There are some really simple rules to follow which we’ve listed below.
How to stop your fire pit smoking as much?
If you’re wondering how to stop your fire pit smoking so much read on and we will give you a few hints and tips to help you, your friends, and family enjoy your evenings more.
1) Use well seasoned firewood
Seasoned firewood generally has a moisture content of under 20% and has been left for at least a year after being cut. Burning unseasoned wood (also known as Green-Wood) will produce substantially more smoke than if you burn seasoned firewood. We’d always suggest that you check the moisture content of your firewood when you burn it and to do so is very simple. There are a number of great moisture meters on the market such as the Stihl Moisture Meter which will automatically show you what the moisture content of your wood is at the push of a button.
2) Use dry firewood
Not only does your firewood have to be seasoned but it also needs to be dry for the same reasons. Wet firewood, whether seasoned or not will not only burn badly but it will produce less heat and also smoke profusely. If you pick up a piece of damp wood that has been sitting out in the rain this could easily contain over 50% water.
This in turn means that when you put wet wood on your fire pit, you will not only get a less efficient use of the fuel but also a lot more smoke being produced.
Some people use smokeless fire logs that have been cured to ensure that they only hold 10 to 20% moisture. They produce little to no smoke and they burn cleanly.
3) Use the right firewood
There’s one very simple rule that you can stick with if you want the perfect type of firewood and that is hardwood for burning and softwood for kindling.
This simple and straightforward rule will ensure you have a good burn each and every time. Softwoods tend to burn much quicker than hardwoods but they also burn cooler. The cooler burn normally leads to more smoke.
Whilst we are on the subject of kindling, although it’s great for starting fires, that’s all you should use it for. Adding more kindling to the fire once it is established is just going to create more smoke in the long run.
4) Don’t burn rubbish
This may seem fairly straightforward but you would be surprised at the number of people that throw rubbish onto their firepit. Now we aren’t talking about your fortnightly rubbish sack as we’d hope that you would not put it on your firepit anyway.
What we are talking about is cardboard, paper, and other pieces of rubbish that you may have lying around of an evening. Not only can rubbish produce a nasty smell but it can also stop the airflow which in turn affects the fire’s combustion and produces more smoke.
5) Don’t burn debris
Like rubbish, it can be tempting to put debris on your fire in the form of leaves, twigs and other garden waste.
If you’ve ever been sat in your garden in the summer and have seen or smelt tons of smoke coming from a neighbour’s garden then this could be the reason.
Leaves, twigs and garden waste normally produces vasts amount of smoke when burnt. If you add this to your fire pit then you’ll quickly realise you’ve done the wrong thing.
6) Keep your fire pit clean
Keeping your fire pit clean is one of the key points to stopping your fire pit from smoking too much, especially if you cook on it.
Any residue that sticks to your fire pit can cause a dirty flame, and this can give off a lot of smoke and also make starting any fire much more difficult. To remove any residue from your fire pit simply buy a wire brush and clean your fire pit regularly.
7) Promote good airflow
Let’s get back to basics with the last point. There are three things, often referred to as the fire triangles, that you need to have a good fire. The first part is Heat, the second Fuel, and the last Oxygen.
Without enough air, any fire will not burn efficiently, may smolder, and subsequently produce more smoke.
The main tell-tale sign of an insufficient supply of oxygen is excessive smoke. Smoke from any fire means that the fuel is not burning completely or properly. To increase the flow of oxygen simply ensure that your firewood and fire are arranged correctly. The teepee or log cabin method tends to be the best, producing a good amount of airflow around the fire at all times.
What is the best firewood for a fire pit?
The best wood for a fire pit is seasoned hardwood. Now there are lots of different types of hardwood that you can use, with oak being the most commonly available but there are also a wide variety of other woods that you can burn. Here are some of the best woods to work with.
- Oak is definitely one of the best types of wood to burn in a fire pit. It burns slowly and has both a lovely flame and produces a large amount of heat.
- Apple wood burns slowly with reasonable heat and has a sweet fruity smell although the flame is disappointing.
- Cherry offers good heat, great smell, and burns slowly so will last a long time in your fire pit.
- Beech is a great source of firewood that burns well. The only issue with beech is that it takes longer than other woods to season due to its higher moisture content.
- Cedar is another long-lasting wood that can be burnt in a fire pit. It also produces a good flame and a good amount of heat.
- Pear is similar to apple wood as it burns slowly and provides a reasonable amount of heat. It also produces a pleasant smell although the flames are disappointing compared to other woods.
- Sycamore is a great source of wood fuel. It burns well, offers a moderate amount of heat, and has good flame.
- Ash is one of the best woods in the UK to burn. It produces a low amount of smoke and a good amount of heat and a nice flame. Ash, however, is in shorter supply due to ash dieback.
You’ll find that most wood suppliers will have a range of softwoods on offer, but we really would suggest you stick to hardwood if you want less smoke. Remember that any of the woods above are great for reducing smoke but you will also have to follow the other main points.
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