If you’re the proud owner of a cozy outdoor wood burner or love nothing more than curling up in front of your cozy fireplace at the end of a long day, then we’re sure you’ll agree with us when we say that keeping stocked up on firewood is of utmost importance.
However, while your fireplace or wood burner is no doubt one of the most important components of achieving a consistent and long-lasting fire, another important aspect of an enjoyable wood-burning experience is the quality of your oak firewood - and that’s where we come in to lend a helping hand.
For the best fire possible, the best option for you to consider is seasoned oak wood, and if you’d like to save yourself some money and do the seasoning yourself, this article is going to talk you through everything you need to know so that you can successfully season your own oak firewood from home. Read on.
How Long To Season Oak Firewood: What To Remember
Before we jump any further into this article, we’re first going to be talking you through some of the most important things to keep in mind when preparing to season your very own oak wood. Check them out below:
- In order to ensure the longevity of your home seasoned oak wood, you’re going to need to make sure that you have access to an area of your home or garden that sees plenty of direct sunlight, consistent air circulation, as well as no exposure to rain.
- If you’ve never seasoned your own oak firewood before, then it’s imperative that you’re able to stay patient and trust the drying process!
Seasoning firewood can take quite some time (especially oak as it can contain high levels of water) so you will need to make sure that you’re willing to wait a period of around 12-24 months before even using your wood.
- For the best-seasoned oak wood results, the best way to prepare your oak wood for seasoning is to chop them up (carefully) into smaller logs so that the process can be sped up, and so that your oak wood will stand a better chance of being seasoned correctly.
- During the drying process and afterward, we strongly recommend that you make sure to store your oak firewood in a log store so that you’ll always know where it is, and so that your oak firewood will remain in optimal condition until it is used.
What is Seasoned Oak Wood, Exactly?
In a nutshell, seasoned oak wood is just oak wood that has undergone a drying process to extract as much moisture inside its interior as possible.
Thanks to this, it then means that the seasoned wood will be able to ignite all the more easily, while also offering the user a far cleaner, non-smoky burn thanks to the simple fact that there isn’t any moisture/water interfering with the overall quality of the fire.
As a side note, regardless of whether you’re familiar with seasoned wood or not, as a general rule of thumb, you should always make sure that you are burning wood that has a maximum water content of around 20%.
This is because, just like we’ve briefly touched on above, wood that has too much moisture or water content will offer a low-quality burn, and might not even catch on fire at all!
What Are The Benefits Of Using Seasoned Oak Wood?
As you’re probably already able to guess, there are a great variety of benefits to using seasoned oak wood over standard oak wood due to the fact that it has a far lower moisture content overall.
Thanks to this, it will then mean that seasoned oak wood is able to offer you a far more efficient burn that will not only produce less smoke but will also help to keep your stove/wood burner cleaner and in much better condition than if you were to use standard oak wood.
By taking the time to either season your own oak wood yourself or purchasing it at your local firewood supplier, you will be ensuring that you are strictly using oak wood that has undergone a lengthy drying process that will guarantee a higher quality wood and burn. What’s not to like?
How To Season Oak Wood: Instructions
Seeing as oak wood belongs to the hardwood family, if you want to season some of your very own, it means that you’re going to need to have plenty of patience!
Unlike softwoods (such as fire, alder, and spruce) that can fully complete the seasoning/drying process in a time span of around 6 months, hardwoods such as oak wood can take upwards of 12-24 months to fully season, which is something to keep in mind if you are planning to season your own oak wood rather than purchasing it from a supplier.
However, even though the seasoning process can take quite a while, the good news is that seasoning your own oak wood is easy as can be.
To begin, you’ll need to set up your log store so that you can begin to season your oak wood.
The log store should be in a sunny spot that has consistent airflow and absolutely no rain, otherwise, you’re going to find that your oak wood is unable to season correctly.
Once you have done this, you will need to chop your oak wood into smaller pieces, as chopped oakwood is able to undergo the seasoning process far quicker than log oak wood.
Ideally, we suggest that you aim to chop your oak wood into smaller pieces that are 6-8 inches in length.
Once you’ve done this, you can then proceed to stack your firewood.
For the best results, take larger pieces of wood to form the foundation, and then begin to place the smaller pieces of wood on top of each other, making sure that each stack is only 1 log thick.
This will help to prevent any rotting from occurring, while also helping to protect your stacks from rainwater.