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Is Locust Good Firewood?

By Lawrence Macmillan May 19, 2022

Is locust wood really better than other kinds of firewood? Locust wood is often touted as being superior because it burns hotter and longer than other kinds of wood. But is this statement true? 

Locust wood is a type of tree that grows naturally in the US, Europe, and China. It has a high density and is very durable. It is also known for its ability to burn hot and long. 

Is Locust Good Firewood?

The wood is widely used throughout North America and Asia. In addition to being used for cooking fires, it's also used for heating homes. Locust wood is often sold at markets or local street vendors and comes in numerous varieties. 

In the article below, we will discuss some pros and cons of burning locust wood. While also showcasing the different varieties available. 

Does Locust Make Good Firewood? 

Locust wood is considered one of the best woods to use when building a fire. It is dense, strong, and can be easily split into smaller pieces. This makes it perfect for creating a large heat source.

While locust wood may not be suitable for smoking meats and vegetables, it can be used as a high-heat fuel for your home. It also does not feature a strong smell, which means it can be burned in your home without causing damage. 

There are many pros and cons associated with the burning of locust wood. Some of these include the following: 

Pros 

  • Dense - Locust wood is extremely dense, making it easy to split into small pieces. This allows you to create a larger fire. 
  • Strong - Locust wood is incredibly strong and durable. It is able to withstand extreme temperatures and pressure. This makes it ideal for outdoor cooking fires and indoor stoves. 
  • Easy to Split - Locust wood is easy to split into smaller pieces. You do not have to worry about splintering while splitting the wood. This makes it an excellent choice for beginners who want to build a large fire. 

Cons 

  • Smell - Locust wood does not emit any noticeable odor. This makes it great for people who dislike smokey environments. However, if you live near a forest or park, then you might notice a slight scent coming from the wood. 
  • Burn Time - Locust wood takes a lot longer to burn compared to other types of wood. This makes it difficult to light quickly. If you are looking for something fast, then you should consider using another kind of wood. 

Varieties Of Locust

Locust trees can be found all over the world. They grow in temperate regions such as Europe, North America, and Asia. There are several varieties of locust wood. These include: 

  • Black Locust - Black locust is native to the United States. It is commonly found growing in fields and forests. It is also common in urban areas, where it can be seen on streets and sidewalks. 
  • Frisia Locust - Frisia locust is native to Northern Europe. It is most commonly found growing in Germany, Poland, and Sweden. 
  • Yellow Locust - Yellow locust is native to Japan. It is commonly found in parks and gardens. It is also known by its Japanese name, 'Kikuyu'. 
  • Inermis Locust - This locust is a much smaller version of the common species and rarely grows above 20 feet. It can be found growing in the UK and in some European countries. 
  • Purple Robe Locust - The Purple Robe locust can be identified by its rose-like flowers and purple-red leaves, which bloom during the spring. The species can grow up to 40 feet tall, however, it does not live as long as its various cousins. 
  • Pyramidalis Locust - Pyramidalis locusts are native to Central Europe, where they grow in grasslands and meadows. The tree can reach heights of 40 feet and is commonly distinguished by its white flowers and yellow leaves. 

Characteristics Of Locust Firewood 

The characteristics of locust firewood depend on the variety that you choose. For example, Black locust has a darker color than Frisia locust. In addition, Black locust features a stronger aroma, whereas Frisia locust is more fragrant. 

When choosing your firewood, keep these things in mind: 

  • Size - Locust firewood comes in different sizes. Some varieties are suitable for burning whole logs. Other varieties are best used for creating smaller pieces of firewood. 
  • Smoke - Locust wood emits very little smoke when burned. This means that it will not make your home smell like smoke. 
  • Appearance - Locust wood looks similar to oak. It is dark brown with lighter colored streaks. This gives it a unique appearance. 
  • Sap Content - Locust wood contains sap. The sap is sticky and is often referred to as pitch. When this substance dries out, it becomes brittle. Therefore, locust wood needs to be stored carefully. 
  • Seasoning - Locust wood is available year-round. You do need to take care of your firewood before storing it away. Seasoning helps prevent rot and mold growth. 

How Should You Store Locust Wood?

If you want to store your locust wood safely, you must first season it properly. To season your firewood, place it in an area that receives direct sunlight.

Then, cover it with a tarp or plastic sheet. Make sure that the air cannot get inside. Finally, let the wood dry completely. 

Once your locust wood is ready to use, cut it into small pieces. Place them in a container that allows air circulation.

If possible, stack the wood so that it is exposed to the sun. Keep the container indoors if there is no access to natural light. 

Can You Use Locust Wood To Smoke Meat? 

No! Locust wood should never be used to smoke meat. The smoke from locust wood causes the meat to taste bitter. Instead, try using hickory wood. Hickory wood is less likely to impart a bitter flavor onto the food.

Conclusion

Locust wood is one of the most versatile types of firewood. However, you should only buy locust wood from reputable sellers.

Also, remember to season your locust wood before you store it. Once you have seasoned your locust wood, you can use it to create a comforting source of heat.


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