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The Best Wood for a Solo Stove

Learn all about the best kinds of wood to use in your Solo Stove fire pit to keep it in top condition and help keep your fire as “smokeless” as possible.

Whether you’ve got a Solo Stove Yukon, Bonfire, Ranger, or Camp Stove, we’ve got you covered with the best types of wood to burn.

Let’s Go!

a solo stove burning the best type of woods

The Solo Stove is gaining massive popularity as an easy to use “smokeless” fire pit.

While the official Solo Stove website states that any logs can be used with their products, it does advise that dry hardwood is the best wood  to successfully achieve a smokeless fire.

Recommended hardwoods are birch, maple, hickory, and oak, as they burn cleaner and longer than softwood.

The reasons for favoring hardwood over softwood will be explored in more detail below, both in terms of the characteristics of each wood and their importance in Solo Stove maintenance.

Interestingly, there are some other fuel sources you can use as well, so keep reading for more on that below.

Thinking about buying a new Solo Stove Fire Pit or Camp Stove? 

Make sure to check out our Ultimate Comparison Guide to Solo Stoves first!

 

Why Is Hardwood Better than Softwood For Solo Stoves?

Although Solo Stoves are designed in such a way to minimize smoke and to increase the longevity of fires, this process can be assisted with the use of hardwood as this complements the general purpose of the Solo Stoves when compared to softwood.

wood chips and wood chunks for smoking

The reason is that hardwood burns longer, at less intense heat, with minimized smoke production due to reduced sap in the wood.

At the same time, softwood produces more intense heat for shorter periods, with more smoke as a byproduct of the moist sap storage.

 

The Best Types of Wood for the Solo Stove

Two of the most popular types of hardwood to use in Solo Stove fire pits are oak and juniper firewood.

 

Oak Hardwood

Oak hardwood is a perfect choice for longer sessions spent around the fire.

Smoak Firewood Cooking Wood Chunks - USDA Certified Kiln Dried (Red Oak, 8-10 lbs)
Chunk Style Oak Hardwood. Perfect for the Solo Stove. Click to see price on Amazon

Its slow burn and minimal smoke production allow for lengthy fires without excessive smoke. It’s also an affordable option given its longevity and need for minimal storage.

Oak hardwood does not have a distinct scent, making it ideal for your Solo Camp Stove cooking as well.

Maybe this is why so many backyard chefs smoke their meat with oak wood!

 

Juniper Hardwood

Similar to oak hardwood, juniper hardwood is also known for burning at low heat, allowing for lengthy sessions by the fire without the need for refueling.

Juniper logs also give off a slightly sweet smell, making then a relaxing and unique option for guests to enjoy around the Solo Stove.

Be mindful when shopping for juniper hardwood it can be expensive and pay attention to how much you are paying per cubic foot when ordering.

 

Buy or Chop Chunk Wood for Solo Stoves

The added benefit of buying Solo Stove brand hardwood is that the wood is already chopped into the correct sized chunks to most efficiently start a fire in your Solo Stove.

Furthermore, the wood is carefully dried from sustainable forestry by Solo Stoves.

This chopped wood, known as chunk wood, is perfect for the following uses of Solo Stoves:

If you need to cut some bigger logs into smaller kindling for chunk wood, we recommend using a Kindling Cracker.

Kindling Cracker XL Kindling Cracker King Firewood Splitter - Kindling Splitter Wood Splitter Wood Splitting Wedge Manual Log Splitter Wedge

This nifty accessory will help you make some more kindling out of your bigger logs in no time using nothing but a small mallet.

 

Gatherings

Solo Stoves advises that lengthy gatherings can be extended by simply placing some chunk wood on a bed of coals for easy ignition and to promote a slow burn over time.

 

Camping

Solo Stoves advises that their camping equipment is used with smaller pieces of chunk wood to allow for a quick manageable fire instead of a lengthy gathering session with friends.

 

Cooking

Solo Stoves advises that when using their grills of fire pits for cooking, that a small level of smoke should be produced to add flavor to food.

This is achieved by reducing wood chunks to embers while slowly refueling the Solo Stove.

 

Alternative Hardwoods For A Solo Stove

If you prefer to use other hardwoods for your Solo Stove than the oak and juniper mentioned above, their website advises that the following hardwoods can be used.

Camerons Smoking Wood Chunks (Apple) ~ 10 Pound Bag , 840 cu. in. - Kiln Dried BBQ Large Cut Chips - 100% All Natural Barbecue Smoker Chunks for Smoking Meat
Apple Chunk Wood. Click to see price on Amazon.

 

Click each type of wood to see pricing on Amazon.

  • Applewood With a mild, subtly sweet flavor, applewood is recommended when cooking beef, chicken, and seafood.
  • Cherry wood With gentle smoke production of tangy, fruity flavors, cherry is recommended when cooking lighter meats like chicken, seafood, and vegetables.
  • Hickory wood With a thicker, smoky, and strong fruity flavor, hickory produces a rustic flavor that pairs especially well with beef and pork.
  • Maple wood A mild smoky wood with strictly sweet flavors, maple is recommended if you want to add a molasses flavor to chicken and game birds.
  • Mesquite wood With even smoke production, mesquite wood is recommended for infusing food with a distinctive western flavor that pairs well with beef and chicken.
  • Peach wood As one of the lighter hardwoods, peach wood produces a mild smoke with slightly sweet and fruit flavors that pair well with chicken, seafood, and vegetables.
  • Pecan wood An all-rounder wood with similar textures to hickory, but with subtler fruity notes that combine seamlessly with various cuts of meat.

It is vital to ensure that the wood selected is seasonal wood when selecting hardwood.

This means that excess moisture has been removed from the wood naturally or via kiln-drying.

This moderates the level of smoke production and ease of use.

Furthermore, while Solo Stoves are made in such a way to stimulate the flow of air into the stove, any wood being used should still be cut into wood chunks.

Especially if the wood used is wet, as this negatively affects the maintenance and cleaning of the stove.

 

Alternative Fuel Sources For A Solo Stove

While Solo Stoves should ideally be lit with the aforementioned seasoned hardwood cut into chunks, alternative forms of biomass can be used to start and maintain a fire in a Solo Stove.

pine cones to burn in a solo stove

This is actually one of the great things about using a Solo Stove out in the wilderness!

Examples of biomass that can be used in Solo Stoves include but are not limited to:

  • pinecones
  • twigs
  • dried leaves
  • dried moss
  • dried lichen

The key factor is that all these alternative fuel sources are dry and small enough for air circulation.

Furthermore, while biomass successfully produces small flames that can be used for brief periods in Solo Stove products such as the Solo Stove Lite, they would not be capable of maintaining a fire for a lengthy period and would need to eventually be paired with hardwood logs.

 

Can I Use Wood Pellets in a Solo Stove?

Finally, the Solo Stove website states that while hardwood chunks and biomass can be used in their products, wood pellets should not be used in their fire pit products.

wood pellets that should not be used in a solo stove

This is because the pellets can fall through the bottom grid, causing damage to the product or the surface underneath.

So save those pellets for your Traeger or Pit Boss and that next massive pork butt you plan to smoke!

 

More Solo Stove Resources from Mad Backyard

 

Must Read Solo Stove How-To’s

 

Other Common Solo Stove Questions Answered

 

Other Great Fire Pit Articles

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The Most Popular Fire Pit Accessories You Need for 2022

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The 5 Most Popular Rectangular Fire Pits for 2022

 

More Resources

https://blog.solostove.com/the-solo-stove-guide-to-chunk-wood/

https://ww.solostove.com/general-faq/

https://bikepacking.com/gear/solo-stove-lite-review/

 

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