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.
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.
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.
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 is a perfect choice for longer sessions spent around the fire.
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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
This is because the pellets can fall through the bottom grid, causing damage to the product or the surface underneath.
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