Kiln-dried vs seasoned firewood – which is right for firewood

Wood being an organic material is hygroscopic i.e. it absorbs moisture from its surroundings and retains it. For efficient heat production, cooking, or power production firewood needs to be sufficiently dry. Here’s what you need to know about kiln-dried and seasoned firewood.

Seasoned Firewood

  • Firewood that has been subjected to air-drying for prolonged periods is referred to as seasoned firewood. Freshly cut lumber or green firewood contains excessive content of moisture that prevents it from burning well. When you try to burn the wood that has not been sufficiently dried, it produces a lot of smoke, and the flames often fizzle quickly.

The process of air drying decreases the moisture content to a level that causes the wood to burn more easily. Because of this air drying or seasoning of wood is crucial before use.

Kiln-dried Firewood

  • Kiln-drying is the process of drying green firewood in a kiln. Unlike seasoned wood which undergoes air drying, in kiln drying the process of drying is artificially replicated in a large kiln. The kilns used for drying firewood look like big ovens into which the chopped-up and stacked wood is loaded.

Inside the kiln, large fans are present that remove excess moisture from the wood by heating and drying the logs at the same time. It becomes easier to bring the moisture content of the firewood to an optimal level in a controlled environment of the kiln.

Kiln-Dried vs. Seasoned Firewood

  • To find the best firewood to fuel your stove, it is important to have a good working knowledge of the different types of wood available and your preferences. Here are a few differences between seasoned wood and kiln-dried wood that will help you choose the best firewood.

Time Taken For Drying

  • Although both the processes do an admirable work at reducing the moisture content of the wood. But kiln drying works a lot faster than seasoned drying.

Seasoned woods takes several years to reduce the moisture content down to an ideal level. The artificial process of kiln drying on the other hand gets the wood ready for burning within just a few days.

Why Does The Time Matter?

  • A lot of factors can compromise the quality of the wood in the time it takes for seasoned wood to dry. For instance, if you have stored the wood outside for air drying, rain or storm could make it wet all over again. Moreover, there are increased chances of infestation with insects and mold.

Since kiln-dried wood becomes ready for use much more quickly it eliminates all these risks that come along with the waiting period. You can light an efficient and clean fire right away when the wood comes out of the kiln.

Overall Performance

  • The wood with a moisture level below 20% would burn much better. But it is far more challenging to achieve a moisture level of 20% in seasoned wood because of all the variables that come along with air drying.

Therefore, the moisture content of seasoned wood usually remains between 20 to 30%. This leads to a smoky and less enjoyable burn.

Moisture Content Of Kiln-Dried Wood

  • The controlled environment within the kiln makes it possible to achieve moisture levels below 20% in each lot. The risk of extra smoke and toxic emissions is also eliminated since the wood is free of mold and insect growth.

With kiln-dried wood, you get a fire that is easy to light and burns longer, brighter and gives off less smoke as compared to seasoned wood.


  • kiln-dried vs seasoned firewoodWith seasoned wood, you have to chop the wood, stack it in a proper place, and wait for several months for it to dry. It requires a lot of effort and usually becomes inconvenient. But when it comes to kiln-dried wood all you need to do is purchase kiln-dried wood and you get to burn it right away.

Kiln-dried wood makes it more convenient to enjoy a quick and nice fire without requiring any effort on your part.

Bol Design Inc. produces high-quality firewood kilns that efficiently remove the moisture from the firewood and make it drier. To get more information about our lumber kilns and other equipment, call us at 828-754-7001. Our office is located in Hudson, NC.