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Favorite Wood - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community


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Favorite Wood

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  • Favorite Wood

    Just wondering what everyone's favorite wood is when cooking? I know it depends on what your making, but I'm just curious.
    Link to my oven build on YouTube:


  • #2
    Re: Favorite Wood

    Free #1 is oak, #2 is walnut.
    Check out my pictures here:

    If at first you don't succeed... Skydiving isn't for you.


    • #3
      Re: Favorite Wood

      I agree with Lee. Free is best (as long as it isn't pine).

      I have burned oak, ash, apple and cherry (I don't have access to Walnut though I am on the hunt for some Hickory).

      I like ash because it splits really easily and is readily available due to the emerald ash borer infestation that has decimated the ash tree population here in Michigan. I do find that it "pops" a little more than the oak so if I have some oak already split I will use that to feed the fire when I'm cooking.

      Apple and cherry are also really good but I've found that they are a little harder to split. I like to use the fruit wood for smoking so I don't use it much for heating the oven anyway.

      This would be a good topic for a poll (pardon the pun).



      • #4
        Re: Favorite Wood

        Sticks and windfall branches . Free and freely available correct thickness for a WFO just dock to length. No need to chop large blocks to size.
        Downside is that is untidy to stow

        Regards dave
        Measure twice
        Cut once
        Fit in position with largest hammer

        My Build
        My Door


        • #5
          Re: Favorite Wood

          Dry hardwood. But specifically, maple and oak.
          Old World Stone & Garden

          Current WFO build - Dry Stone Base & Gothic Vault

          When we build, let us think that we build for ever.
          John Ruskin


          • #6
            Re: Favorite Wood

            I find on of the hottest and easy burning is from the Euclypt family, what we call gum.
            I even burn it green but you need a really hot fire to burn but a great heat maker.
            Prevention is better than cure, - do it right the first time!

            The more I learn, the more I realise how little I know

            Neillís Pompeiii #1
            Neillís kitchen underway


            • #7
              Re: Favorite Wood

              It will depend mostly on the area in which you live. That being availability. Maple is not readily available in my area. I think that would be a great wood for smoking, and heating if it is more abundant.

              In my neck of the woods, we have several species of oak for heating. Hickory, pecan and the occasional fruitwood or wild grape vine for smoking. No pine .
              joe watson

              "A year from now, you will wish that you had started today "

              My Build
              My Picasa Web Album


              • #8
                Re: Favorite Wood

                Oak and hickory for general firing, apple is fantastic but hard to get here so I save it for smoking, citrus burns hotter than anything but the wood I acquired put off a putrid thin black smoke all the way to the point of ash. Could have been the specific tree, I don't know and won't ever find out again. Poplar does the same thing, but thicker smoke - and that was kiln dried cabinet shop cutoffs.



                • #9
                  Re: Favorite Wood

                  Trying a few other eucalypts as I get them
                  Sheoak too but that seems a rarer native

                  Build #1

                  Build #2 (Current)


                  • #10
                    Re: Favorite Wood

                    I use oak for primary heat, elm and hackberry, for startup, and apple for smoking.

                    The elm is hard to split and the hackberry is cutoffs and is kiln dried.



                    • #11
                      Re: Favorite Wood

                      Here are some numbers that show BTUS per cord (4'x4'x8'). If you pay for firewood, maybe this will help with shopping for the best btu yield or give an idea of the heat output. These are values for seasoned (dried) cord wood.

                      Alder - 17.6 million btu
                      Apple - 26.5 million btu
                      Ash - 19.1 million btu
                      Beech - 24 million btu
                      Birch (white) - 20.3 million btu
                      Birch (yellow) - 23.6 million btu
                      Birch (black) - 26.8 million btu
                      Cherry - 20 million btu
                      Black Cherry - 19.9 million btu
                      Hickory - 27.7 million btu
                      Red oak - 24 million btu
                      White oak - 25.7 million btu
                      Sugar Maple - 24 million btu
                      Red Maple - 18.7 million btu

                      Most all Pine is 17.1 million btu

                      Several Elm species are at 19.5 million btu
                      Old World Stone & Garden

                      Current WFO build - Dry Stone Base & Gothic Vault

                      When we build, let us think that we build for ever.
                      John Ruskin


                      • #12
                        Re: Favorite Wood

                        White Ash, Black Cherry, Red Oak, White Oak, and some Maple. I have a lot of standing dead Elm on my property, but it is a real bear to split.

                        So far my favorite to burn is the White Ash, it burns clean without spitting or popping, and leaves little ash. It also seems to cure much more quickly than some of the other woods.


                        • #13
                          Re: Favorite Wood

                          That chart is surprising. I wouldn't have thought beech or birch were very good, although we do not have either around here.


                          • #14
                            Re: Favorite Wood

                            White birch has a paper like bark that contains an oil that makes it great for kindling as well as firewood.

                            My property in CT was mostly wooded and I had all the birch varieties, but mostly black. Along with black cherry, apple, maple,ash and oak...we had it all. I miss that house.
                            Old World Stone & Garden

                            Current WFO build - Dry Stone Base & Gothic Vault

                            When we build, let us think that we build for ever.
                            John Ruskin