Kiln-Dried Wood Logs: Explained. Buying Guide.

Kiln-Dried Wood Logs: Explained. Buying Guide.

What is kiln-dried wood, and how is it made?

The method of fast-drying wood logs in a kiln is what we call "kiln drying." This artificial yet highly effective process of drying out logs takes four to seven days. The kiln drying draws the moisture content from the wood logs, an alternative to "air drying" or "seasoning." 

You might ask yourself, why would someone use an artificial way to create kiln-dried logs?

  1. 1. Speed. To dry logs naturally down to below 20% moisture would take one to three years, sometimes even longer. 
  2. 2. Pest control. The kiln-drying process removes the unwanted insects attached to the wood. 
  3. 3. Firewood moisture content control. With kiln drying, wood's moisture content can be brought down very low, making for a hotter burn and less chimney build-up. 

 What are the best kiln-dried logs? Tips for buying dried logs. 

Let's start with your options. You can choose from Ash, Birch, Oak, Beech, Alder, Maple, and Hornbeam. All of these woods have their specifications when it comes to their burning abilities, moisture content, waste, etc. 

If you really want to learn which type of kiln dried logs will be your best buy, keep reading, or just skip to our comparison table below. 

FIREWOOD MOISTURE CONTENT

Moisture content for kiln dried logs can be a complicated and overwhelming subject but let's try to simplify it as much as possible. Each log (as a single part of a crate) is usually about 25cm in length and contains less than 20% moisture content, giving a long, much cleaner, hotter, consistent burn with little smoke.

Most seasoned wood logs on the market fall between the range of 20-35% moisture content, depending on how well they have been stored during the drying process.

On LuxuryWood.co.uk, you can find only the highest-quality kiln dried logs with only 10-20% moisture content, ensuring a clean burn and high heat output. 

CALORIC CONTENT

Kiln-dried logs burn hotter and last longer than their seasoned counterparts. Because so much moisture has been removed from the wood, a more significant proportion of their mass is burnable carbon, which is what allows each log to burn for longer. Most big store kiln-dried logs have a caloric value between 3.5-4.5 kWh/kg.

Most seasoned logs' calorific content is between 2.3-3.5 kWh/kg, a significant decrease of heat output. The kiln-dried logs we sell are very dry, meaning that little thermal energy is expended on evaporating excess moisture, enabling them to burn hotter.

moisture vs heat output comparison graph

Are kiln-dried logs environmentally friendly?

Because of the lower moisture content, burning kiln-dried firewood is better for the environment. When wood has higher water content, the wood gases can't ignite and escape the chimney so easily, which is further heat wasted and causes excess soot and tar.

Seasoned or Kiln-Dried Logs?

Initially, kiln-dried logs cost more up-front than seasoned logs, but investing in kiln-dried logs can be a money-saver in the long-run because they will last longer. If you only intend to use a fireplace or other fuel-burning system for a short period, then you can turn to the less expensive seasoned logs. However, you should remember that they have lower levels of energy efficiency. 

ash crate kiln-dried logs

oak kiln-dired wood logs

birch wood logs

Kiln-Dried Logs

Packing

Ash Kiln-Dried Logs 

- Giant crate dimensions: 1.7m x 1.2m x 0.8m (external)

- Half crate dimensions: 0.8m x 1.2m x 1.0m (external)

Oak Kiln-Dried Logs

- Giant crate dimensions: 1.7m x 1.2m x 0.8m (external) 

- Half crate dimensions: 0.8m x 1.2m x 1.0m (external) 

Birch Kiln-Dried Logs

- Giant crate dimensions: 1.7m x 1.2m x 0.8m (external)

- Half crate dimensions: 0.8m x 1.2m x 1.0m (external)

Wood Type

Hardwood Ash

Hardwood Oak

Hardwood Birch

Moisture Content

10-20%

10-20%

10-20%

Loose Volume

2.35 m3 / £106.36/m3 

2.35 m3/ £110.62/m3 

2.35 m3/ £102.11/m3 

Log Length

25 cm (10 inch)

25 cm (10 inch)

25 cm (10 inch)

Burn and Glow Duration

Up to 3 - 4 hrs

Up to 2.5 - 3.5 hrs

Up to 3.5 hrs

Notes

The kiln-dried ash crates are one of our all-time best sellers. Ashwood produces excellent heat, a lovely flame, and it lasts very well. 

Oak is considered one of the very best wood fuel logs also. It burns slowly with a nice flame and produces an excellent long-lasting heat even when only the embers are left.

Birch logs are the favourite in Scandinavia due to the fast burn and high output they provide. They are easy to light and burn with bright, lively flames.  

Conclusion:

For everyone who uses a heating system or fireplace daily, it is recommended you use kiln-dried logs. Their higher level of efficiency will save money simply because they will last longer.

When investing in firewood, you must consider your options because there are quite a few! There are some notable differences between seasoned logs and kiln-dried wood. 

Even if seasoned wood is cheaper than kiln dried logs, it can burn less efficiently. You can season wood yourself, but remember this does take time and effort, along with the storage space needed and the time required for the natural drying process. 

From a financial perspective, kiln drying can be slightly more expensive at first, but very quickly, the extra money spent pays off with better burning performance. When buying wood logs for your fireplace, wood burner, pizza oven, or outdoor fire pit, it is always essential to ensure the firewood has been properly dried. This optimum moisture content gives you a much cleaner, hotter, and consistent burn with little smoke.