9 Ways To Test Whether Firewood Is Dry

dry firewood

dry firewood

Selecting firewood that’s dry enough to burn isn’t just about creating a cozy ambiance; it’s a matter of safety and efficiency.

Wet wood leads to inefficient, smoky fires and creosite buildup, which in extreme cases can cause chimney fires. Properly dried wood on the other hand ensures a clean, efficient and hot burn. Understanding how to check that firewood is dry enough is essential for anyone looking to enjoy a safe and satisfying fire.

Here are 9 ways you can check whether firewood is dry enough for a clean and efficient fire.

1. Knock on Wood

Dry firewood will produce a clear, ringing sound when struck together. Wet wood produces a dull thud. Listen closely and let your ears guide you.

2. Weigh Your Options

Wet wood is noticeably heavier. If you’ve got the muscle memory for handling lumber, you might just feel the difference.

3. Check the Checks

Look for cracks at the ends of the logs. Dry wood often cracks as it loses moisture, forming these visible indicators. If the cracks seem to gather dust or debris, it’s likely dry.

4. Color Me Ready

Look for a change from fresh green or brown to a more grey or dull brown. The drier the wood, the duller the color.

5. Bark Begone

Try peeling the bark. If it comes off easily, it’s likely that the wood is dry. Wet wood tends to hold onto its bark like a tight coat.

6. Splinter Splendidly

Dry wood should splinter easily. Try the “nail test” by pressing a fingernail into the wood; wet wood gives, while dry wood resists.

7. Trial By Fire

Take a small piece and attempt to burn it. Dry wood will catch quickly without hissing, while wet wood sizzles and resists. A mini trial by fire never hurts!

8. Trust Your Nose

Dry wood loses the sappy, fresh smell. A sniff test may seem unorthodox, but sometimes your nose knows best.

9. Use Technology

Moisture meters are available for those who want precision. These devices measure the wood’s moisture content, providing a numerical reading. For the tech-savvy, this is a perfect tool.


Armed with these tips, you’ll be able to discern the perfect firewood for a burn that’s both safe and efficient. No more guessing or taking risks with damp logs. Embrace the warmth of a fire done right, and let the comfort of crackling wood fill your space. Happy burning!