How to Use Wood Chips for Firewood

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Wood chips are easy to find and are one of the most energy-efficient materials to use as firewood. They are similar to wood pellets, yet they are less expensive because they require significantly less processing to make. Because they are typically made from recycled wood (e.g., wood from construction projects), using wood chips instead of firewood logs is a way to reduce your environmental impact. If you use wood chips in your house as firewood, you must be sure that the chips are contained, seasoned (dry), and appropriate for your fireplace.

Things You'll Need

  • Oven
  • Pellet basket (or alternative)
  • Collect wood chips. You can find wood chips in many places (e.g., your garden). You may want to buy a bag of wood chips.

  • Confirm that the wood chips are seasoned (dry) and ready to burn. If they feel damp or look freshly cut, you may want to leave them outside (protected from rain) for several months. Alternatively, you can put oven safe pots/pans full of wood chips in the oven to expedite the drying process. Make sure the oven is on the lowest setting and no wood chips are touching the source of oven heat.

  • Place loosely crumpled newspaper at the bottom of the pellet basket (or alternative metal container that has many holes for proper aeration). You can also use something like a (purely) metal charcoal starter.

  • Put several wood chips on top of the crumpled newspaper.

  • Light the newspaper and wait until the wood chips are fully lit.

  • Add more wood chips in handful amounts, being sure not to suffocate the fire. Do this until you achieve your desired fire size.

Tips & Warnings

  • As always, take extra precaution when dealing with fire. Make sure you are lighting the wood chips in a safe, contained area (such as a firepit, fireplace or wood stove).

References

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