How to Dry Firewood in the Stove

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Firewood is being used more frequently in an effort to cut costs of home heating and cooking and to help conserve oil and gas. Used correctly, you can heat your home and provide fuel for cooking rather inexpensively. The key to using the firewood correctly is preparation. Wood should be as dry as possible before burning so the natural moisture in it does not impede the burning process. Using a stove is one of many different ways of preparing the wood for burning.

Things You'll Need

  • Kitchen scale
  • Cut your wood from softer trees such as fir or pine instead of maple or oak. It is easier to dry the wood and it will dry faster and burn just as well.

  • Find wood that has cracks at the ends. If the wood is naturally cracked, that means the ends are dry and the overall drying process will be quicker.

  • Hold two pieces of wood in the center and bang the ends together. Listen for a crack, which means that those pieces are more dry than not dry.

  • Take a small piece of wood and weigh it on a kitchen scale. Write down the weight in ounces. Place the wood on a baking tray and place the tray in the oven.

  • Turn the oven on to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Let the wood stay in the oven overnight. Take it out in the morning and weigh it again on the kitchen scale while it's still hot.

  • Subtract the weight after the night of drying from the weight taken the day before. The number of ounces you get will be equal to the amount of water in the wood. If you started with a weight of 21 ounces and the next morning the wood weighs 18 ounces, the weight loss is 3 ounces.

  • Divide the water weight, in this case 3 ounces, by the weight of the wood after drying, or 18 ounces, and you get 16 percent. The optimum percentage of water in wood should be 20 percent or less.

Tips & Warnings

  • Split wood right after cutting it so it dries faster.
  • Make sure all wood-burning appliances have good ventilation.

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