WHAT IS THE FIRE MAN’S “UNIQUE DRY GUARANTEE” & WHAT IS “LOG MOISTURE CONTENT”?

All our wood products come with our unique Dry Guarantee. Logs are classed as dry if they have a moisture content reading of below 17%.  The optimum moisture content for economical combustion and warmth production is between 13%-17%.  Lower than 12% will burn too quickly, especially in an enclosed unit.  Over 18% moisture content means the logs will be more difficult to ignite and will blacken the screen of a glass fronted unit. In order to achieve our optimum moisture content range, our logs are chopped then seasoned through at least two years lying in fields where they are exposed to the elements. Repeated exposure to rain, wind and sun is what seasons/dries our logs. Seasoning is the process of reducing the natural moisture content in wood, resulting in less smoke and a more uniform combustion when used as firewood. Seasoning is the traditional method for drying wood and can take between 18-24 months. Air flow through the stack is the key to removing moisture through evaporation. We are so sure that our logs contain this optimum moisture content that we will replace, refund or swap anything that falls outside of this range.

There are different wood types for different uses. Here, The Fire Man offers some advice on how to get the best from your wood supplies.

INDOOR OPEN FIREPLACES

There is no limitation to the type of woods one can burn in an open fireplace. As long as your chimney is cleaned each year and your vents are working correctly, your choices are then endless. For the most economical burning, we recommend blue gum or black wattle, Both are alien, very thirsty trees, and have been designated for removal anywhere near natural water sources. Blue Gum is a hard, dense log from the Eucolyptus family, long lasting and burns longer before creating a fire heart. Black Wattle is a slightly softer wood, easier to ignite and thus, is an excellent hot burning firewood that was traditionally prized for wood fired bakers ovens. It also lends itself to occasional braaiing as it creates small residual coals.

View our recommended indoor open fireplace wood

GLASS FRONTED ENCLOSED UNITS & STOVES

Glass fronted heaters such as Morso, Heat & Glo, Jet Master, Heat Glo and the cast iron heating stoves (Franco Belge and Earth Fire Ceramic stoves) must be treated with the respect they deserve. Never use pine for example in one of these units as pine produces a resin which leaves an invisible film inside the flue pipe which becomes a serious fire hazard over time. Kameeldoring should not be used solely in a glass fronted unit as the coals produced become so hot that over time, the metal of the unit will bend and the glass door can crack.  Black Wattle and Blue Gum can be used alone or mixed and will create a beautifully constant source of heat.

View our recommended glass fronted/enclosed unit wood

PIZZA OVEN WOOD

Blue Gum is the most efficient and economical choice for your home or commercial pizza oven. Long lasting, resin free and providing a continuous heat for perfect pizzas every time. The first thing is to get the fire very hot, as quick as possible. To do this, build the fire up, putting logs onto the kindling fire, rather than making a large pile at the start and stay with the fire. By being with the fire, you can see the flames rise as the logs set on fire and can add more. Remember to wear professional heat proof gloves. Then when you start to get lots of embers, move them towards the back of the Pizza oven, creating a nice hot base clear from ash. Sometimes people like to cook for a longer time over a few hours, if doing this push the embers to the side of the pizza oven, so that you can restock the fire in between cooking to keep the heat up. Closing the door also helps the embers stay and increases the heat inside.

View our recommended pizza oven wood

BRAAI & GRILLING WOOD

Kameeldoring is often referred to as ‘The Rolls Royce’ of braai wood.  It forms extremely hot coals in approximately 1 hour and can be used inside and outside for cooking and grilling for many hours thereafter.  Rooikraans produces coals in around 40 minutes and can be used for cooking for up to an hour. Rooikraans also smokes so adds a certain taste to meat cooking.

View our recommended braai & grilling wood