Applewood is largely considered to be a highly valuable wood type because it has great quality and smells delicious. Its beautiful color and sturdy feel make it a favorite among some carpenters. Despite its high value among woodworkers, applewood is not the best wood type for a fire.
The reason for this is due to its slow-burning and high cost. Though you can use applewood at a campfire, there are certainly better wood types to choose from.
Even though applewood is not the best firewood choice, there are many ways that you can use applewood while camping. Most notably, it is a great wood type for grilling or smoking meat because of its high heat rating and low smoke.
How Does Applewood Burn?
One of the most important questions to ask when picking out wood for a fire is how it burns. During most campfires, you want wood that burns hot and quickly. Although you don’t want the wood to burn so quickly that you constantly must replenish the fire, the wood shouldn’t burn so slowly that a full flame is never created.
Applewood burns really slowly. What this means is that it is tougher for applewood to reach a full flame. Although this is advantageous in the sense that it won’t be burned too quickly, it certainly won’t produce the type of flame you need for most campfires
Even though it burns really hot, it is hard for applewood to get the same amount of flame that other wood types produce for a campfire. In addition to the hot and slow burn, applewood does not generate a whole lot of smoke. What smoke it does produce has a really distinct aroma.
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What Is Its Heat Value?
One of the most impressive features of applewood is its heat value. Seasoned applewood has a BTU, or British Thermal Unit, rating of 26.6. This rating is incredibly high and makes applewood have a higher score than Oak. Although this rating is slightly below hickory and hornbeam, applewood is definitely an efficient source of heat.
What Does Applewood Smell Like?
Applewood is largely cherished because of its smoky aroma. Its unique aroma is so strong that it is a favorite for smoking meats. Any meat smoked with applewood tends to have a much smokier flavor, making it a favorite among seasoned smokers.
How To Use Applewood
Just because applewood isn’t the best option for campfires doesn’t mean that you can’t use applewood while camping. In fact, applewood is a great wood type for certain camping needs, such as smoking or cooking. If you have applewood you’ve been itching to use on your next trip, go ahead and bring it.
If you are creating a campfire solely for the purpose of cooking your meat, then applewood will work wonderfully. Because it has low smoke and burns really hot, applewood will thoroughly cook your food and create a much richer flavor. If you have a grill or smoker, feel free to throw applewood in there.
Applewood is especially a great option if you aren’t trying to produce a large flame from the wood. This may make it a safer option if you are camping in a denser forest area since it is less likely to spark or grow uncontrollably.
Better Wood Options for Firewood
When selecting wood for a campfire, you want wood that burns easily, does not produce a lot of smoke, and doesn’t cost too much money. Generally, hardwoods will be the best wood types for campfires because they are denser.
Generally, one of the best wood types for a campfire is Oak. Oak is very dense and has a high BTU rating. Although Oak is relatively slow-burning, it will catch fire relatively easily while still lasting a good amount of time, meaning you don’t have to constantly add new wood to the fire. Not to mention, Oak is readily available, meaning you should find it easily and relatively affordably.
Hickory is another great wood for a campfire. It burns incredibly hot. In fact, it burns hotter than most other hardwoods, including Oak or Maple. Because it is so dense, Hickory is tough to split, but it typically does not hold much moisture. Hickory is a great choice for campfires, especially if you want to cook over your fire.
Finally, Ash is a great would type for firewood. This type of wood burns incredibly easy, does not produce much smoke, and doesn’t retain a lot of moisture. Unlike other wood types, Ash will even burn when it is green. As a result, Ash is a great wood type for firewood, no matter its growth stage.
To put it simply, applewood is not the best wood type for firewood. Even though it produces minimal smoke and gets really hot, it burns so slowly that it will be hard to create the flames you want from a campfire. For campfire purposes, you are better off using Oak, Hickory, or Ash.
That is not to say you shouldn’t take applewood camping. On the contrary, applewood is a really great choice for cooking or smoking meats. In other words, you should definitely select this wood type if you wanted a fire for cooking purposes, not heat purposes. Known as one of the best woods for smoking meat, applewood certainly does have a place in camping.
No matter what would type you choose for your campfire, make sure to practice good safety habits so as to keep yourself and the forest safe and free from fires. Additionally, check with local regulations about what type of woods you can bring with you.