What Can You Burn In A Fire Pit? Outdoor Fireplace Builders Answer

Although, it’s a simple addition, an outdoor fireplace significantly transforms your backyard. In addition to improving the value of your home, it also provides you with a great place to relax and connect with your family members.

While the unit is valuable in your yard, plenty of cases have been reported where serious fires have come up when homeowners burn the wrong items in it.

Are you wondering, what can you burn in a fire pit? Here are some of the safe items as given by outdoor fireplace builders:


Cedar is softwood rich in natural resin. Since resin is highly flammable, wood that is rich in it burns hot and even sometimes explodes into sparks. When burning, cedar throws out high flames for some time then dies down quickly with minimal coaling properties.

You should note cedar doesn’t produce continuous heat, so you should mix it with other hardwoods to get the continuous burn you are looking for.


Commonly found along the west coast, alder is known to produce high-quality charcoal. Before you burn alder, ensure you first season it. Seasoned alder produces firewood that burns fast, creating hot fire with decent coals. At no circumstance should you burn it wet as it smokes a lot leaving behind a lot of ash.


Growing in temperate and tropical climates, oak is a dense hardwood that has a higher energy content; hence it tends to release a lot of heat. The fires and coal beds from oak also last for a long time.


Pecan wood is common in Indiana and southern Illinois and much of south between Texas and Kentucky. Compared to other woods, pecan doesn’t produce a lot of heat, but it produces a pleasant nut and vanilla scent that gives your yard a unique smell.


Applewood tends to be harder to light and keep burning than any other wood mentioned above. The cool thing is once you succeed lighting it, it burns slowly, so you have a fire for a long time. It also tends to give off a sweet, inviting, smoky scent.

What shouldn’t you burn in your outdoor fireplace?

To avoid putting your property or yourself at risk, you should avoid burning dangerous items. Some of the items you should avoid burning include:

Treated wood

Treated wood is usually lumber designed to be used for outdoor construction. The lumber is usually chemically or pressure treated to prevent it from rotting when exposed to wet conditions. When you burn pressured-treated wood, chemicals are released, and if you are sitting by the fire, you risk inhaling them.

There are many types of treated wood you should stay away from. They include:

  • Deck Lumber
  • Old/found lumber
  • Railroad ties
  • Painted or stained wood
  • Driftwood
  • Shipping pallets


If you have old papers, plastics, trash bags, rubber, and other garbage, you should use them as a source of fuel, right? Not at all! Remember, most of the items can release toxins and pollutants into the air, and you inhale them.

You may also throw in explosives as part of the trash putting yourself and your loved ones in great danger.

As mentioned, you shouldn’t burn any trash in your fireplace.

Papers and cardboards

It’s fun to watch pizza boxes going up in flames. Unfortunately, the paper creates huge flakes of smoldering ash that easily move to the nearby trees and even house and cause a fire. As much as you want to watch your boxes and cardboards burning, don’t put in the fire pit.

Not wood? It doesn’t belong there.

The key to avoiding fire accidents is only to burn wood. Outdoor kitchen contractors Long Island recommend you observe the motto: If it’s not wood, don’t put it in the fire pit.

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