What is the Best Fuel for a Log Burner?

Stephen Kilby Wharfe Valley Stoves

What is the Best Fuel for a Log Burner?Log burning stoves are a popular choice for UK homeowners. They’re great for the environment, they won’t cut out if there’s a power cut, and they offer a cosy, traditional feel to the home; particularly during winter. In fact, one of the only problems you may encounter is figuring out which fuel to use in your log burning stove.

The number of options available when it comes to fuelling a log burner these days is impressive. However, it can also be pretty confusing! So, to help you choose the best fuel type for your log burning stove, below we’ll reveal some of the best options out there.

Logs – Hardwood or Softwood?

The most obvious fuel choice for a log burning stove is, you guessed it, logs! However, you do have several options over which logs to use. One of the first things to decide between is whether to use hardwood or softwood logs.

Generally speaking, hardwood logs are the better option. This is because they burn much slower than softwood logs. This is partially because hardwood is a lot denser than softwood, so it lasts a lot longer when it’s burning.


Another option you have which isn’t overly popular in the UK, is pellets. These tend to be created from waste wood or recycled wood, which makes them pretty good for the environment. However, only a few select stove models are suitable for this type of fuel. So, unless your log burner specifically states pellets can be used, it’s best to stick to other fuel options.


Perhaps one of the most popular fuel types of log burning stoves, is Briquettes. Like pellets, these too are made from waste or recycled wood, as well as paper which has been crushed. It is one of the most efficient fuel types you can invest in, largely thanks to its low moisture content. However, despite how great it is, very few homeowners use it in their stoves, opting instead for logs or collected wood.

Collected wood

One of the benefits of wood burning stoves, is that you can potentially save a lot of money heating them. What better way to save on the cost of fuel than by collecting it yourself for free? Twigs, branches and all kinds of wood you find lying around could potentially be used as fuel. However, before you decide this is the right option for you, it’s worth noting that this type of fuel can be very inefficient.

Collected wood generally has a high moisture content. This means it’s going to take more effort for your stove to burn it. This type of fuel also has an increased risk of containing more pollutants. So, while it may be free, it’s worth avoiding using collected wood, unless you know it’s come from a clean source and you can dry it out effectively.

Watch out for ready to burn fuel

In order to help explain the issues surrounding air quality HETAS they have published a Ready to Burn Technical Bulletin. This bulletin includes technical information and guidance on the benefits of dry wood over wet wood as well as Ecodesign appliances, smoke control areas and shows what leading organisations are doing to combat the problem of poor air quality. Read the flick book below to learn more.

These are just some of the fuel types you can invest in for your log burning stove. So, which one is best? Well, it depends upon the type of wood burner you’re using and your access to the different fuel types.