Contrary to what most people believe, firewood is the cheapest form of domestic heating in Johannesburg and Pretoria. It is readily available and the warm, cozy atmosphere it provides make for comfortable homes especially during the cold months. Choosing the best firewood can actually save you money since not all firewood produces the same results. You can choose between hardwood and softwood depending on your needs and preferences. But the secret to buying the right firewood is in finding a reliable supplier and knowing about the different types of wood.
Choosing a reliable firewood supplier
When you are looking for firewood in Pretoria or firewood in johannesburg, you need a reliable firewood supplier. A reliable supplier will deliver the right firewood on time, as described. However, it can be tough to find a firewood supplier in Johannesburg that you can trust. Many people who supply firewood are just trying to make extra money and they really don’t know what they are doing. They don’t know what a full cord is or even what is fully seasoned wood. That is why it is advisable to do a thorough research before you make the decision to rely on a specific firewood supplier. With that said, here are tips to keep in mind when searching for a reliable firewood supplier:
- Request multiple quotes - even if you are sure you are going to use a specific supplier, don’t get a quote from just one supplier.
- Years of existence - always go with a firewood supplier who has been in business for a while.
- Customer service - you need to be sure that the supplier will stand behind his or her products.
- Ask around - chances are that your neighbors or friends know of a reliable supplier that will fit your needs and will be delivering firewood for years to come.
- Should be upfront - about the prices including the delivery costs.
How to Gather and Prepare Firewood
Types of firewood to be on the lookout for
Whether you are using a wood stove or a fireplace, getting quality firewood is the single most important factor to keep in mind. But whatever type of firewood you use, it is first and foremost important that it be seasoned for hotter and more intense fires. To get the most out of your fireplace, here are some types of firewood to be on the lookout for.
Part of the Eucalyptus family, blue gum is not native to Johannesburg. It is a hardwood tree and one of the fastest growing trees in the world. This makes it a good choice for firewood in Johannesburg and Pretoria. It lights easily, burns hot and long, producing nice coals and minimal ash. In addition, blue gum is known for its oil that can be used as antiseptic, fragrance, insect repellent and flavoring. However, the wood contains a lot of moisture content when freshly cut. It should therefore be allowed to season for two years or more so it can burn effectively.
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Whether it is for a fireplace to fight back the cold, a Braai or for a wood burning pizza oven, sekelbos will give you the desired results. This type of firewood contains less than 2% of moisture content when baked by the African sun to between 0 to 1 %. It burns with large flames with virtually zero smoke production. It also produces a musky aromatic fragrance and has exceptionally long burn time due to its density. Its smoke enhances the flavor of meat with the wood’s uniquely scented natural oils.
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Grown commercially in South Africa for its great economic value, Black wattle is widely used as firewood in Johannesburg because it is readily available. It boasts high BTU content making it one of the supreme qualities of firewood. Seasoned black wattle produces tremendous heat with less smoke and less residue. Additionally, it dries fast compared to blue gum (one year or less) and is easy to light.
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Also known as Acacia Cyclops, Rooikrans wood is well known and popular in the Western Cape of South Africa. It is arguably the best braai wood in South Africa. It has low moisture content that it gets when baking in the African sun to around 1 to 2 percent moisture content. It is also very dense giving incredible long lasting intense heat and highly calorific.
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Endemic to the semi-desert regions of South Africa, it extremely dry, rock hard which is why it takes long to burn. It has an ultra low moisture content due to the lack of water in its habitat and the unforgiving African sun. This means there is no wasted energy burning off the extra moisture hence high output of heat. Producing a musky aromatic smell, it makes great firewood for use on a BBQ or braai.
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Don’t forget about braai wood
Hardwoods are ideal braai wood because they retain heat well and burn for longer. Besides they lend a woody, smoky flavor to meat and other food. The most popular braai wood that is easily available from anywhere in Johannesburg and Pretoria is Kameeldoring. But sekelbos make the best braai wood because of its rich in flavor enhancing oils.
Make sure your firewood is dry
Dry firewood ignites and burns easily compared to wet wood. It also weighs less and burns for a longer period of time due to their denseness. They also don’t produce much smoke thereby creating a healthier, cleaner burning fire. If you want dry firewood, spring or early summer is the perfect time to buy. Don’t wait until the last minute and start looking for dry firewood.
Thing you will need to light a fire:
Be sure to keep these items handy when lighting firewood.
- Kindling - this includes small pieces of wood like branches, little twigs. They should be dry and easily flammable.
- Firelighters -these are the fast, sure way to start a fire and are available as solid fuel tablets. They light with just one match.
- Matches - Matches could be used to light the firelighters or you could even use a bic lighter.