For cooking:

  • Woods like hickory, mesquite, oaks, and pecan are better for cooking because they can add good flavors.
  • Unfortunately, piñon firewood is not good for cooking as it will make your food taste bad. (Note: Cooking s’mores with piñon is just fine because the bad taste comes from the smoke piñon puts out and you cook s’mores near the coals or in flames.)

For heating:

  • While not many people still rely on firewood to heat their home, some still use it as a supplement.
  • High BTU output is important; Hardwood generally provide high BTUs
  • Piñon firewood, considered the “hardwood” of the softwoods, produces impressive heat.

Just for pleasure:

  • When using firewood for pleasure, you want something that is easily to light, burns cleans, and doesn’t leave you smelling like a nasty fire.
  • While oak is most frequently used due to its abundance in the United States and consequent cheap price, it can be very hard to light, requiring lighter fluid or other chemical-filled firestarters. Then once burning it creates a smoky atmosphere that, as we all know, will stay with you and your clothes until thoroughly cleaned.

Piñon firewood is, by far, the most desirable firewood for pleasure-seekers. It is easy to light and burns clean. Once lit, the wonderful aroma that fills the air is something that you actually wish could stay with you! What’s more, piñon firewood actually acts as a natural insect repellant, eliminating the need for excessive sprays or citronella candles in the outdoors.

But please note: There are different types of piñon offered as firewood and they should not be considered equal. The two most sold are the Mexican Pinyon and the New Mexico Piñon. The Mexican Pinyon will commonly be sold in chunks with no bark. A much drier piñon, it burns quickly and has less aroma than other types.

For pleasure burning, the New Mexico Piñon is the only option.