Cooking with Firewood: 5 Things You Need to Know

Grilling over wood provides a different experience than cooking with charcoal. From the sweet aroma of woodsmoke that engages your senses to the cosy sight of flames licking the firepit and the melt-in-your-mouth flavours imparted to your meat, wood can be an essential and impactful ingredient. Used correctly, it delivers delicious flavours and aromas to your food.  

Want to use firewood for your next BBQ sesh? Here’s everything you need to know about cooking with firewood, including the fuel you can use.

Choose your firewood well.

There are two types of firewood: firewood used purely as a heating source and cooking wood. Cooking wood is dense, clean wood that can warm up and fuel your fire pit and is perfectly safe for cooking food.

When choosing firewood, it’s essential to choose one that does not contain nasty chemicals or emit strange odours, like the Firebrand Vintage QLD Ironbark. This is ethically sourced and naturally seasoned over 10 to 15 years in its natural habitat. It’s guaranteed to provide a cleaner burn with a higher and more consistent heat with less ash, making it ideal for fire pit cooking. 

Dried hardwood makes the best fuel.

When it comes to cooking with firewood, the drier the wood, the better the burn! The best types of wood are dense hardwoods like ironbark and woods from fruit or nut bearing trees like oak, hickory, mesquite, cherry, apple, or pecan. Dense hardwood gives a longer burn time from each piece so that you can use less firewood, and there is no need to keep topping up the wood as you cook.

If possible, choose firewood that has been naturally seasoned in its own environment, like fallen branches and trees that have dried out over many years. This is not only a sustainable way to collect hardwood, but it also guarantees proper seasoning over time. It will contain a high amount of natural flavour, which can further enhance the taste of your meat.

Choose your cut.

There are a variety of woodcuts to choose from, and the right size will depend on your needs. The most common are:

    • Logs Thick and dense, they provide clean burning and long lasting fuel for your cooks. This produces an aromatic smoke for large and juicy pieces of protein like beef and pork
    • Pizza Cut Thinner hardwood logs that are meant to fit inside domed pizza ovens. Can also be used for short grilling sessions
  • Kindling Hardwood kindling helps get the fire started in open grills and fire pits. It can also double as a smoking wood to add a robust smoke profile to your BBQ
  • Chunks Small log slices that can be mixed with charcoal to customise the duration and intensity of smoke added to your cooks
  • Splits Butter stick-sized wood pieces that burn faster and can be mixed with charcoal for controlled smoke applications
  • Chips Wood chips add smokey flavours to your cook and are very easy to use

If you’re looking for firewood that can suit most applications, Firebrand’s Vintage QLD Ironbark is double split, comes in a convenient size and can fit offset smokers, pizza ovens, open grills and fire pits.

Meanwhile, the Firebrand Hardwood Kindling is the perfect choice to get your fire going quickly. It’s a natural starter for backyard fire pits, offset smokers, pizza ovens, and even commercial grills!

Elevate your cooks with wood chips that add a kiss of smoke to your cooks. Firebrand Smoking Woods come in chips, chunks, and logs and offer various flavour profiles, including:

  • Cherry for a very fruity and sweet smoke with subtle intensity. Best for poultry and pork, especially ribs!
  • Mesquite imparts a very strong and intense spicy smoke flavour. Best with game meats, beef and poultry. It’s also fantastic for making Jerky!
  • Hickory has a strong and sweet, classic smokey taste. An all rounder suitable for almost all cooks.
  • Apple offers a strong, sweet and fruity smoke. Best suited for beef, ham, ribs and poultry. 


Choose your pit.

Whether you’re having a backyard barbie or a campfire cookout, a fire pit can make your BBQ more enjoyable. If you’re partying at home, check out the Hamrforge EL PADRE Fire Pit and Charcoal Grill, a sexy beast that doubles as a charcoal and wood fired grill – built to last many winters. 

If you’re looking for a pit you can take anywhere, Firebrand has a lot of options. The Hellrazr NOMADA Live Fire Cooking BBQ and Firepit can be used as a portable camping stove and barbecue, and is equipped with a hangman that’s specially made for hanging meat, dutch ovens or cowboy coffee makers. On another hand, the Ezy Q STAINLESS STEEL Fire Pit + Grill is the perfect all in one unit. It’s easy to assemble, includes a stainless steel grill and comes complete with a canvas carry bag for easy transport.

How to cook with firewood


If you think you need to set a huge fire in your fire pit at home for your cookout, think again. A small, hot fire is actually ideal for cooking. Focus on building your fire in a way that enables sufficient oxygen to get around the fuel that you’re using. Then, wait for the wood to burn down to embers to get a strong, consistent heat. Add logs as needed, especially when you want to maintain the heat of your fire.

Offset smoking enthusiasts and purists love using our Ironbark in the firebox to get that traditional, smokey flavour through their meat during low ‘n’ slow smoking sessions. Alternatively, you can mix the Ironbark with our Firebrand Briquette Charcoal to get the consistent high heat provided by our briquettes and the smokey flavour profile the Ironbark provides. You can also use smaller pieces of Ironbark, like our Kindling and Wood Chips, to throw in your charcoal briquette based BBQ for added smoke to your cooks.

When it comes to cooking with firewood, high quality, seasoned wood is key to achieving the perfect fuel and flavour. Make sure to choose only the best Australian Ironbark cooking wood, Firebrand Vintage QLD Ironbark, the highest restaurant grade quality wood and the choice of fuel by chefs and cooks around Australia. 

Want to master cooking over fire? Read our tips and tricks here. Check out our blog or sign up for our newsletter for more BBQ guides!