Pick the correct firewood carefully, make sure it has the correct heat and smoke outputOrder Firewood
Too many people think that all firewood is the same, and we are here to put them right. Some firewoods burn more slowly than others, whilst certain woods offer a distinctive aromatic scent that adds a little extra to your BBQ. Some firewoods are just made to be used on a braai whilst others give you a cost effective, smokeless fuel for the home.
Intrigued? This article will explain the key features of 5 main quality firewoods. These are:
Want to keep that braai going all afternoon long? You need to choose braai wood that will burn slowly. There are three good woods to opt for here. They are:
Blue Gum wood, which derives from the Eucalyptus tree, is a top choice as it is a very dense wood that takes a long time to be eaten up in the flames. Blue Gum wood can be hard to split when it is dry (though it's much easier to split when wet). Hot tip: purchase a bag of ready chopped wood to evade this issue altogether.
Sekelbos is a dense and very dry wood. It is said to be the world's driest firewood. It has a low moisture content (between 0% and 1%) thanks to being baked in the ultra hot African sun. As a result it burns slowly and cleanly.
Kameeldoring and Rooikrans firewood has a very low moisture content. At 1-2% it is slightly higher than Sekelbos, but still very low. Kameeldoring branches are also notoriously heavy (they are harvested for firewood after their own weight causes them to drop from the tree). In short, this is a great, dense wood.
Sometimes, you need wood that will burn extra hot. This might be because you are using it for specialist cooking (for instance, wood fired pizza ovens tend to need wood that burns very hot) or because you want to warm your house up fast. In this scenario, Black Wattle firewood is a great choice. This is a softer wood than something like Blue Gum, but it will give you more heat than most other firewoods.
Need a smokey scent for your braai so that all of those sizzling meats taste even more delicious? Kameeldoring is a very good choice. This wood smells smokey and musky and it will impart this scent to whatever foodstuff you have cooking on your braai.
Sometimes, it is important that your braai generates as little smoke as possible. This is the case if you are having a braai in a relatively enclosed outdoor space, for instance. All of the 5 woods discussed here are pretty clean burning (i.e. they generate minimal smoke) as they are hard, dry and well seasoned. For the cleanest burn, with practically no smoke, opt for Blue Gum!