Fireplace Kindling – All You Need To Know

Fireplace kindling is essential for starting a fire in a fireplace. Without it, you won’t be able to start the fire and keep your home warm during cold winter nights. But what exactly is fireplace kindling? What should you use for fireplace kindling? And how do you start a fire without using any kindling at all?

In this article, we’ll answer these questions and provide tips on how to make the most of your fireplace kindling. Read on to learn more about fireplace kindling!

Kindling Explained

The term kindling can describe individual pieces of material as well as several, meaning that the plural form of “kindling” usually remains “kindling.”

Crafting a fire requires kindling – usually consisting of small bits that are used to help the flames ignite quickly and easily. This material is typically placed beneath the logs when starting a blaze, although some may prefer to utilize the top-down method which calls for this combustible material to be above instead.

From wood shavings to newspapers, kindling is a term that refers to the pieces of combustible material used as fuel for igniting fires.

As the essential intermediary between your fire starter (like a newspaper) and primary fuel sources (for instance, firewood logs), kindling plays a crucial role in igniting combustion. Lighting your fire starter will help to ignite the small pieces of wood that makeup kindling, which then creates enough heat for larger materials to catch a flame.

Why Use Kindling?

When embarking on a fire-building mission, kindling is often part of the equation. This is due to its reputation for improving the chances of igniting your primary source of fuel. It’s not necessary, but definitely beneficial!

For a fire to begin more quickly and with higher success, utilizing kindling instead of logs is the way to go. While flames from a fire starter may help ignite logs, they will have much less surface area than kindling so it can be harder for them to catch alight.

Opting for smaller pieces of wood will significantly increase your chances of having an enduring blaze!

What Is Kindling Wood?

For those looking for an efficient and budget-friendly way to start a fire, kindling wood is the ideal solution! Firewood provides an abundance of fuel that burns quickly, sparking up your flame in no time. Plus, it’s simple to purchase when you need more – making sure that your flames never go out.

What Kind Of Wood Is Kindling?

Striking a match is easy with kindling, which typically consists of smaller bits of wood compared to logs and comes in much thinner, longer lengths. Kindling frequently takes the form of chopped-up pieces from fully grown logs but may also be found as twigs or bark.

What Size Should Kindling Be?

When it comes to kindling, the width should be much smaller than that of logs for optimal burning. Length isn’t as pertinent since longer, thinner pieces will burn more efficiently than cubes.

Firewood logs can be split into much smaller pieces which are known as kindling. Generally, this type of wood is about the same length as logs but far thinner and with a much-reduced surface area.

What To Use For Kindling Fireplace?

For a successful fire, lay down an ample amount of kindling over the fire starter in your stove or fireplace. Ensure that you have arranged it into a criss-cross formation with each piece still touching its neighbor to assist airflow and achieve maximum efficiency.

To ignite a wood-burning fire, you must have an adequate stock of dry kindling – small pieces of timber.

For an optimal fire, you can purchase bags of kindling from numerous stores nearby. Otherwise, if utilizing your own stash of kindling wood make certain it has been suitably cured by measuring the moisture level to a maximum of 20% or lower.

Ignite your kindling to craft a robust and hearty fire with ease. Here’s how:

  • Place a generous layer of kindling on the fire starter (for example, newspaper) to get your campfire blazing.
  • If the top-down fire technique is your choice, be sure to layer kindling on the logs for a successful outcome.
  • Construct the kindling in an intersecting pattern so that each piece of wood has contact with one other, yet is still adequately spaced out.
  • If you want to start a fire with kindling, use matches or another fire lighter source to ignite the newspaper (not the kindling itself).
  • With the right combination of kindling, your fire will ignite and steadily warm your space – allowing for larger logs to burn brilliantly.

How to start a fire in a fireplace without kindling?

The most practical and frequent way of creating kindling is by utilizing cut-down strips of firewood logs, but other materials such as pinecones and bark can also be used.

Pinecones: Utilizing pinecones as kindling is actually quite acceptable, given that they are a natural product and have not been transformed or treated with any hazardous substances. However, in order for them to be effectively used as kindling, it’s necessary that the pinecones must be dry before use – just like traditional firewood would need to be thoroughly dried prior to utilization.

Bark: Bark is the perfect kindling for starting a fire – it burns just as efficiently and effectively as wood, but you must make sure that your bark is completely dry before using it. Otherwise, it won’t ignite! And with Bark’s convenience of availability and affordability, you’ll be able to keep warm no matter what.

Best Kindling For Fireplace

Igniting a wood fire requires kindling that burns quickly and hot to help the logs combust. The ideal choice is dry, small softwood pieces like Pine; this will ensure your fire gets off to an invigorating start!

Softwood is the most popular kind of wood sold as kindling, as it ignites more quickly than hardwoods – an essential quality when you’re trying to get a fire lit. Commonly used softwoods for kindling include:

  • Pine
  • Fir
  • Cedar

Even though the above types of dry softwoods make for great kindling, most other options are just as effective. To get the most out of your wood-burning fire, you’ll want kindling with certain characteristics:

  • Softwood such as Pine.
  • Small.
  • Seasoned or kiln dried.
  • As dry as possible.
  • In plentiful supply.

Is Kindling Hardwood?

Although oftentimes found as softwood, hardwood kindling can be employed when needed. Softwoods are far superior to hardwoods when it comes to starting fires.

They ignite faster and burn hotter, making them the ideal kindling for a quick, reliable start to your firewood flames.

Should You Season Kindling?

Creating kindling for your fire does not have to be a complex or time-consuming task; it merely needs to be dried enough so that it will ignite rapidly and allow the flame of your fire to build quickly.

To achieve this, consider adding both seasoned and/or kiln-dried wood into your pile. This way, you can ensure that no matter what type of fuel is used in building up the flames, each piece will burn easily – making starting a fire faster than ever before.

Seasoning: Wood seasoning is the process of drying out the wood in a completely natural way.

Kiln drying: Accelerate the drying of wood by utilizing a kiln to artificially extract moisture through this process.

Recommended Kindling To Get The Job Done

EasyGoProducts Fire Starter Kindling Firewood Sticks

No products found.

EasyGoProducts Fire Starter Kindling Firewood Sticks are the perfect solution for fireplace kindling. The Eco-Stix Fatwood contains no petrochemical additives or methyl bromide fumigation, making it 100% all-natural and sustainable.

These sticks are harvested from leftover stumps of pine trees, allowing them to light easily and quickly start your fireplace fires without hassle. Our fumigated fatwood is 100% pure, natural, and sustainable—completely free of petrochemical additives or methyl bromide fumigation.

This makes it the perfect fire starter for eco-conscious individuals looking to get warm without sacrificing cleanliness. To use:

  • Put EcoStix at the bottom with 3 or more, crisscrossed or overlapped.
  • Put your wood on top and light EcoStix to start your fire quickly.
  • Eco-Stix is the best resin-rich pine all-natural fatwood kindling used for fire starting.

Billy Buckskin Co. Fatwood Fire Starter Sticks

No products found.

Billy Buckskin Co. Fatwood Fire Starter Sticks are the perfect fireplace kindling to help you start a fire without any fuss! Made from some of the most resin-rich pine trees in the world, they burn incredibly well and produce black smoke which is nothing to worry about.

All of our fatwood is eco-friendly and 100% natural, unaltered by manmade chemicals. To use, simply place two or three sticks in the center of your kindling, light one stick with a match or lighter for a few seconds until you see resin flow and it will ignite quickly – no need to wait around.

Plus, these fatwood sticks are capable of burning even when wet so you can use them whatever the weather condition may be.

How Do You Dry Kindling

For the best possible drying of kindling and logs, keep them under an enclosed area with one side exposed to direct sunlight and wind. This process is naturally done in a time when supplemented by a roof overhead to shield them from rain and snow.

According to the EPA, kindling should be dried out so that it contains no more than 20% moisture for optimal fuel efficiency when burning. This 15-20% range is ideal for quickly and effectively lighting a fire.

How Do You Store Kindling

To preserve your kindling from the damaging effects of moisture, you should store it in the same place where it was initially seasoned. Alternatively, keeping your kindling within a firewood rack that is still exposed to air circulation can also help keep it dry and safe.

When the kindling is kiln-dried or fully seasoned, it is suitable for use in a wood-burning fireplace.

Even the most seasoned firewood can become wet and decayed if exposed to moisture for long periods of time, rendering it useless for kindling.

Video Tutorial: How to Light a Fireplace Fire With Newspaper and Kindling

Check out the short video below and see for yourself how easy it is to light your fire using newspaper and kindling.

Final Thoughts

Fireplace kindling is an essential part of starting a fireplace fire and should be dried to around 15-20% moisture for optimal burning. It’s important to store kindling in the same place it was seasoned or within a firewood rack with air circulation so that it doesn’t become wet and decayed.

With these tips, you will have no problem finding the perfect fireplace kindling for your next cozy evening by the fireplace! If none of these options work for you, there are many other ways to start a fireplace without using kindling – from paper rolls to newspaper balls. So don’t worry if you find yourself short on wood – just use what you can find and get creative.


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David King has been working with fireplace installations and repairs for over 15 years. He has written about fireplace safety and installation for over a decade. His work can be found at, where you can find reviews on the latest fireplace products and advice from experts in the industry.
Photo of author
David King has been working with fireplace installations and repairs for over 15 years. He has written about fireplace safety and installation for over a decade. His work can be found at, where you can find reviews on the latest fireplace products and advice from experts in the industry.