During the burning of the wood, a chemical reaction occurs, and timber is converted into heat. In poor combustion, less material is converted into heat. At the same time, the other material is converted into airborne particles. These airborne particles will appear as black smoke while the others will pop and crack.

When the cellulose of the wood burns with oxygen, it produces heat.

Sometimes the popping of the wood depends upon the moisture in the wood, the quality, and the age.

How is the Popping fire produced?


First, I would let you know how the fire burns to understand the mechanism of the popping fire. When you have the fuel, lighter or kindle to ignite the energy, and the most important is oxygen, then the burning process starts. Oxygen helps the power to burn and produce heat.

When fire burns, then the wood decomposes. During decomposing, the cellulose heats up and starts to break down

If moisture and water are stored in the wood, they will settle in the cellulose cells. The damp will convert into steam when these moist cells heat up and burn.

This steam puts pressure on the surrounding ones. It exerts the force to crack them and produce steam. Popping sound depends upon the age of the wood and the amount of moisture of the wood.

Prevention of the woods from popping:

You know the causes of the fire popping to prevent yourself from any danger and to keep your trip more enjoyable if you have any.

Test to check the moisture in the wood:

If you had placed the whole woods night outside without any coverage or their exposure to rain will store a large amount of humidity or sap. You can also check the humidity of the woods with the help of a moisture meter.

Always purchase moisture-free woods or kiln-dried woods. It will make the popping of the woods less. You can also use the woods seasoned for a long time.

Look for the fresh and the aged wood:

A block of fresh wood has a high content of water and sap. And these woods look green in color, so they are called greenwoods. And their humidity level will be 100%, while the best level of humidity to burn the woods is 15 to 20 percent.

In aged woods, the moisture and sap content will dry with time. The aging of woods takes a time of about three months to 2 years.


Choose a moist free place to build a fire:

As you know, the wet wood pop the most. So if you want to make popping free fire, choose a place where the dampness level is low because it is more likely for woods to get the moisture from the surrounding.

Storage of woods in a dry place:

Always store the woods in a dry place. If your woods are dry, they do not stay dry for a long time. Even if you have to place them outside without any coverage, cover the woods with a trap when they are out; otherwise, the humidity will saturate the woods and make it difficult to burn.

And place the woods about 2 inches above the ground to prevent the moisture from getting into the woods. And the better thing is to store the woods inside the room.


Make a teepee shape to make the popping low:

A teepee shape fire build is an excellent way to make the popping less. The teepee shape provides the optimum flow of oxygen, which is essential to burning wet woods.

This way, the wood touching the ground will occupy less space, and the soil moisture will not affect the fire.

Which one does wood pop the most?

The answer is that pine and fir are the woods that produce more crackling and popping along with the scent, which feels enjoyable on a trip or during the winter holidays. These two trees have two types of woods softwood and hardwood; softwood contains more sap and water. This sap often drips from the branches and the trunks of the trees. But it is a harmless substance. The juice is a sticky substance mostly stored in the fiber and pores along with the water.

This sap helps the trees remain alive and thrive before cutting and dying. When this sap burns with the wood water and builds pressure on the side cells and fibers, they will not hold the pressure longer and burst with a popping and the crackling sound. It will burn with smoke and flames.

Other softwood will be cedar, larch, poplar, and spruce. These softwoods retain their sap for a long time and burn with a popping sound.

Wood choice according to the situation:

The choice of the wood also depends upon the situation in which you are sitting. Suppose you are in a condition where the sound is undesirable for you. So you must choose a block of wood with a low moisture level or moist free.

But if you are in the condition that you want to enjoy the sound of popping and crackling with your favorite drink so you must choose the wood with a bit of high water content and according to your choice.

How Long Does It Take Firewood To Dry? - Don’t Get Burn
Firewood’s are thicker than softwoods, so it takes more time to dry. But, it might dry for approximately 6-18 months or almost a year. However, any particular period is not specified for it to dry.

Which firewood is best to burn without popping?

We know that multi kinds of wood are found in this world as we have seen many kinds of wood burning in the fireplaces. There are a million types of wood, although every wood burns when it is dry enough and exposed to the flame. People are searching the woods, which can burn for a long time, without producing more smoke and with great efficiency. The best woods to burn in fireplaces are:

  • Apple
  • Ash
  • Cherry
  • Maple
  • Walnut
  • Beech
  • Pine
  • Walnut
  • Oak
  • Cedar
  • Cherry

This firewood will be better to burn if it is completely dry and the wood ages. But the best wood to burn is the kiln-dried woods. These woods are dried in the electric and solar kilns. These woods are dried in the kilns to remove the trapped moisture. Heating in the kiln decreases the humidity from 100% to just 15% or 10%.

You can also watch this video:

In comparison, the water in the air-dry wood will be 20% or 30%. So the kiln-dried firewood burns cleanly and produces more heat. Most industrialists use the best way to heat the woods in the kiln to remove the moisture at 250 degrees for 48 hours.

Does the seasonal woods pop the most?

Seasoned dried woods are passed through a process of drying for one complete season. The seasoning process includes exposing the wood to direct sunlight and wind by spreading them separately. And this process continues for one season.

But the seasonal woods has a high water content than the kiln-dried woods. So seasonal wood-burning produces a popping sound as water is also necessary for the wood to burn efficiently. Water limits the heat that gives off and adjusts the burning duration of the wood.

Some people like quietness while the others like the sound. So some prefer the seasonal woods, and some prefer the kiln woods.


Are the popping woods dangerous?

A fire that always pops and cracks is very dangerous because popping always comes with a burst of hot gases. The explosion of hot gases includes flaming embers, Parts of wood, and many more things that land on someone and could be dangerous. These burning embers are too much hot, and if they will fall on someone.

Frequently asked questions

Why did the fire explode most?

Some of the wood has knots and ties when combustion occurs. The gases or steam stored in these spaces produce an explosion.

Which are the best thing to stop the fireplace from exploding?

A chimney and a fire cap are the best things to prevent the fireplace from exploding. Otherwise, a fire cap is also used to escape the smoke.

Why do some of the woods show the sparking?

Some of the woods have moisture inside them. When this stored moisture heats up, the store’s gases begin to explode, and sparking starts.

Smoke from the fireplace is toxic?

Smoke from the fireplace has some particles that are harmful to the respiratory and some other inhaled diseases like bronchitis. These particles are also a big cause of eye burning and nose flow.

Final words

So if you want to make a fire popping and crackling-free, then it will be better to use the dry or kiln-dried woods because sometimes the sap of the wood after burning produces a bad smoke which is unbreathable for most the people. Because it entirely depends upon the person what type of wood fire he wants to enjoy during camping.

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