Is Almond Good Firewood? A Guide to Heating with Almond Wood - Backyard Boss
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Is Almond Good Firewood? A Guide to Heating with Almond Wood

Of all the firewood options, Almond hardly ranks in the top five an average person can name. But it’s one of the hottest and longest-burning options and is widely used for many applications. If you’ve got an Almond tree that needs to come down or a load of Almond wood and no idea how to use it, we’re here to help. Read on for information about Almond firewood, including BTU output, resin content, drying time, smoke smell and sparkage, how and when to burn Almond at its best and highest use.

 Almond Firewood Details

BTU: 32.9 million BTUs per cord
Weight: 6980 pounds green/ 4350 pounds dry
Seasoning Time: 12 months
Resin / Sap Content: Minimal
Splitting Difficulty: Medium
Smoke: Low
Smell: Slight, pleasant

Varieties of Almond Firewood

Almond may not be the most popular firewood in the world, but it more than gets the job done. Below, we have listed the most pertinent information that you may need to know about the two most used types of Almond firewood.

Nonpareil Almond

BTU: 32.9 million BTUs per cord
Weight: 6980 pounds green/ 4350 pounds dry
Seasoning Time: 12 months
Resin / Sap Content: Minimal
Splitting Difficulty: Medium
Smoke: Low
Smell: Slight

Monterey Almond

BTU: 32.9 million BTUs per cord
Weight: 6980 pounds green/ 4350 pounds dry
Seasoning Time: 12 months
Resin / Sap Content: Minimal
Splitting Difficulty: Medium
Smoke: Low
Smell: Slight

Almond Firewood Burn Qualities

Almond wood BTU

 a frame of fire and retro boots, almond firewood, Almond firewood creates a long-lasting, hot fire. A cord of almond wood can produce about 20-percent more BTU than a cord of oak firewood. In fact, almond wood is one of the top five BTU-producing woods of the most popular types of firewood.

If you’re planning on heating your home exclusively with almond firewood, you can expect to use just under three cords per season.

The density of almond wood makes it more challenging to light, but once you get it going, your fire can last all night. It creates an excellent bed of coals that remain hot enough to burn additional logs. A single almond firewood log placed over coals can give you 2-3 more hours of burn time, helping you conserve your firewood supply.

Don’t expect to find too many ashes once your fire has burned down. Almond wood burns efficiently and cleanly as long as it has been properly seasoned. The result is a fire that leaves very few ashes, much like an oak fire.

Almond Firewood Seasoning Time

Almond wood seasons quickly compared to other hardwoods. You should season almond firewood outside for at least six months. Some almond firewood will require up to a year of seasoning. However, you shouldn’t need to season almond firewood beyond one year.

This is a considerable benefit of almond firewood when compared with other hardwoods. Oak, the most popular hardwood used for firewood, requires two years or more to become adequately seasoned.

To season almond firewood, stack the wood outdoors, off the ground with room for air to circulate around the cut edges. Leaving about 2-3 feet of space between stacks of firewood is enough to provide circulation.

You can visually inspect your firewood to see if it has reached the right level of moisture. Seasoned almond firewood will be gray or tan, with almost no bark remaining attached to the heartwood. It should feel light and make a hollow sound when banged against another piece of wood.

Moisture content between 15-20-percent is ideal for burning almond wood. Freshly cut almond wood will have an internal moisture content of approximately 55-percent. If the moisture content in your wood hasn’t been reduced enough through seasoning, you will find it very difficult to start a fire. At 20-percent moisture, almond wood will burn long and hot, creating the ideal fire.

If you don’t already own one or plan to build one, you may find our most recent piece about the best firewood racks helpful.

Resin / Sap Content of Almond Wood

The almond tree is more or less a type of fruit tree. Usually, fruit trees have a high amount of sap to help provide nutrients for growing the fruit. However, almond trees have very little sap when harvested. This makes it ideal firewood. Large amounts of sap in firewood can be tough to burn. Additionally, burning sap can create a strong and unpleasant odor.

When first cut, almond firewood occasionally can have some sap that leaks out from the cut edges. This is especially true of almond firewood that was harvested in the spring or summer months. After seasoning, this sap will disappear, leaving a dry, clean-burning piece of firewood.

almond firewood grill outdoors low smoke high heat

Almond Firewood Smoke

Almond firewood creates a very clean-burning fire. There is very little smoke created by seasoned almond firewood. This makes almond firewood an excellent choice for outdoor fires where smoke can be a nuisance.

Another benefit of the low smoke output from almond wood is the lack of creosote formation. The high heat output and clean-burning process make almond firewood one of the lowest creosote producing options. However, if your almond firewood isn’t seasoned, it will create more smoke and creosote. Always burn wood with less than 20-percent moisture content to reduce smoke and creosote formation.

The lack of smoke may frustrate you if you’re looking to smoke food with almond wood. Using larger chunks of wood can generate enough smoke to impart a sweet, nutty flavor into meats. Almond smoke goes with all types of meat since it is so subtle in flavor.

Almond Wood Smoke Smell

Almond firewood produces a sweet, nutty smell when burned. The scent differs from the odor of the wood when first cut. While fresh almond firewood can have an almost artificial almond extract smell to it, seasoned firewood will produce a light, roasted scent when burned.

You may need to burn multiple logs of almond firewood to achieve a noticeable perfume from the fire. Unlike other popular fruit firewood varieties, such as cherry, the fragrance emitted by almond firewood is very gentle. It’s pleasant without being overpowering, which can make it an excellent choice for those who are sensitive to smells.

Common Questions about Almond Firewood

How expensive is almond firewood?

Almond firewood is more expensive than most other types of firewood. Depending on your location, almond firewood can be twice as expensive per cord as oak firewood. However, you may use less almond wood since it burns hotter and cleaner than oak, making a direct price comparison more difficult.

Purchasing unseasoned wood is always a cheaper option than buying seasoned wood. This can be a great option given the short seasoning time required for almond wood. Keep in mind that you will need to have a protected outdoor area to store the wood.

Is Almond wood good for cooking or smoking?

Yes, almond wood is excellent for cooking for several reasons. Many cooks enjoy the low smoke created by almond wood fires since it won’t impart a strong flavor to the food. Almond wood fires create a long- and even-burning bed of coals. This helps food cook evenly and consistently.

If you are looking for a wood that provides consistent quality fires, almond wood is an excellent choice.

Almond firewood is not as common a choice for smoking. It’s a very mild smoking wood and may take a long time to impart flavor into your food. However, it pairs well with all meats making it a great universal smoking option. You can mix almond wood with other smoking woods.

The subtle fragrance won’t overpower other woods and allows you to increase the temperature of your smoker, cooking meat faster.

burning firewood with orange flames

What firewood mixes well with Almond?

Mixing hardwood and softwoods is a great way to create a fire that is easy to light yet burns a long time.

Since Almond is a hardwood that can be difficult to get started, you should mix it with a softwood the lights easily like juniper. A great ratio is two-thirds juniper firewood to one-third almond firewood. This will create a wonderful-smelling fire that burns at a moderate pace.

For the coldest months, consider a 50-50 ratio of juniper and almond firewood to maximize the heat produced by your fire.

You can also mix almond firewood with a more economical hardwood. Oak is the most popular firewood and will likely be your cheapest option.

However, you can mix in other hardwoods like hickory, maple, or walnut to create an efficient and economical fire. You’ll need an adequate supply of kindling to get an all-hardwood fire going, but you’ll be rewarded with a fire that burns hot and slow.