What To Use For Kindling In The Fireplace

It can be pretty confusing when you have to choose your material for kindling. Having the wrong kindling can make starting your fire ten times harder. Let’s take a look at what you can use as effective kindling.

Some of the best materials for kindling include your existing firewood cut into smaller pieces. Alternatively, you can also use store brought kindling, small twigs, paper, and wood which has not been treated, stained, or painted. Twigs along with stems and pine cones or birch bark are great too.

What To Use For Kindling

What Is Kindling?

If you are new to the world of fires, it is important to know what kindling is. Kindling includes all those substances which are dry enough to be easily combustible and can be used to start a fire.

Usually, kindling is placed between the fire starter of your choice, for example, newspaper, and the main fuel for the fire which would include firewood. Lighting the fire starter will in turn burn the kindling which will in turn help in burning the firewood.

A lot of times, you can also buy ready-made kindling in packets. This will make your job easier when starting a fire. Most of the time, kindling can be the same firewood you are using as fuel but only smaller and properly dried.

What Can Be Used As Kindling In The Fireplace?

If you cannot find packaged bags of ready-made kindling, there is no need to worry, you can always come up with, or source your own kindling. Most of the time you can use the objects already in your house.

The most ideal kindling will become from the firewood you are already using. Either pick the smaller pieces of wood from the bottom of the pile of firewood or cut your logs down to smaller pieces.

On the contrary, you can also use pieces of unpainted, unstained, and dried-up pieces of paper, twigs, and stems from trees and plants as well. Make sure the paper pieces you use, have not been printed upon, stained, or dyed.

Why Do You Need to Use Kindling?

Logs or firewood can take a long time to catch fire. It would be ridiculous to keep holding a fire next to the firewood for 10 minutes before it catches fire. The Firestarter that you are going to use will not burn for this long and you will have to keep fighting it to get the fire going.

Kindling acts like the middleman for the fire, it can catch fire much faster than logs and can last longer than the fire starter. This helps the logs catch fire easily.

What Is The Best Wood for Kindling?

Both softwood and hardwood can be used as kindling as long as it is properly seasoned or kiln-dried, have been cut into smaller pieces, and is in plentiful supply. Firewood such as Pine, Fir, Cedar, etc is a great choice for kindling.

Should You Season Firewood Before Using Them as Kindling?

It is very important to properly dry, season, or kiln-dry firewood before using them as kindling. Kindling needs to catch fire as fast as possible and the dryer the wood pieces, the faster they will burn.

How Small Does Kindling Need to Be?

Kindling wood needs to be as small as possible, no more than 2-3″ long and thin.

Can You Use Bark as Kindling?

Tree bark, especially birch bark can be an excellent choice for kindling.You will have to make sure that the bark pieces are properly dried, with the exception of birch.

Can You Use Pinecones as Kindling?

Although it is not certain whether pine cones will catch fire as quickly as firewood, it has not been treated with any chemicals and is a natural product so if you are in a pinch then you can use pinecones as well.

How To Use Kindling Effectively?

The most ideal method of using kindling is to lay them below the firewood but above the Firestarter in a criss-cross pattern to let enough air flow into the fire. Light the Firestarter and make sure that the kindling has caught fire properly before the firestarter burns out.


You can use smaller pieces of your existing firewood, other untreated or unstained wood, twigs, stems, and paper that have not been treated. Although the ideal choice would be existing firewood, you can also use store brought kindling as well.

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