Benefits of Grilling with Kiln-Dried Wood vs. Charcoal

Nothing says spring has arrived in the Upper Peninsula like firing up the grill. While charcoal grilling is more commonplace, kiln-dried firewood has many benefits that make it a great alternative fuel. Check out the following seven benefits of using kiln-dried wood as fuel for your grill this season.

Benefits of grilling with kiln-dried wood instead of charcoal

Cleaner Fuel

When it comes to grilling, kiln-dried wood is much cleaner to handle than charcoal. If you’ve ever grilled with charcoal – you know how messy it can be. One wrong move and you’ll have a grainy black powder that’s all over your hands – or worse – on your clothes.  Wood doesn’t have this powdery residue, so you get a clean, stain-free job every time you load up the grill.


Easy to Light

Kiln-dried firewood will get your grill fired up to the optimal temperature faster and more efficiently than charcoal will. All you need is a match, tinder, and kindling to start a fire with this ultra-dry, pest-free wood. Some insist that you don’t even need tinder or kindling when you light a fire with kiln dried firewood. Because kiln-dried firewood is so dry, it ignites immediately. Charcoal can sometimes be a struggle to light and keep it burning, whether it’s soaked in lighter fluid or not. (It’s best not to use pre-soaked charcoal when grilling as it contains chemicals that can affect the flavor of your food.)


Longer Burn Time 

Kiln-dried wood burns hotter, longer, and produces a steady, clean heat. The low moisture content means you’re getting the most out of the firewood that you can. While charcoal typically burns for about half-hour to an hour, kiln-dried wood can steadily burn for over an hour.


All Natural

Derived from hardwood trees such as cherry, maple and oak: kiln-dried firewood is an all-natural fuel source. Once the tree is selected, it is cut down, split into manageable size pieces, and then kiln-dried. Here at Stone Hearth, we make sure to use only sustainable logging practices so future generations are able to enjoy the forests for years to come.

Charcoal is made by slowly burning wood in an environment that has very little oxygen. There are types of charcoal that are all-natural, but most types of charcoal contain binding agents or adhesives. When burned, these added fillers are released into the air and absorbed into your food.


Better Flavor

Many would argue that the ultimate benefit of grilling with kiln-dried wood is the superior flavor you get. Charcoal burns fast and hot, and has minimal flavor influence on your meats and veggies. On the other hand, wood contains organic compounds that, when burned, release flavorful smoke. The smoke is then absorbed into your food, enhancing the mouthwatering flavors of the food you’re cooking.


Fragrant Aroma

A small bonus (but definitely worthy of a mention) to grilling with kiln-dried wood is the sweet smell of smoke that you get from burning kiln-dried firewood. The smell of wood burning certainly trumps the smell of charcoal burning.



If you are a Michigander – chances are you already use kiln-dried wood for other purposes such as your wood stove, smoker, sauna, or fireplace. Having a good source of kiln dried firewood already on hand when you need it is an added benefit. Charcoal is made specifically for grilling, and so it isn’t a viable source of fuel for other uses.


Combine with Charcoal

While grilling with wood has many benefits, you can be adventurous and combine wood with charcoal. To do this, add a pile of charcoal to the bottom of your grill’s fuel box. Place your kiln dried firewood to the side of the charcoal or directly on top. When you place firewood to the side, the wood will burn slowly and at a lower temperature. Placing the wood on top will result in a hot and fast burn. When done right, you can get the best of both worlds.


Is your mouth watering yet with all this talk of grilling? Call 906-250-1389 or click here to order the highest quality grilling wood you can find.