The 8 Best Fire Logs of 2022

The Duraflame Outdoor Firelog is our top choice

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The Best Fire Logs of 2022

Walmart / Tractor Supply Co.

Artificial fire logs mimic the look of a traditional log fire. But because they are far simpler to start and maintain, they allow you to quickly and conveniently create a cozy hearthside or outdoor experience. If you can light a match, you can enjoy a fire log in your wood-burning fireplace. “There’s really not a lot you can do wrong with them,” says Russ Dimmitt, director of education at the Chimney Safety Institute of America, which trains and certifies professional chimney sweeps at its headquarters in Plainfield, Indiana. “Typically, you just light the paper on it with a match, and they go.”

We evaluated a variety of logs based on longevity, ease of use, where and how you can use the log, their scent, and their sound. We also researched what’s exactly inside them, paying close attention to the materials used, possible pollutants and environmental impact. 

Our top pick is the Duraflame Outdoor Firelog, one of the more versatile, environmentally friendly fire logs on the market that is also approved for roasting food such as marshmallows and hot dogs. 

Here are the top choices for fire logs to keep the home fires burning this winter.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Duraflame Outdoor Firelog

Duraflame Outdoor Firelog

Cabela's

What We Like
  • Can be used to roast campfire food

  • Easy to ignite

  • Designated as a Chimney Safety Institute of America Accepted Product

What We Don't Like
  • Not sold as individual logs

  • May not fit smaller fire pits

Despite its name, the Duraflame Outdoor Firelog can be used in a variety of indoor and outdoor settings such as in wood-burning fireplaces, chimineas, and traditional and smokeless fire pits, earning it high marks for versatility. The log is designed to ignite in less than 5 minutes when you light the easy-to-see marks on the wrapper, which serves as the firestarter. Our pick can be used for roasting marshmallows and hot dogs, unlike most wax fire logs, which are not recommended as being food safe.

Unlike the logs of 50 years ago, modern Duraflames use bio-based wax as a binder, which is better for the environment. In 2007, Duraflame also discontinued using traditional petroleum-based waxes, which can have a strong odor that some may find unpleasant. 

Most logs are designed to be one-and-dones. But the Duraflame Outdoor Firelogs are designed to be stacked in the shape of an “x” before they’re lit, which can help make your fire look more like a traditional wood fire. The logs are designed to burn a minimum of 2.5 hours, with the option to keep adding more. This is why the product is sold in packs of three (9.6 pounds) or six (about 19 pounds).

The Duraflame Company is transparent about what’s exactly in its logs: “mostly oak with some maple and/or hickory. The agricultural fibers are ground walnut and almond shells.” We love the all-natural components, which also contribute to the “crackle” sound the logs produce when they burn.

Price at time of publish: $15

Material: Renewable/recyclable wood and agricultural fibers with bio-derived waxes; firestarter wrapper | Size: About 15 inches, including wrapper | Weight: 3.5 pounds | Duration: 1 hour per log | Roasting food? Yes

Best Splurge: Goodwood Easy-Light Firebag plus Extra Logs

Goodwood Easy-Light Firebag plus Extra Logs

Walmart

What We Like
  • Packaged in natural jute bags

  • Made from clean lumber mill surplus

  • Can be used outdoors and indoors

  • Can use additional logs

What We Don't Like
  • Short burn time

  • Costs more to ship outside California

The chic but simple Goodwood Firebags are 5-pound jute bags filled with all-wood compressed logs and wood shavings. To use, light the jute bag, which ignites the material inside the bag. The firebags are expected to burn for about 2 hours. But the company’s “Four Evenings By the Fire” kit includes four Firebags, plus a 30-pound box of firelogs, which you can add to keep the fire going. 

We buy into Goodwood’s claim of being more environment-friendly than many wax-based logs. First, Goodwood sources its wood from surplus lumber mill shavings and compresses the wood to make a dense log that uses no binders such as wax. Also, the plant-based jute bag is a more sustainable choice than the colored wrappers wax logs are packaged in.

We also like that the small company is big on using local resources, and employs developmentally disabled adults to work in its warehouse, near Watsonville, California, between Big Sur and San Francisco along the Pacific coast. In fact, the company donates a portion of its proceeds to reforestation efforts. Also, Goodwood Firebags are showing up as an amenity in environmentally conscious hotels in the region.

Price at time of publish: $43

Material: Compressed wood (mostly from cedar, redwood and poplar) logs, jute bag and paper label. | Size: Not applicable | Weight: One Firebag is 5 pounds | Duration: 2 hours | Recommended for roasting food? Yes

Best Scented: Yankee Candle Balsam & Cedar Scented Firelog

Yankee Candle Balsam & Cedar Scented Firelog

King Soopers

What We Like
  • Yankee Candle brand fragrance

  • Reliable 3-hour burn

  • Giftable, easy-to-light wrapper

  • Can use indoors or outdoors

What We Don't Like
  • Difficult to buy an individual log

The irony of a scented fire log is you aren’t supposed to smell it after you light it. “You really should never smell wood burning in your fireplace,” says Russ Dimmitt, director of education at the Chimney Safety Institute of America. If you do, “that means your fireplace isn’t working right. You should have your chimney checked.”

Hence, the label on the Yankee Candle Balsam & Cedar Scented Firelog says to “enjoy fragrance before burning.” The pleasant forest aroma of the Yankee Candle Balsam & Cedar is one of the candle company’s signature scents. The log is made by Pine Mountain, which makes a number of popular and reliable fire logs. 

If forest fragrance isn’t your thing, you can always try Pine Mountain’s Dark Roasted Coffee or Citronella scented logs. Pine Mountain’s Java Logs aren’t scented, but because they are made with recycled coffee grounds, they do smell like coffee when burning.

Price at time of publish: $24

Materials: Pine Mountain describes its binder as a “blended wax” and lists “recycled biomass products” such as wood sawdust and ground tree nutshells. Java Logs are made with recycled coffee grounds. | Size: About 12 inches by 4 inches long. | Weight: 4.5 pounds | Duration: 3  hours (4 hours for coffee-fueled Java Logs) | Recommended for roasting food? No

Best for Camping: TimberTote Firewood

TimberTote Firewood

Amazon

What We Like
  • More affordable than similar products

  • Made from natural kiln-dried wood

  • Includes firestarter

  • Widely available, including at convenience stores

What We Don't Like
  • Utilitarian look

  • Lighting can be tricky

  • May not be able to use where wood fires are banned

Not everyone has the foresight to know they’re going to want or be able to have a campfire, or the ability to pack or easily acquire wood. The Timber Tote is our favorite option if you’re a “we’ll-buy-it-when-we-get-there”-type person. Also if you don’t care what the exterior of the log looks like because you just want a functional fire. 

The Timber Tote isn’t a picturesque log that resembles bark-wrapped, fresh-cut firewood; in fact, It resembles a naked log with its bark whittled off. But this rope-handled log (hence “tote” in the name) is affordable. It also is easy to procure, as you can buy it at a variety of convenience stores (where you might also be able to find s’mores materials to go with your campfire). 

The log is made of kiln-dried wood, which has been baked in a hot oven to remove excess moisture, making it easier to burn. But some may find the lighting part tricky. First, you must stand it vertically instead of horizontally, and position it so the side vent hole faces away from the wind. Then you, have to light the firestarter stick that’s included and then drop the flaming stick into a pre-drilled hole in the top of the Timber Tote log. 

When lit, the upright log looks more like a Fourth of July firecracker than a traditional campfire. But its ability to roast food and estimated 1- to 2-hour burn times make the Timber Tote ideal for those who want a quick, short-burning fire before retiring under the stars.

Price at time of publish: $21

Material: Kiln-dried wood, firestarter, paper label, rope handle | Size: 12 inches by 8 inches | Weight: 2.6 pounds | Duration: 1 to 2 hours | Recommended for roasting food? Yes

Best Realistic-Looking: Eco Forest Light n’ Go Yule Log

Eco Forest Light n’ Go Yule Log

Home Depot

What We Like
  • Instagram-worthy, photogenic log

  • Made from real kiln-dried birch

  • Includes firestarter

  • Can be used indoors or outdoors

What We Don't Like
  • Short burn time

  • Can be difficult to find

It shouldn’t be surprising that our pick for the most realistic looking log is made from real wood; kiln-dried birch, with the classic creamy-white bark exterior. The photogenic Eco Forest’s Light n’ Go Yule Log can help create an ideal backdrop for holiday photos, whether it’s lighted or not. You may want to first remove the rope handle that’s attached to the log to make it easier to carry. But you don’t have to remove the handle to burn the log.

The Light n’ Go is so named because it includes a built-in firestarter that’s housed in pre-made slits, cut horizontally across the top of the log. You just need to light the firestarter, and flames should quickly burn, from end to end, in a few minutes. You can burn the log indoors or outdoors, and it’s safe for roasting food such as marshmallows. 

The caveat is that it may be difficult to find one to buy. Although the New Jersey-based company sells logs through chains like Walmart and Home Depot, they are often listed as out of stock. The manufacturer advises calling stores in advance to see if they have the logs. EcoForest also makes a similar but smaller log called the Light n’ Go Go Log, made of birch or alder wood.

Price at time of publish: $9

Material: Birch, firestarter, rope handle, paper label | Size: Varies, but about 5.5 inches by 18 inches | Weight: 6.6 pounds | Duration: About 1 to 1.5 hours | Recommended for roasting food? Yes

Best Log for Crackle: Duraflame Crackleflame Firelogs

Duraflame Crackleflame 4lb Firelogs

Walmart

What We Like
  • Sounds like real wood logs

  • Can be used indoors and outdoors

  • Easy to ignite

  • Designated as a Chimney Safety Institute of America Accepted Product

What We Don't Like
  • Not safe for roasting food

  • Can be difficult to buy individual logs

The pop from a real wood fire is steam making noise as it escapes the decomposing wood. When natural seeds inside the Duraflame Crackleflame get warm, they produce a sound that mimics that pleasing "pop." But artificial logs designed with sound features, like Duraflame Crackleflame, are touted as being less messy because they shouldn’t produce the flying embers that real wood fires can shoot out when they pop. 

The Crackleflame is designed to burn for 3 hours, but outdoor weather conditions, such as wind, can speed up the burn time. If your outdoor fire burns more quickly than you want, Duraflame recommends adding another Crackleflame. However, this log is not recommended for roasting food.

Price at time of publish:

Material: Renewable/recyclable wood and agricultural fibers with bio-derived waxes; wrapper that serves as a firestarter | Size: Sold in a package of four logs, with each measuring about 11 inches long, 15 inches with paper wrapper | Weight: 4.5 pounds | Duration: 3 hours | Recommended for roasting food? No

Best to Clean Your Chimney: Creosote Sweeping Log

Creosote Sweeping Log

Home Depot

What We Like
  • Breaks up creosote deposits

  • Can be used in a wood stove

  • Designated as a Chimney Safety Institute of America Accepted Product

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn’t replace chimney sweep

  • Needs about 15 days to work

Smoke leaves behind a tar-like residue called creosote, which is a fire hazard. Specialty logs, like the Creosote Sweeping Log (Chimney Sweeping Log in Canada), contain substances that when burned, cause a chemical reaction that can break up the creosote, so it can be removed. But you should read the instructions carefully before lighting the log. If you don’t follow the directions, you could inadvertently create conditions that could send the smoke created by the log into your house instead of out your chimney. “I wouldn’t want to breathe it,” said Russ Dimmitt, director of education at the Chimney Safety Institute of America.

Although the log’s ingredients are proprietary, Dimmitt says they are similar to the chemicals professional chimney sweeps use to remove creosote. After you use the log, you still should have a professional chimney sweep clean and inspect your chimney, Dimmitt says.

The manufacturer notes that even though the log burns in a few hours, creosote ash can continue to fall for more than a week. But you can still use your fireplace as usual.

Price at time of publish:

Material: Not listed | Size: | Weight: 1 to 3.5 pounds | Duration: 2 hours | Recommended for roasting food? No

Best for a Wood Stove: Pres-to-Log Natural Fire Log

Pres-to-Log Natural Fire Log

Tractor Supply Co.

What We Like
  • Comparably priced as others

  • Reliable source of heat

  • Long burn time

  • Can be used indoors and outdoors

What We Don't Like
  • No firestarter included

  • Requires more effort to build and start a fire

The low-moisture content and density of compressed logs allow them to burn hotter than traditional hardwood. Unlike wax-based logs, this reliable, no-frills compressed log can be used in a closed wood-burning stove. 

The Pres-to-Log was created in 1934 as a dense log made of sawmill leftovers, compressed into a cheap, durable source of heat. One Pres-to-Log can burn for 3 hours and generates so much heat that the company recommends starting with only one or two so you don’t overheat your space.

You can use the log in a variety of settings such as wood-burning fireplaces and outdoor fire pits. But there’s no firestarter included, so it’s up to you to get the fire going. You can mix the Pres-to-Logs with real wood if you want to use tinder and kindling to start your fire.

Price at time of publish:

Material: Recycled, compressed sawdust and wood shavings. | Size: 3.5 inches by 12 inches long | Weight: About 5 pounds (some retailers sell by weight) | Duration: 3 hours | Recommended for roasting food? Yes

Final Verdict

The Duraflame Outdoor Firelog is our top recommendation because it uses bio-based wax instead of petroleum-based wax. The logs are widely available, can be used indoors and outdoors and for roasting food. If you are looking for a reliable burn outdoors, we recommend the TimberTote Firwood Log.

What to Look For in a Fire Log

Type

The easiest fire logs to find are often likened to candles and are typically made of log-shaped forms of wax and materials such as sawdust or cardboard. They are wrapped in paper that functions as the firestarter. The two most common types of artificial fire logs are those made with wax and recycled materials; and compressed wood. A log that includes a paper wrapper that functions as a firestarter likely will be easy to ignite. 

Compressed logs typically are dried in kilns to remove excess moisture. Although they burn faster and hotter than real wood, you still need something to ignite them. So a product that doesn’t include a firestarter or paper accelerant requires more prep work, as you have to build a fire and successfully light it so the log ignites.

Materials

If an environmentally friendly product is a must-have, you should probably pass on logs made with petroleum-based waxes. Do you need a log that’s safe to roast a marshmallow over? Generally, compressed logs are the best options because they’re made of pure wood. You and those around you could inhale whatever you burn, so you may want to pass if you can’t determine what a product is made of.

Duration

A fire shouldn’t be left unattended, so before buying a log, think about how long you want it to last. Typically, logs have estimated burn times from 1 to 4 hours. As the estimated burn time increases, typically so does the price.

Fire logs are engineered not to burn too quickly, which is one of the reasons manufacturers recommend not to break them apart, says Russ Dimmitt, director of education at the Chimney Safety Institute of America, which trains and certifies professional chimney sweeps at its headquarters in Plainfield, Indiana. “If you break them apart, there’s more combustion material exposed to the air, and the log is going to burn a lot faster,” he says. Weather conditions can also help dictate how fast a log will burn outdoors. 

Location 

The directions on a log should tell you if it can be used indoors, outdoors, or both. Most wax-based logs can’t be used in closed wood stoves because they need oxygen to burn. Some logs that are expected to generate high heat include warnings where they should not be used, such as chimineas and small fire pits.

Smell

Chances are, if you find a log’s odor disagreeable, you’re not going to want it perfuming your personal space. So if you have the opportunity to smell a fire log before purchasing, give it a sniff. Logs that have fragrance added intentionally are likely designed to be enjoyed before burning. A properly working chimney should create a draft that vents all the smoke and smells up the passageway and outside your house, says Russ Dimmitt. If avoiding scents is a major consideration, consider compressed logs, which are made of pure wood and typically aren’t scented.

FAQ
  • Are fire logs better than real wood?

    Artificial fire logs are cleaner. Literally. Real wood is dirty and can contain pests, which is why some states don’t allow it to be transported across state lines. Real wood also contains moisture. A wet log is more difficult to ignite and can be inconsistent when burned.

    Many artificial fire logs are made of recycled or surplus wood shavings that are compressed and baked to draw out excess moisture. These dense logs typically burn faster, more consistently, and provide more warmth. Even wax-based logs tend to use recycled materials beyond wood such as cardboard, coffee grounds, and agricultural products.

    Manufacturers that don’t cut down trees to make their logs typically inform consumers in their packaging or marketing materials. Some even donate proceeds from sales to help plant new trees.

  • Do fire logs expire?

    While firelogs shouldn’t expire, you should take care of them, so they burn as expected. Most manufacturers recommend storing logs in a dry area, away from dampness or heat.

  • Do fire logs create creosote?

    Yes, but far less than real firewood. The higher the moisture content of your wood, the more smoke and creosote your fire produces. Fire logs have low moisture content. The agency advises burning dry, seasoned wood to reduce the amount of creosote produced and decrease the likelihood of chimney fires.

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was written by Laurie Mansfield Reiter, a journalist with years of experience in researching, testing, and recommending home and garden products. Laurie researched products from online retailers, grocery stores, farm equipment stores, and big-box stores. In preparation for this article, she also consulted with Russ Dimmitt, director of education at the Chimney Safety Institute of America, which trains and certifies professional chimney sweeps at its headquarters in Plainfield, Indiana. She also consulted the Environmental Protection Agency’s Burn Wise, a program that educates consumers about the importance of burning the right wood, the right way, in the right appliance.

Article Sources
The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/creosote