Dec 16, 2013 Gotta burn SEASONED wood! I was at a party this weekend with a proud new owner of a Chimney Box. They were all excited about showing off their Box. They went to one of the convenience stores and purchased a bundle of wood wrapped in plastic. When they tried to get the fire going, all it would do is smoke...even after they had a bed of coals from some split firewood, the "unseasoned" convenience store wood never really caught fire and would only smolder and smoke. It is SUPER IMPORTANT to pick the right wood for your Chimney Box. First, you should always buy split firewood. It should have a dull grey color to it... which indicates that it is "seasoned" and not fresh… the duller the better! Always avoid attempting to burn "fresh" or "green" wood, because it has a high moisture content and is reluctant to burn and therefore throws a lot of blue smoke… bad for your guests and the environment! If seasoned wood is not an option, and all you have to burn is "fresher" wood, you can help the cause by creating a large coal bed first, then adding the wood. Do this with a bag of match light charcoal. Get a bed of coals established and your "fresh" firewood will at least have a chance to ignite. Also, have some fat wood or some other firestarter handy. When the green wood starts to smoke rather than burn, give it some help by adding fat wood or starters so that you are creating flames in the box. This creates some draw in the box to help get smoke up the chimney instead of out the front of the Box. Or just burn charcoal! The lump coal makes a prettier fire than the briquettes… but you get great heat from the coal and some great colors to stare at… Cowboy TV! 50% of urban America ( mostly in the north) get 100% of their heat from charcoal… so it works! If you find yourself with unseasoned wood, stack it aside, go get some seasoned split oak or piñon firewood, and burn the green stuff next year, after it has dried out and "seasoned". Unseasoned wood is just no good for burning in your Chimney Box, fireplace, firepit, or clay chiminea. Period.