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Posted By woodsie8,
Sep 21, 2008 at 7:21 PM
Basically wood and maybe sap. Can I safely burn them, with no negative consequences?
Pine cones are a perfect firestarter as long as they are ripe old expanded suckers....stay away from closed up cones and cones still green.
The only drawback is they are a bear to stack.
I could burn a lot of them, but it's a PITA to have to clean your hands of the sap each time you start a fire.
My splitter makes a real mess of them. Rick
True, lot of sap with the cones, but buy a cheap pair of cotton gloves for a buck or 2 and use them only for loading and starting the stove. I have a couple of pair and use one for caulking chores and the other for oil and gasoline handling
I use them as fire starters--I have plenty of them in my yard. I also save some of my pine needles when I rake in the spring and fall. I put a few pine needles and pine cones in a paper bag along with kindling to get the fire started. Works great.
i wonder how many btu's are in those pine comes? and how many it takes to make a cord?
The funny thing about the posting of this topic is that I was at the park with my daughter just a few hours ago and she was picking up pine cones and I thought, hmmm, I wonder if you could burn them and was thinking back as to whether or not I had ever come across the subject on this website.
How about acorns,I must rake up 500 lbs. of these things ,unless the rodents beat me to it. Don
This forum is great, I'm so glad I found it!
You have rodents who rake acorns? Man, could I ever have used some of those when I lived in Virginia. %-P Rick
tough to season them effectively.
I had another 'break-in' fire just the other night. Normally, I use tiny wads of newspaper (3x 1/16 of a sheet) to start some small Oak kindling. These are all placed between/ across two closely spaced ~1-1/2 in square Oak kindling pieces. This time I tried an old, dry pine cone, the 'open' type described above. It was at least a year old; I suspect it may have been one that was 5-10 years old, fully seasoned. They'd been stored indoors in the basement for a good while, some that I have. They are White Pine cones. It worked 'OK' as a starter, but I noticed it put out a lot of smoke, way more than the newspaper does. It was also slow starting, compared to paper. I haven't completely given up on the pine cones yet, but I was definitely not impressed. Next experiment- a little candle wax dripped on or otherwise applied to the cones. Let's see how that improves things.
It appears that if you burned a lot of these, your chimney output would be pretty darned smoky. I certainly wouldn't use them for much more than starters. Just so long as they are fully seasoned, smokiness is probably the only consequence. They might earn you neighbor complaints, however. ;-)
The next time you're baking, or the misses is. When you're done. Turn the oven off and let it cool down to about 200 and toss them in on a cookie sheet. That will dry them out. Then dip them in some candle wax. They light quick, burn great, and don't get your hands sappy.
Chain saw dust is great for this too. After you dry it put some wax paper in shallow pan. Then put he saw dust in there and pour wax on top of it.
I buy close out candles from where ever for a buck or two a piece. I can don't care about the sent. I just buy the biggest ones they have and melt them on the stove in a old coffee can.
SUPER CEDAR's nuff said...
I break them in 1/4 size pieces which works out to approx. 18 cents per fire started %-P . The time spent drying pine cones/saw dust, melting down candle's and driving to the store/wasting fuel it doesn't seem cost effective...
Another option for pine cone fire starters is to melt paraffin, pour it in cupcake baking cups (fill about halfway), then put a pine cone in each one. Once they've cooled completely, it's very easy to remove the pine cones with parrafin base from the paper cupcake baking cups. A family member made up some of these and placed them in wood bowls as holiday gifts. They worked great--it was a great present that everyone loved.
Great tips, I'll remember these. I'll never look at a yard sale candle the same way again. Not anything I'd buy normally- that may change, now. You know, a lot of folks get tired of looking at them and just give them away. Look for them at the end of a yard sale. I bet some will still be there.
Oh, er, ah- I did email for a sample lot of the Super Cedars. Heh! I wonder just how habit- forming they really are? ;-)
After the first little nibble, you will be hooked. ;-)
Pine cones are great. They're also nice in those outdoor chimineas. One thing to be careful of in the woodstove is putting a bunch in, lighting them and having one roll out.
Top-downs using a 1/4 Super Cedar...I'll never go back. Rick
I thought the ferrets worked best?!?!!? Or are they only for cleaning purposes?
Starting a fire is one thing...maintaining a squeeky clean stovepipe & chimney is another. I haven't given up on ferrets, but you gotta have a good fire already going to use them to best effect. %-P Rick
All this talk about Super Cedars makes me appreciate my 'PennySaver' fire starter even more.