How to Burn Pinion Wood

Drew Nelson

Pinion wood comes from the pinion pine tree that grows in the dry climates of Mexico and the southwest United States. Pinion wood is very popular for outdoor fires. It has a strong, fragrant odor that most people like and also acts as a mosquito repellant.

It burns hot, clean and bright and leaves little ash when the fire is over. It is also good for smoking fish, meat and poultry. It can be purchased at large retail home centers or ordered and shipped from suppliers in 1-cubic-foot bags.

  1. Dry the wood. When you purchase the pinion wood it may be green. If this is the case let the wood sit for a couple of weeks before burning. You will find that the wood burns much better when it is dry.

  2. Cut the wood to fit your outdoor fireplace. Since pinion wood is not very big to begin with, it is ideal for outdoor fireplaces such as chimeneas. It also works well in fire pits and meat smokers. Some places where you buy the wood will custom cut it to the size you want.

  3. Start your fire. Pile newspaper and tinder in the center of the fireplace. Light the newspaper and let the tinder catch fire. Once the tinder is burning, add smaller pieces of pinion wood on top of the burning tinder. As the pinion wood catches fire, add larger pieces until the fire is the size desired.

  4. Smoke fish, meat and poultry. The strong smell makes pinion wood good for this purpose. Many people like the taste of food smoked with pinion wood. Start a small fire in the meat smoker using newspaper and tinder. As the tinder catches fire, add small pieces of pinion wood. As the pinion wood catches fire, add bigger pieces until the fire is the size needed for your smoker.