Can I use briquettes in a smokeless zone?
Yes, but only if you have a DEFRA certified stove (also known as an exempt appliance). Most modern stoves are exempt and it’s easy to check if yours is by looking on the DEFRA website. This will tell you what the permitted fuels are for your stove. If it says “Wood Logs” then you can use any of our briquettes.
DEFRA also have a list of authorised fuels which do not include many wood products. This makes people believe that they can’t burn wood products in a smokeless zone. But in reality, you can, as long as the appliance is exempt. The only caveat to this is to burn DRY wood. Poorly seasoned logs, or freshly cut logs, will be too wet and will produce smoke even on an exempt appliance. Stick to kiln-dried logs and wood briquettes to keep the atmosphere and your neighbours happy.
Moisture content is key
Remember, the amount of moisture in a log directly affects the amount of smoke it will produce. Freshly cut timber is around 50% moisture. Properly seasoned logs are 20-25%. Kiln-dried logs are usually 12-18%, while wood briquettes are well under 10%. So briquettes are very well-suited for use in exempt appliances.
This low moisture content also means that they give more heat out as well. And because they’re denser than logs, they burn longer, as well as hotter. Win win!