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It’s that time of year when the days are getting shorter and the nights colder and longer. It is a time when warmth is actively sought, but the cost of artificial electric heating is a daunting consideration when reaching for the heaters. It seems that more and more South Africans are opting for and warming themselves at indoor fireplaces and wood-fired indoor closed system, slow burning cast iron stoves/heaters. Whether traditional in design, lending a rustic appeal to one’s indoor spaces, or the more modern and sleek design befitting contemporary open plan homes, wood stoves/heaters are becoming steadily more popular in the South African market. Wood-fired heating is a natural, environmentally-friendly and relatively inexpensive way of keeping your home comfortably warm during the winter months. Even the problem of obtaining the necessary wood to fuel these heaters is becoming ever easier to solve, thanks to the services of firewood delivery suppliers.
Whilst we may not need heating during our long hot summers, we still have a need for wood supplies for our ever-popular and sociable braais. There are some people who consider braaing the only way to cook during the summer, and for many, the choice of fuel is always going to be wood rather than charcoal or briquettes. Wood braais have a different taste and cooking method to charcoal. Some braai masters even swear on their lives that steak cooked over a flaming wood fire simply cannot be beaten. But whatever you are cooking, be it over hot and fast or cooler and slower fires, wood is the obvious answer due to its adaptability. There are various types of wood available, depending on your requirements, from softer woods which burn out quickly to the harder woods which are renowned for their ability to burn hotter for longer periods.
Soft woods such as pine are great for starting fires of any kind, as they light easily and quickly, but also burn down very fast, so are usually used for this purpose only. Amongst the hardwoods, there are a number of different varieties which can be used for both heating and cooking. Firewood is generally categorized according to its usefulness. Hardwoods such as Blue Gum or Black Wattle are used for open and closed fireplaces, whilst Sekelbos hardwood is highly recommended for braai usage.
Kameeldoring hardwood is sought after as it is a very heavy, dry wood with one of the lowest moisture levels of any of the hardwoods and gives off a lovely musky aroma. You could also use Mopani, other Namibian hardwoods or Rooikrans woods for cooking.
Due to the steadily growing demand for firewood for both heating and cooking, many suppliers are expanding their range of products and becoming more of a ‘one-stop-shop’, making it so much more convenient to buy everything fire-related from one supplier. Whereas it was once commonplace to find firewood suppliers operating from bakkies at the side of the road, this is gradually giving way to a more efficient form of buying. Buying online from firewood suppliers has many advantages : being able to pay via EFT, buying in bulk, home deliveries, choice of different products available and the ability to ask for mixed loads if required. Many firewood suppliers also offer kindling, briquettes, charcoal, firelighters and anthracite for coal stoves and fireplaces. Rather than spending valuable - and costly – time driving around trying to find firewood and then having to go to the shop to buy firelighters, etc., relax and let it all come to you. Simple mathematics!
As the trend for wood-based stoves and heaters is growing, as well as continuous demand for braai-wood, more and more firewood suppliers are advertising online. Buying from an online shop front is both convenient and time-saving. Search sites such as Uptasker are brilliant resources when looking for suppliers in your own specific geographical area, with the added advantage of being able to check the suppliers’ online ratings and customer reviews. If the supplier has his own website, you can use Uptasker’s ‘one-click’ link and shop at your leisure. An additional and valuable advantage is being able to compare pricing on the same products from the convenience of your own home. You can also find advertisements in South African cooking magazines, house and home magazines and catalogues or visit home expos, speak to suppliers of indoor fireplaces and wood- or anthracite-burning heaters, as well as checking the Yellow Pages and newspapers. And, of course, there are always the extremely useful word of mouth referrals.
Whether you are looking for wood for fireplaces and non-electric indoor stoves for your winter heating requirements, or simply want to stock up on wood for your summer braais, you cannot beat the convenience of buying from a reputable firewood supplier and having your purchase delivered to your door. Being able to buy in bulk if required and with a wide choice of woods available, these suppliers are worth their weight in gold. For more tips, see our firewood supplier articles.