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Oct 29, 2017

How To Find, Harvest And Use Fatwood

Introduction to Fatwood

Fatwood, also known as lighter wood, is a natural fire starter that comes from the heartwood of pine trees. It is highly resinous, making it easy to ignite and perfect for starting fires, especially in outdoor grilling and camping scenarios. At Big Grill Shop, we understand the importance of having high-quality fatwood for your grilling needs. In this guide, we will provide you with detailed instructions on how to find, harvest, and effectively use fatwood.

Finding Fatwood

When searching for fatwood, it's essential to look for pine trees that have undergone harsh weather conditions, such as strong winds or lightning strikes. These conditions increase the resin content in the wood, making it perfect for fire starting. Fatwood is commonly found in the stumps, roots, and lower branches of dead pine trees.

To locate fatwood, keep an eye out for trees with resinous characteristics such as rich amber-colored sap or sticky bark. Fallen trees and branches are also excellent sources of fatwood. Remember to check for local regulations before harvesting fatwood, as some areas may have restrictions to preserve the natural habitat.

Harvesting Fatwood Safely

Before harvesting fatwood, it's crucial to ensure your own safety as well as the environment's. Wear appropriate protective gear like gloves and goggles, and consider using hand tools like a hatchet or small saw.

Look for visible signs of fatwood, such as the resin-rich areas with a distinct reddish-brown color. Carefully cut or break off the fatwood pieces, avoiding unnecessary damage to the surrounding trees.

It's essential to maintain sustainable harvesting practices to preserve the ecosystem. Only take what you need and avoid excessive cutting or damaging live trees. Remember, responsible harvesting contributes to the long-term availability of fatwood for future generations of outdoor enthusiasts.

Using Fatwood for Grilling

Now that you have successfully found and harvested fatwood, it's time to put it to use for your grilling adventures. Fatwood serves as an excellent fire starter due to its high resin content, ensuring quick and easy ignition.

Here's how you can effectively use fatwood for your grilling needs:

1. Preparing Your Grill

Before lighting the fatwood, ensure that your grill is clean and free from any debris. Clear out any leftover ash or charcoal from previous grilling sessions to allow optimal airflow.

2. Arranging Fatwood

Place a few small fatwood pieces in the center of your grill or fire pit, creating a pyramid shape. Make sure to leave enough space for airflow.

3. Lighting Fatwood

Using a long match or lighter, ignite the fatwood pieces. The resinous nature of fatwood will ensure a steady flame, which will gradually light the charcoal or wood you add later.

4. Adding Charcoal or Wood

Once the fatwood has produced a stable flame, add your preferred charcoal or wood on top. Allow the flames to engulf the new fuel source, ensuring a consistent and even fire for grilling.

5. Adjusting Temperature

To control the temperature of your grill, adjust the airflow vents accordingly. Opening the vents increases airflow, intensifying the heat, while closing them reduces airflow, decreasing the temperature. Experiment with vent positions to achieve your desired grilling temperature.

Additional Tips and Precautions

- Store your harvested fatwood in a dry and well-ventilated area to maintain its quality.

- Always keep a fire extinguisher or a bucket of water nearby when grilling to ensure safety.

- Avoid using fatwood for indoor grilling or in confined spaces due to its strong resinous scent.


Congratulations! You have now learned how to find, harvest, and effectively use fatwood for your grilling needs. At Big Grill Shop, we believe in providing our customers with comprehensive tips and guides to enhance their grilling experience. Remember to follow safety precautions and practice responsible harvesting to preserve the beauty of nature.

For more high-quality grilling products and expert advice, explore our wide selection at Big Grill Shop. Happy grilling!