Monday, 12 October 2015

We Have Wood

Yes, we're all stocked up here. Ash, Oak, Beech and Birch all feature in our production. It's the variety of English hardwoods that allows for a good burn for heat ratio. In theory it might be tempting to go for an all Beech or an all Ash stack of wood, Beech being high on the calorific chart and Ash having a near superstar status. But in isolation both these woods struggle; one to get going, the other to keep up. So as in life, a little solid but steady and a bit of ready-to-go volatility in the mix is about right.

The biomass kiln has also settled in well and the yard is at an all time 'Low  Waste' point, where to put it simply; the wood drying kiln is run on pretty much all the odds-sods and off cuts. We could go on about how wonderfully green that is, but it'd be a bit shortsighted not to use this by-product (seems a shame to call it 'waste') in the boiler and dry the logs in the process

There's also a very nice and safe piece of log-splitting kit (designed and built in the U.K ) settling in at the yard. It feeds logs onto a rolling table, then into the mouth of the beast, which in turn cuts and splits it to exactly what size and shape we want. From there they go up a conveyor belt and into a turning tumbler to shake out the loose stuff  (these are the bits that fuel the kiln ) and from there they go into a vibrating stillage crate shaker. The shaker settles the wood so it doesn't happen in transport, hence better fuel efficiently 'door to door'

John's got 'the difficult' job. Mind you before this machine, it was TOUGH

It's all very encouraging and a good sign that British Woodland produce is being treated and traded in the best way we can.

Our collective aim is; to tread gently and replenish the stocks we crop, be kind and diligent with our production, enjoy the fact that we work with what we love and care about, and to give our customers and collaborators the best we can produce.
We are all in this for the long haul and to give you a few examples of this ; the Biomass Kiln has been factored in over a 20 year cost cycle. The woodlands that grows our wood exclusively has a 15 year cutting & restocking programme, all compliant beyond the remit of the Forestry Commission. We treat our resources carefully and respectfully and it's directly creating employment within the rural economy. Only 3 years ago there was a 1-2 man team in the yard, now they're up to 5. The new guys are learning about woodland production and the art of charcoal making, whilst working in a clean and safe modern production environment. We're justly proud to be making a difference and we'll continue to do so

Lastly, if you've ever wondered what a modern day wood cutter sleeps in whilst working a remote woodland, then this 'camper truck' is home from home for one or two of the cutting team. It's a 4x4 of some magnitude, but a surprisingly cosy one at that. I've often wondered if the boys have driven to the supermarket to stock up pre-excursion. That's a sight I would like to see, i'll ask them next time I see them

All the best for now


Sunday, 7 June 2015

Friday, 3 April 2015

In Smoke We Trust

Indeed we do! 

A big thank you to Ed Smith: The Taste of Wood
FT Weekend Magazine Food & Drink

Single Species & Blended Charcoals
Chips. Chunks. Grill Wood. Oven Wood.
Alder. Ash. Apple. Beech. Cherry. Wild Cherry. Hazel. Oak. Pear. Sweet Chestnut. Silver Birch
Orange, Lemon & old vines coming our way very soon......
*click here for a mail order price list*

And of course, a whole lot of love!


Monday, 6 October 2014

Kiln Dried Seasoned English Hardwood Logs

The Summer is over, it's the season for logs now. There, i've said it; but I did enjoy the late Indian Heatwave this year and it's helped us at London Log Co, to get that bit more organised

This season we have a very good stock of English Hardwood Logs, all of which have been air seasoned well, in the outside yard. Once cut and processed into firewood, they're crated into vented metal 1m square 'stillages' and stacked indoors, three high
This method allows for crucial air flow around the wood, unhidered by bags or packaging. And it's the airflow around the wood that makes the key difference to how we season firewood. The barn itself is deliberately draughty, airflow is further encouraged this way

Wood-Fired Kiln. Once split into logs and air dried in our 'stillage crates' all summer, we finish them off in the new Wood-Fired Kiln, to bring the moisture level to under 20%
I've seen various prodution methods elsewhere; with huge tipper-truck type silos of logs, piled into firewood mountains. It's impressive volume wise, but it doesn't get much airflow, even when a huge mechanical shovel turns them over regularly. It's also a lot of ineffecient moving of stock, for little gain 'seasoning' wise

At London Log Co, we put our collective thinking heads together, with our harvesting partners. "We can't work any harder, but we can definitely work smarter " we all agreed
So, we take our lead from Scandanavia and Germany, where firewood as fuel is treated in a particular way. Woodland management, harvesting, seasoning and storing is all considered in the picture. Efficient transportation in volume is also key, as is traceability.
We now know where, when and who cut the wood (it's logged on the GPS of the harvester). It's all carefully mechanically harvested, much within 15 miles of the yard and just outside of the M25 East

Mechanical Harvesting is the safest and most effecient way to 'crop' a woodland.
I do still quite like the romantic idea, of going out into the forest with a chainsaw, cutting the wood required. We did that for years. But, in reality it's one of the most dangerous jobs on the planet. One misjudged move with a whirring saw can be lethal, so can a huge mass of wood falling towards you
We can fix machines, but people are priceless, so we use the safest and most efficient tools available: See here; a soft wood plantation being harvested

Enviromental care after the harvest is key. The best practice involves a clearing of the site, by stump-grinding and considerate levelling of the woodland floor, this encourages nature to take over. And with softwood plantations (once harvested) now being turned over to the re-planting of English Broad-Leaf varieties, we are able to ensure a healthy and steady supply of hardwood species, where once a mono-culture woodland stood. Much of the wood we take, is a plantion 'crop' hardwood

Kiln Dried Hardwood Logs
We now have KILN DRIED FIREWOOD LOGS, ready to deliver in our London Postcode Areas
It's the finest state-of-the-art drying Kiln for our firewoods. It's a one-off and custom built. The Kiln is Bio-Mass fed. All fuelled with the surplus wood produced during the felling and firewood making stage, or with recovered re-cycled timber (rejected cricket bats even feature here). This facility will give us the most natural 'leg up' to finally finishing our wood, when required

Delivering to you
Firewood logs will be packaged once we take the bulk stock into our Deptford Depot, that way the wood gets physically handled once only. It's then packed tightly into our super efficient trolley bags, ready for delivery by one of our drivers
We're aiming for maximum but gentle efficiency here, plus it allows us to deliver our usual personal and friendly London Log Co service

Joanne will be running the 'Log Delivery Schedule' by taking bookings and directing drivers.
Call her or email your order  on 0753 999 5725 She'll make it happen for you
Click here to view 'Buy Firewood' 
Deborah will be running the accounts and office. And i'll be out there, with our harvesting partners, ensuring we all have a resource and products to be proud of

I'll keep you posted as we go. It's an onward, but very exciting journey here at London Log Co

Many thanks


Saturday, 12 April 2014

Saturday FT article

London Log Co's English Oak, on the grill at Chiltern Street Fire House W1

Many thanks to Nicholas Lander for name checking us

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Welcome to The London Log Co

Official Wood & Charcoal sponsor for Meatopia


Saturday 7th September 2013

It's here and i'd like to thank all those who made it possible for us at London log Co to offer our sponsorship of the event. Without their help we'd never have been able to supply all the Charcoal's & awesome British Oak Wood.

John & Lewis  at Treewood. John at Bridgebrooke. Weber U.K. Mary at Tregothan. American Classic's (check out my snazzy threads & Redwing footwear) Jimbo"James"Davis Graphic Design and lastly, my very patient partner Deborah Thomas


I salute you all.



We've been quietly obsessing about British Wood+Charcoal+Meat for a while now. London chefs and the like also sharing our nerdy ways with wood & fire. Though we somehow managed to keep our special charcoals and woods a trade secret, by carefully indulging our ideas and wares within our closed network known as The Brotherhood. All this was well and good, we talked robes, mottos and latin "Smoke-Wood-Brotherhood" and "All hail to the smoke"

Until one day I took the call from Richard Turner (he of Turner & George, Hawksmoor, Pitt Cue) , probably one of the foremost Meat + Fire obsessives in London

"Hey Mark, i've been thinking"


"Wanna support the event i'm doing"

"Ok, which event is that"




I swallowed hard and said "Ok" again, in my best manly voice

Well I couldn't say NO !

I couldn't say NO to the greatest show of MEAT-GRILLS-SMOKERS & BBQ's on our own turf, here in London.

Of course i'd heard about Meatopia, over there, across the pond in the USA. Though on further reading I realised the magnitude of the event.

The brainchild of TIME magazine food columnist and a 'James Beard' Award-winning food writer Josh Ozersky, Meatopia is an acclaimed food festival for discerning carnivores, bought to you in London for the first time by Turner & George


2012 saw the event leave new york for the first time when San Francisco hosted dozens of the world-class chefs cooking the country's best cuts of meat over live fires, while live music entertained the masses all enjoying cold beers and the best in aged spirits. This September is London's turn

Now, there's no better cold shower than those two reviews to liven the senses & get your arse in gear.
But we're well up for it. We cut trees, we drive trucks, we wear work-wear to work & we have beards to stop our faces freezing off in Winter.

So with that in mind we've been pulling wood from our reserves: Oak, seasoned for up to 3 years will add the essential-buttery-smoke to slow cooked Beef Brisket. English Apple will sweeten the air and much Pork with beautiful flavour notes. And Sweet Chestnut, with its soft and light floral incense like aroma will feature.

We're also selecting wood & firing our Charcoal Retorts with the finest our British Woodlands have to offer. Oak, Beech, Silver Birch along with Chestnut and hand coppiced Hazel going into the mix. In all it's going to be a festival of the best of Blighty, with our charcoals and woods up there in the thick of it.

Plus we've put together a one-off special Charcoal for the grills and BBQ's at the event, full of flavour, heat and aroma. Look out for our..

It's going to be a full on but very special day on the 7th of September, though we are very much looking forward to it all

There's loads more to come, so we'll keep you posted as we go

In the words of The Brotherhood

"All hail to the smoke"



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Sunday, 5 February 2012

I love the snow

Even though it makes a mockery of my delivery schedule, I still love it.

My two young boys woke me up at 7 am to go sledging in the park and it's beautiful out there.

And now i'm sitting here at home with the fire on, all nice and warm, cup of coffee in hand.

The view from my bedroom widow this morning.

I will ( at some point ) be venturing out to deliver the rest of the week-end orders. It's always a challenge driving in the snowy conditions but in 4 years i've only lost a couple days due to bad weather and icy conditions. So if you need wood and coal;  hand on heart i'll do my best to get to you.

I've got sustainable plantation crop Silver-Birch and Ash in stock.

Meanwhile, take care, wrap-up and keep warm.