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 Winter is here for sure, but thankfully the shortest day has past and slowly the nights are drawing out. Snow has tried its best to settle , though nothing more than a light dusting and the occasional hard frost. We like the frost, it settles a few things down, managing spore growth and signalling to trees that 'Winter is really here'. It all adds to a healthy microbe climate, which in turn makes for better woodlands

Wood-Fired Kiln
This season we have a very good stock of English Hardwood Logs, all of which finish their seasoning in our new Wood-Fired-Kiln to bring the moisture level to under 20%. Prior to the Kiln Drying, they have been air seasoned as 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

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


Sunday, 15 June 2014

Meatopia 14

It's back......

And it's grown to twice the size. 
Meatopia will be held at Tobacco Dock in Wapping East London on the 6th-7th of September 2014. 
If last year was an indicator of how big the London and UK wide passion for the live fired grill is, then hold onto your hats, because this year is already proving to be HUGE

20+ of the worlds greatest grill chefs on each day, over 2 days. Music, Meat and Fire and so much more, all held in an amazing venue

We will be there fueling the fires again. Come and hang out with TEAM LONDON LOG CO at our Log Lounge outside up on the Warfside. Relax, eat and be surrounded by wood and other things of joy
In the meanwhile, if you wish to purchase our Restaurant Grade Lumpwood Charcoal or any other of our top-notch products for that matter, then drop Debbie at our HQ a call

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Do Something. The Guardian supplement

To take up our special Do Something Guardian readers offer please email us ref: Do Something
with your name and contact details, along with you address and full postcode

The Guardian readers offer has now expired. Thank you for all your enquiries

However, we are still able to mail order our products to you via our courier within mainland UK

For other areas, please call or email for a quote

A special BIG thanks to 
London based Oil Drum BBQ makers of distinction

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

Thursday, 2 January 2014

To the Future and Beyond: Kiln Dried vs Naturally Seasoned Logs

Let's agree to disagree about wood !

I mean, who knows more about seasoning wood than the Scandinavians. Their lives can literally depend on it in some parts. However, there's a split of opinion in Norway over which way up the bark should be in a log pile.

In a recent Nationally televised 8-hour log splitting, stacking and general burning wood-athon. The Norwegian TV, station was bombarded by texts and calls complaining that the bark was either the wrong way up or down.

Without any irony, Lars Mytting the writer of the seminal book on the subject: 
'Solid Wood: All About Chopping, Drying and Stacking Wood - and the soul of Wood-Burning' explained...

"One thing that really divides Norway is bark"

So it seems there's always a division wherever we are regarding wood. And if Norwegians can't agree on bark, then i'm not going to sway the argument either way over the subject of Kiln Dried -vs-Naturally Seasoned Logs. I'll give you the facts as they are and we'll see where we all stand afterwards

A process to remove/reduce sap and water content from wood, making it suitable to burn. Key to this process is air circulation, wood size, type and size

Kiln Dried Logs:
On a mechanical level Kiln Drying or Kiln Seasonong makes sense; you get the type of dry logs you want. By artificially creating a controlled warm and dry enviroment, (no matter what nature is throwing at you outside in the yard) you can essentially dry your wood to the moisture level required, in therory. 
But, there's a fair bit of work needed beforehand to ease the final process. Wood must be cut and stored as for natural air seasoning. It needs to be cut and down for around a year, stacked in poles or cord. This is then cut and billited into manageable lengths and stored over the summer. This wood is then left to loose its sap along with the naturally held water in crates or vented bags. This process gets the wood ready to effeciently Kiln Dry, down to the required moisture content. Final Kiln Drying of the logs can take 7-28 days of Kiln time.

Many appliances, specially the latest and most highly engineered German and Scandinavian Log Burning stoves, are very specific in what they will and can burn. Here moisture content is key to their highly effecient (and often sealed ) burning chambers. These appliances are becoming more and more popular, up to 30% more effecient than previous models. So a move toward a more stable supply of dry wood is desireable to fuel these. In time, all appliances will have to come up to these effecient energy standards.

Naturally Seasoned Logs:
I'm a fan of naturally seasoned. It makes sense that if you can cut your wood and lay it down as poles for a suitable year to 18 months, then return to it and cut this into billets and stack it, leaving plenty of air to circulate the pile. To watch and wait for a year or more as the sap leaves the wood, encouraged by rain, wind and sun to then return with the saw, cut these yard long billets into logs and stack them in a airy but dry place, ready to cut and split into firewood once seasoned

This is all well and good if the weather commits to the process. But as the climate we live in changes, we are in turn pushed towards more controlled production method. So this is where Kiln Drying Logs comes in as a way of managing the seasoning process. In essence it's an artificial environment which the forces wood to dry at a consistent rate. In the past these Kilns were fuelled by Gas or Electric. However, the newer Kilns are Bio Mass woodfuelled with the by-product from the wood cutting process. Cleaner and greener and self sustaining.

In conclusion:
If I could choose on a pure athstetic level, then the naturally seasoned air dry method is favourable. It uses less energy but takes more time.
Though just how much wood to cut, how much to store, how much to burn is a guess and an instinct. It takes years of living, breathing and cutting wood to best gauge what's what, to feel your place within the scheme, winter by winter and even then it's not a science, it's a craft and one which catches the most prepared out. 

We also are never quite sure just how long the Winter will last. Remember last year, all seven months of it. I swear trees screamed as I drove by, week in week out, month after unrelentingly cold month to the Kent woodlands. I stripped our stocks bare, until not a twig was left

In the coming seasons we are preparing to adapt to the new Killn Process along side the traditional methods. We embrace the changes ahead, it's an exciting time to be involved in wood and all that surrounds it

As Buzz Lightyear says....
"To the future and beyond !"

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