Are you using cinnamon sticks or powder regularly at home? Chances are, you’ve wondered if is cinnamon flammable. What happens when you burn cinnamon sticks? And does powdered cinnamon catch fire? Let’s find out.
From cooking to baking to making candles and incense, there are several ways to use cinnamon in our lives. Cinnamon comes in two forms: powdered cinnamon and cinnamon stick. They both come from the same source and have the same properties (except their form, that is).
So if you are wondering if cinnamon is flammable, then here’s the answer: yes, given the right conditions, cinnamon can be flammable. Cinnamon contains vital compounds that lend a pleasant aroma. But the same compounds are volatile chemicals that make it easy for cinnamon to catch fire.
In fact, cinnamon sticks make excellent fire starters. Also, the cinnamon powder may form a dust cloud, making it not just a fire hazard but also potentially cause massive dust explosions.
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What is cinnamon?
Cinnamon is known for its sweet scent and pleasant aroma, thus making it an excellent spice in cooking and baking. It also comes in stick form and is used in leveling up your regular coffee, tea, or chai latte.
Cinnamon comes from the cinnamon bark of a cinnamon tree from the family of Cinnamomum. There are two popular varieties of cinnamon, Cinnamomum verum and cinnamomum cassia, both of which can be found in Asia, particularly in India and Sri Lanka.
Cinnamon farmers strip the outer layers of the cinnamon tree to reveal the inner bark. These barks are dried, wherein the barks roll into quills. Once dried, cinnamon is marketed as dried cinnamon sticks or cinnamon powder.
Did you know that once upon a time, people considered cinnamon to be more valuable than gold? In ancient Egypt, cinnamon was once used in religious and embalming practices. Also, in Europe’s medieval times, cinnamon was also used not just as a flavoring but also in religious rites.
It is also believed that burning cinnamon sticks help keep away evil and attract positive energy for success.
Nowadays, people use cinnamon sticks as incense and in candle making. Cinnamon powder is often used as an important ingredient for baked goods and certain dishes.
What is cinnamon used for?
We are very interested in cinnamon because we know this spice has made its way into our kitchens and straight into our cinnamon rolls and apple pies. But what are the uses of cinnamon?
- Cinnamon has lots of health benefits. It helps bring down blood sugar, boost metabolism, fight acne-causing bacteria and even help treat cancer.
- Candle-makers also use cinnamon to give their candles a distinct Christmas scent.
- Cinnamon is also used in making incense.
- Some people also boil cinnamon sticks over the stove to drive away foul odor inside the house and replace it with an irresistible sweet scent.
- You can also sprinkle some cinnamon powder to keep ants in their lane and prevent them from spreading all over your home.
- Drinking cinnamon tea first thing in the morning boosts your mood and puts your mind in the right perspective.
Is cinnamon flammable?
Yes, cinnamon is flammable, and this applies to both cinnamon sticks and cinnamon powder. If you’re not careful with it, cinnamon can catch fire and become highly dangerous.
But why is this so?
First, let’s inspect the cinnamon stick. Let us remember that cinnamon sticks come from the inner bark of the cinnamon tree. It is essentially like firewood. Since cinnamon sticks are dried before they are marketed, it has lost most of their moisture, making them even more likely to catch fire.
But the main reason why cinnamon is flammable is because of cinnamaldehyde, a viscous liquid present in Cinnamon trees. This compound gives cinnamon its unique flavor and aroma.
But, cinnamaldehyde is volatile, thus making cinnamon flammable. With cinnamaldehyde, you can easily burn cinnamon sticks at low temperatures.
Can you use cinnamon sticks as fire starters?
Yes, cinnamon sticks are natural fire starters. Cinnamon sticks are like any regular firewood, and they burn pretty well. Burning cinnamon sticks in the fire pit or fireplace allows the wonderful aroma to drift in the air.
Cinnamon oil, which is contained within cinnamon sticks, is flammable. So burning cinnamon sticks is pretty much like burning any firewood. It ignites easily and is slow-burning.
Some people even add extra stuff to achieve a holiday-like scent in their homes, such as pine cones and other types of firewood.
Cinnamon sticks as incense
Fancy making your home smell like Christmas? Then you could burn cinnamon sticks as incense.
Cinnamon incense gives off an amazing scent inside the house. Just light up a cinnamon stick and watch it burn. As the cinnamon oil burns within the stick, a pleasant aroma is released into the air.
But we don’t recommend burning cinnamon sticks as incense. First, if left unattended, the flame could spread somewhere else and potentially start a house fire.
Also, burning cinnamon sticks produces thick smoke. In a confined space, smoked cinnamon could cause breathing problems.
What about cinnamon essential oils?
The medicinal benefits of cinnamon are also popular in aromatherapy. A few drops of cinnamon essential oil can help alleviate stress and depression. It is also known to relieve symptoms of flu and colds, as well as reduce muscle and arthritic pains.
But is cinnamon essential oil also flammable?
Indeed it is. Cinnamon essential oils are derived from the same source as cinnamon sticks and cinnamon powder, wherein the main compounds are composed of cinnamaldehyde. With this compound present in cinnamon oil, it goes without saying that it is flammable as well.
Upon research, we’ve found that many manufacturers of cinnamon essential oils have indicated a flammability warning in their material safety data sheet, such as this one.
Is cinnamon powder flammable?
Now we know that cinnamon sticks burn well and make excellent fire starters. But what about the powdered form of cinnamon? Is it, in any way, a fire risk? Can you burn cinnamon powder?
First, let us remember that cinnamon powder is just the crushed form of cinnamon sticks. Thus, cinnamon powder contains the same volatile element, cinnamaldehyde, giving that distinct cinnamon flavor and aroma.
Cinnamon powder is composed of fine particles. If these particles form cinnamon dust and are exposed to an open flame, then there’s the risk of a cinnamon dust explosion. This follows the same concept of flour dust and powdered sugar explosions. But what makes cinnamon dust riskier is that cinnamon contains volatile compounds.
But should you worry about cinnamon dust forming in your kitchen while you bake or cook?
It is very unlikely that you’ll use massive quantities of cinnamon powder in the kitchen. Perhaps a teaspoon or two for when you bake your favorite apple pie or roll. You won’t form huge cinnamon dust with just a small amount of cinnamon powder. However, you must remember to put cinnamon away from any open flame and keep it in a sealed container.
It can be devastating, though, if cinnamon dust forms in an industrial setting, such as in a factory or processing plant.
Is cinnamon a fire hazard?
Yes, cinnamon can be a fire hazard because cinnamon burns well and easily. You can easily start a fire with a cinnamon stick, as it works just like most firewood does. Also, it contains volatile cinnamon oils that make it even more flammable.
Cinnamon powder can be a fire hazard as well as it can ignite in certain conditions. When powdered cinnamon is suspended in the air, those tiny particles gain more access to oxygen. And in the presence of an open flame or ignition source, an explosion can take place.
Can I put cinnamon sticks in a candle?
Using cinnamon sticks in candles has become trendy among crafters and DIYers, especially during the holidays. You can wrap the body of a candle with cinnamon sticks and secure it with a tie or rope.
However, this hinders the burning of a candle. So while you can do it this way, it’s better to sprinkle the top of the candle with cinnamon powder to get that strong scent.
Can I put cinnamon sticks in my fireplace?
Yes, you can put cinnamon sticks in your fireplace. Like cinnamon incense, feeding your fireplace with cinnamon sticks should make your home smell good.
Another way to achieve a cinnamon-filled aroma in your home is to make a stovetop potpourri. Boil cinnamon sticks with water, sliced oranges, nutmeg, cloves, cranberries, and bay leaves. Let them boil, and then simmer on low heat.
Your house should smell like holidays for hours. Refill the pot with water and boil again. The aroma of this potpourri can last for days!
To wrap up, yes, cinnamon is flammable. You can burn cinnamon sticks as incense or fire starters. Meanwhile, powdered cinnamon can ignite if formed into a cloud of dust.
So while we enjoy the aroma and flavor that cinnamon brings, it pays to be extra careful when around it. As long as you keep it away from any fire source and store it properly, you should be safe from any fire risk.