OK guys I plead ignorance what is "seasoned smoking wood" as opposed to new wood

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by david m doyle, Jul 11, 2016.

  1. Just bought a 40lb bag of apple wood

    Looks pretty fresh .Its dry but looks freshly chopped ^" diameter logs

    Did a cook last weekend with mesquite charcoal embers with apple sticks on top 

    Follwed Youtube videos,keep a good temp but after 3 hour cook chicked look dusty black

    like ya sprayed it lightly with flat black spray paint

    Cheap brinkman offset smoker 

    Was the problem my applewood wasnt "seasoned"?

    What exactly is seasoned wood

    Any help appreciated

    PS [ Iwanna be a stick burner}

    Dave Doyle

    Los Angeles
  2. mowin

    mowin Master of the Pit

    Well, its tuff to tell what went on. But did you have all your vents open? Theses things like to breathe.
  3. X2 on the open vents.  We used to use green oak at a Texas joint I worked at in college--no issues like that at all.
  4. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Seasoned wood is wood that has been cut and allowed to "dry".  I would say at least 6 months, although it does dry faster when cut into smaller sticks or chunks.  Wet or "green" wood will produce more creosote as it burns which will give white smoke and a bitter flavor to the meat.  It is also harder to keep green wood lit.

    By "bag" do you mean a commercial branded hardwood smoking wood, or is it a bag someone local cut up?  I've never seen a commercial product (such as Cowboy hardwood chunks which is available at Walmart, Lowes, etc....) that was still wet or green.  The commercial stuff is pretty much safe to assume it's dry.  Not necessarily so with locally harvested and bagged wood.

    Like the others said, choking oxygen from a fire also contributes to creosote formation, so vents are part of the equation as well.
  5. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

    Seasoned wood is wood that has been cut and air drying for about 6 months. And the moisture content of the wood is probably 15-18 % . Fresh cut wood has has much higher moisture content and will just put out white smoke/ smoulder when you try and burn it.
    Fresh cut wood can also be kiln dried to get it to a desired moisture content.

    You need to do a search on fire management and you will find lots of good information on maintaining a fire in your offset.

    It sounds like you didn't have a clean burning fire. Offsets like air movement for a clean burning fire.
    I am sure you will get other good replies also.
  6. krj

    krj Fire Starter

    Definitely sounds like a vent issue to me. A lot of people have different methods, but the one I follow is to always have the exhaust vent open at least 2/3 of the way while applying smoke.
  7. Thanks for the quick reply Dward

    The wood is from a local barbque wood vendor who sells fruit wood in 40 lb bags

    The wood appeared dry to me,,,But

    Im a novice

    Maybe I should use some of that commercial Cowboy wood if the promise its been cured ,,[do they}

    All my vents were wide open

    Maybe i just used too much wood too soon

    The nice nice here with the thread Stickburning 101 reccomends burning your wood a little before dropping it in the smoke chamber

    Seems the trick is to avoid white opaque smoke and work for thin blue smoke soon as possible

    Other thing is Im using a cheap offset smoker that I have added all the mods to like sealing gaps and holes and added tuning plates

    Not the best rig to learn on.Getting an Oklahoma Joe or a Yoder soon.A big boys smoker lol  !!!!

    Thanks again guys

    By the way Im looking for some good guys in Los Angeles /Orange County So Calif who might be willing to teach a "green pea" like me.I will provide labor and assist at their events

    Best Regards

    Dave Doyle

    Monrovia Ca
  8. Thanks hardcookin

    So if I understand you correctly even if I buy apple wood from a reputable barbque and firewood dealer that keeps their wood stacked outdoors

    I may not be getting "seaspned wood" that has dried in the sun 6 months right?

    I mean it could have beenrained on in that 6 months too right?

    So what does a pro do do we buy our wood and let it dry indoors in a garage 6 months? 

    Is that the way to go

    Any help appreciated guys

    Best Regards

    Dave Doyle

    Los Angeles

    PS I am seeking a local barbque club /group or coach to learn how to smoke correctly

    Any help appreciated
  9. hardcookin

    hardcookin Master of the Pit

    I cut my own wood, I will stack it and just cover the top of the wood only with a tarp. The rest of the wood pile is not covered so the air can circulate.
    Firewood suppliers could kiln dry their wood and you would have no wait.
  10. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Rain does not penetrate more than about 1/8" into the surface of the dry wood.  Green or "wet" wood has not yet dried so that is the problem. It's wet all the way to the core and not just with water, but sap also.  The surface moisture from rain on previously dried wood will quickly vaporize as the wood starts to burn. It may be a little more difficult to light, but it can be used just fine. And yes, it is a good idea to pre-light the wood in a side fire pit or even a open fire pit. 

    If you watch the videos of old cinder block pits and some old school commercial Q joints, you see them with a pile of burning wood that is not put into the food cooking pit until it is at the red coal stage (fully lit).  Even fully lit wood at that red coal stage is still giving off the flavor, but you will virtually no smoke, and what you see is that good thin blue stuff.  You will see them shoveling those red coals into the cooking pit as needed.

    Once a stick burner has a good stable bed of coals lit and the pit is up to temp, it should not be necessary to use a side fire pit to feed the stick burner fire box.  Even with rained on wood (but cover it with a tarp or something to keep it dry if you can).
  11. Thanks dward

    This stick burnin stuff does not come easy but Ima learning yard by yard

    Yes Ive just started working with a separate side burner for my wood till I get a feel for it

    Truth is its a Weber grill with the lid  off for thr side burner and an old rust bucket offset smoker Ive patched up for my rig

    i wondered if I could please ask you some specific questions at a convenient time for you?

    I can be reached on my celleular at 626 524 4255

    My Best Regards dwar

    Dave Doyle

    Los Angeles

Share This Page