Seasoning Firewood

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by peculiarmike, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. peculiarmike

    peculiarmike Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Someone asked about seasoning firewood a few days ago. Lotta replies and opinions.
    This was in the Kansas City Star today - info from the Chimney Safety Institute (didn't know there was such a thing)

    *"Seasoned" means the wood has dried six to eighteen months. Longer is better. (I do mine a year minimum)
    *Freshly cut wood can be up to 45% water, if burned it generates a lot of smoke and ash.
    *To tell if wood is seasoned look for cracks at the end, bark that pulls off easily.
    *Dry wood will weigh less than green because much of the water has evaporated.
    *Well seasoned wood makes a "clunk" when two pieces are knocked together.
    *Stack wood off the ground with spaces between the pieces for air circulation.
    *Cover the stack with a tarp to keep off snow and rain. (Black plastic works well, absorbs heat and acts as a small scale kiln)
    *Do not stack wood close to your house, a woodpile looks like heaven to termites.

    Peculiarjane and I stacked 4 trailer loads yesterday. We took down 5 large trees to clear an area of our yard. Osage orange and black locust, heating wood. Wood truly is the heat source that warms multiple times. [​IMG]
  2. deer meat

    deer meat Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Thanks for the info Mike[​IMG]
  3. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Three times i can attest to :{)
  4. cajun_1

    cajun_1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Great info ... Thanks
  5. ron50

    ron50 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    The wood I just bought from smokinlicious says it's 35% water and ready to smoke. You are saying it would be better to let it sit and dry out before using it? Maybe they sell it like this to increase the weight and therefore the price?
  6. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Standard for furniture/flooring is like 16% max I believe. I can't imagine any more than 25% for smoking. SCAM. "Hmm why's my food black and my lips numb?" "Can't be the wood!"

    On edit...brain fart...12% for flooring/furniture
  7. Interesting therories on wood seasoning. I use nothing but hickory for our pork and when we fell a tree we let it set for about 3 months then cut it to length and split. We have found that using green or truly useasoned hickory in our pit smoker that we get the taste that we want with out the blackened sooty color as using unseasoned oak for our beef. We also season our apple as we find it very sooty even when seasoned. jmo
  8. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If yer a stick burner, and you pre-burn... as long as it's charcoal before it hits the pit it don't matter. Or even as a charcoal or gasser..preburn seasons it on the spot. But...not 'till it's coals. Watch a green log spit <NOT split SPIT>at the ends. When it stops's ready for the firebox
  9. desert smokin

    desert smokin Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Thanks for the info on the wood seasoning. I'll have to move that to a special file for future reference.
  10. peculiarmike

    peculiarmike Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Ron, I'M not saying anything. The info I posted is from the source I listed which I thought might clear up the seasoning question. I'm a believer in accuracy, not opinion. Mention something here and you get everything from "my Dad always said" to old wives tales and personal opinions. Few take the time to research anything and get the straight info. And if that does happen, there are those out there who still won't believe the truth. That said, I prefer the straight skinny and will research things a bit.
    If that wood is at 35% water it has to be close to green. Wood is considered seasoned if it contains 20% water, 15% is much better. (There are electronic gadgets available that measure the water content of wood) If it is sold by weight that 35% certainly would boost profits. Scam? Possibly. I'd let it dry a while.
    I hear you are an old think tank guy. I'm sure you appreciate accuracy. [​IMG]
  11. ron50

    ron50 Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the insight!
  12. Say a man had a piece of plate steel on his firebox, could one season wood on said plate?
  13. peculiarmike

    peculiarmike Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Scroll back up a bit and read Richtee's post about stick burnin' & preburning wood. I think it applies.
  14. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'd wonder about heat transfer just setting a log on a hot plate. Hmm maybe if ya sliced it into like 1.5 in. thick discs...and turned 'em over after an hour or for steam/moisture to cease at the ends... just might work!
  15. was actually thinking about putting a whole log on there. temp gauge says 400 degrees up there. after a couple of hours?
  16. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    OK a pict is worth a thousand words but you mean on the top of the box?Outside it of course? Any log in 400* heat will dry allright... heck try it!

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