Seasoning question

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by keitha, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. keitha

    keitha Smoke Blower

    So, I poked around using the search function and didn't find an answer, so I'll throw this out there.

    Is seasoning wood purely a matter of wood moisture content? Or does maturing wood also help it "taste" better when we smoke meat.

    I ask this because I saw in a thread somewhere that some folks put their wood in a low oven, to dry it out. I wondered if that robs the wood of it's 'flavor".


    I have these nice plum tree splits from a tree that fell down at my golf course, plus a mess of apple and cherry that won't be ready until September. I am cool with that, but I was thinking I could rush the proceedings a little, for this season, at least.

  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I always buy kiln dried wood, because it's free of any insects. That way if I store it in my garage I don't have to worry about termites or other pests being in the wood. 

  3. keitha

    keitha Smoke Blower

    Thanks for the reply, Al. So, I am guessing you don't feel this detracts from your food. Poking around the Wood Drying Wiki, it looks like using a low (225F ?) oven and splitting the wood first might be a way to push the process along a little. I like the idea of getting rid of the critters, as well. Hmm...

    I guess there is no harm in trying. [​IMG]
  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Your right, I don't notice any difference between kiln dried or just dried wood, except the insects.

    I'd give it a try & please let us know how it turns out.

  5. If you have a large enough gas grill you can speed things up. I hack up branches and just place on cool side and cook them @250*+/- till weight reduces. Here's some sugar maple which i'm always pruning.
  6. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    For one thing, bugs won't live long in my smoker. For another, the kiln dried flavor wood that you can buy in plastic bags at the big box stores is not as good as air seasoned wood. The kiln drying process cooks out a lot of the flavor properties. Check on line, there are several flavor wood suppliers who sell air dried wood.

    As far as using wood that is not fully seasoned to cook with, it will give you a bitter taste and a creosote build up. This will be detectable in a thick gray smoke.

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