Using half-cured wood?

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by bluewhisper, Dec 30, 2016.

  1. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I got a bunch of maple when a neighbor had a tree removed about three months ago. It was green when cut and it is half-cured at most by now. Out of curiosity I cut and split some of it, and it still has plenty of moisture and that distinctive sweet maple aroma.

    I know it's too wet for a fireplace, but how about for smoking? It might be slow to burn but otherwise it should be fine, right?
  2. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You should be fine, just watch the smoke and let it tell you if it's going to play nice or not.
  3. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    That's what I thought. Anyway it should dry faster after splitting.

    It is NOT a good day for smoking today, 30mph winds blowing gangs of leaves up and down the streets.
  4. smokinal

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

    I use green wood all the time, but just a small split at a time.

    If you have a good fire going it will burn just fine.

    Hey I just made a rhyme!!!

  5. I usually throw some underseasoned in my cook chamber when I smoking something so it speeds up drying and its good to go for next run. Like mentioned though, hot fire, small splits all's good. Pre heating it would also help.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
  6. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    These are small, like the size of two kitchen knife handles side by side. I haven't tried burning any yet.

    This stash of maple should last for a while. I'm just now getting to the end of the bunch of windfall maple from two or three years ago.
  7. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I would go ahead and split as much of it as I could and mix it in with the maple that is already seasoned. This should help a lot. Also, always pre-heat your splits.

    Good luck, Joe. :grilling_smilie:
  8. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Well, I tried it and answered my question: Too much white smoke.

    Here's the wood pile, the hatchet, and the tub of splits (30-inch bow saw not shown). The splits burned fairly well but by themselves they're too smoky. I had to burn a lot to keep the chamber temp up.

    Here's the meat, "country ribs"

    They came out over-smoked. I'll see if I can simmer some of them to mellow them out, then make a smoky batch of baked beans around them.
  9. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Go ahead and split the wood to a usable size. It will cure quicker than left whole.
  10. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Yes, it will dry faster. I only stopped splitting because that tub was full but as you can see there's a lot more. I may cut and split some more in today's warm temperatures.

    Follow-up: I did make a batch of "pork and beans" with at least as much pork as beans. The pork was pull-apart texture and the smoke flavor mellowed out quite a bit. Linda liked it.
  11. cliffcarter

    cliffcarter Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    I use a lot of red maple splits in the CG, they take about 6-8 months to get dry enough to burn. If you have sugar maple it will take longer because it 's density is higher than red maple.

    Chunks , 2"thick X 3" long, take 6-8 weeks. YMMV. 
  12. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    As a follow-up, the maple is improving. I smoked a pork loin with the maple for flavor and some lump for heat. I got a decent smoke ring, and the flavor/aroma is almost right, just a little bit of harshness left. The smoke was much more blue than white, even though I used more wood this time. I'm optimistic on the improving quality, especially since I have a lot of this maple.
  13. xray

    xray Smoking Fanatic

    Reviving an old thread here. I just bought an OK Joe Highland, my first offset. I have a question about seasoning wood.

    I am now starting to search for wood, mostly on craigslist, so I assume this wood will need to be seasoned....but when you are preheating your splits, how is that done? On top of the firebox? Inside the cook chamber?

    Also, are the bags of chunks that are sold at the box stores okay to use? I'm thinking I would burn through multiple bags for one cook since i have no idea how much wood is used to maintain a fire.
  14. keithu

    keithu Fire Starter

    I buy the bags of chunks but I don't use them as the main fuel in my OKJ Highland. I use lump charcoal as my main fuel and add some of the chunks for extra smoke flavor. One bag of hickory or apple chunks lasts me a few smokes.
  15. xray

    xray Smoking Fanatic

    Hi Keith. Since that last post, I have gotten a free half cord of oak and maple. What I have been doing is starting the OKJ with a basket full of charcoal and some bagged wood chunks that I use in my propane smoker. Once that's burned down to coals, I switch to mini-splits about the size of a brick or an empty paper towel roll. I've found it to be easier for me to use the smaller splits because they ignite quicker and produce less heavy smoke. I add a split every 15-20 minutes or so.

    This has worked well for me. I found it easier to maintain steady temps and smoke by adding smaller splits, rather than choking down a bigger fire.

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