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Have a loaded question that I know you are all tired of

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Fellas,
My names Logan and I'm originally from NC so grillin is nothing new Ive cooked hogs since I was 15 and watched for many years before that. I "smoked" a pork shoulder the other day for the first time with the high quality "chips" from food lion. I am looking to actually smoke brisket this weekend and am in question on the wood. I know I want to use a oak/pecan mix but I talked to someone today that sells the chunks and they said the wood was cut 2-3 weeks ago. After reading all day long I'm just tired and wanna ask. Is that too short of a "season" time? If so what's the ideal time? And if not, what is the shortest amount of time after wood is cut that you can use it? For example cut a tree down and throw it in the box, or wait....... How long? Thanks guys and I preciate your patience and advice in advance, as I said I know y'all are tired of this question.
post #2 of 16

That seems to short a cure time to me, I'd call that green.  Green wood can cause bitter flavor in your food.  I think it should dry some more.  Hope this helps.

post #3 of 16

Seasoning the wood is a time allowing the wood time to dry its resins. Resins are not good. 

 

Normally people selling seasoned wood, will have allowed it to set in a dry spot off the ground for about a year. It doesn't have to be off the ground but the ground has moisture, it doesn't have to be covered but rain and snow are wet, Doh! LOL.....

 

There is no alarm that does off at a year, your weather and the wood at cutting has everything to do with it.

 

Wood is stacked, if by a professional on rails, and usually sells by cord or a 1/2 cord, never saw a 1/4 cord. It can be sold in boxes or bags in smaller quantities. A cord is a space, it has an area of 128 ft/3. Standard good ol'box a cord is 4x4x8, but can be any size equaling 128 ft/3. There is no way to count splits or limbs etc, its simply a volumne measure.

 

Smokers usually use either all wood, splits, chunks, chips, or pellets. Each having its own benefits and drawbacks, and favors by a particular type of smoking/cooking device.

 

Hopes this helps

post #4 of 16

Usually 6 months to 1 year old seasoned wood is the standard. This works best in the average home smoker. There are commercial smokers that recommend greener wood but they are capable of sustaining a Hotter fire and burn off a lot of the creosote and stuff that can make bitter food using under-seasoned wood. Greener wood won't kill you but can be trouble...Something to Play with on Chicken but I would get well seasoned wood for an expensive Brisket...JJ

post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by lspruill91 View Post

 Is that too short of a "season" time? If so what's the ideal time? And if not, what is the shortest amount of time after wood is cut that you can use it?

 

 Drying time is dependent on the wood, oaks taking the longest time to dry in my experience.

IMHO the oak and pecan that was cut 2-3 weeks ago will not be ready to use, they will need a fairly long time to season because they are denser than other kinds of wood.

If you are using chunks you can use apple and peach woods on the day that they are cut.

I recommend that you buy a moisture meter to check moisture content in your cooking wood, cost is between $20-30 at places like Home Depot or Harbor Freight. I usually like a 12%-15% moisture content for cooking wood. YMMV.

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

Gentlemen i appreciate all of the help, guess until the oak i cut down in the backyard dries out ill have to find some different hardwood.  dont feel comfortable buying from a store who claims they sell quality smoke woods/chunks that are "ready to use" after being dropped 2 weeks ago when everyone and everything ive read says seasoned!! look forward to becoming apart of the smokin club! any more advice on good wood mixes, tips on smoking, and some dos and donts are always welcomed! have a great weekend!

post #7 of 16
I go along 100% with what everyone has said....except that unfortunately the chunks in the plastic bags that are sold in the big box stores have been kiln dried. This allows them to get the chunks to market faster. The down side is that in the kiln drying process a lot of the flavor is baked out of the wood. if we don't have a source for flavor wood from an orchard or other standing source, we have to purchase the chunks in the bags.

That sux, don't it?????
post #8 of 16

Jimmy nailed it, and it really depends on your equipment and personal taste, green wood produces more smoke than seasoned wood, however too much smoke will ruin a good smoke whether Seasoned or green. I personally prefer a hint of smoke on whole meat cooks and more on appetizers, seems the older I get The less I like too much SMOKY flavor, go figure!!!

Using green wood, you just need to be a bit more cautious of the smoke. Some restaurants use green wood, I guess less wood for the same amount of smoke?, I don't know. However with all that said, Seasoned wood gives you a larger margin of error.

post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 

ok i got it now i think, green wood smokes its a** off because the moisture level is so high, so packing the box slam full of green wood and not managing the vents ruins meat... how bout if i mainly use coal in the box with one or two small pieces of green wood just to flavor? possibility?  

post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef JimmyJ View Post
 Greener wood won't kill you but can be trouble...Something to Play with on Chicken but I would get well seasoned wood for an expensive Brisket...JJ

I'm not familiar with green oak or pecan but some green woods are easy to peel the bark off of.  This will speed up the cure, if not, then split it.  I don't know what kind of saws you have access to, but slicing the wood thin and placing it some where warm (like on top pf your fridge) will speed up the process.  Bottom line is going forward you'll find you can never have to much dry wood on hand.  Good luck with the brisket.

post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
[IMG] first attempt on a brisket
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by lspruill91 View Post

Slice that Bad Boy!

post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by SQWIB View Post
 

Slice that Bad Boy!

 

Go plant some weeds....... <chuckles>

post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foamheart View Post
 

 

Go plant some weeds....... <chuckles>


Lets hope that's not the only thing that grows...now back to... SLICE THAT BAD BOY!

post #16 of 16

texas.gif  Good afternoon and welcome to the forum, from a sunny and warm  day here in East Texas, and the best site on the web. Lots of great people with tons of information on just about  everything.

 

 

Gary

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