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How long to wait to use wood

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Had some oak and cherry trees cut down in my yard. Going to split into pieace for smoking. How long should I wait until it is good to use?

post #2 of 7
Assuming these were live trees, in my area, oak takes up to a yr to dry out. Cherry 4-6 months. Not sure how the humidity in your area would effect that.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

​I'm in Florida so its pretty high

post #4 of 7

I'm used to allowing a year for seasoning. It helps to dry faster if it's already cut to length and split.


I still have a big bunch of maple from a tree my neighbor removed, almost a year ago. I've tried it a few times and it's mellowing with age. It's losing the harshness of flavor that it had with less seasoning time.

post #5 of 7

I bought and use a moisture meter to check wood moisture.  Mine is from Harbor Freight.  It was cheap, but seems to give accurate readings.  I shoot for wood under 15% moisture content.  The duration time of curing doesn't matter, as there is a large amount of variation between pieces.  It's how dry the wood actually is.  Short small pieces dry faster than long larger pieces.  At a minimum, split the wood to expose the center, especially if the bark is still on.  A year of curing should work for most pieces less than 6" in diameter if the wood is kept out of the rain and with decent air circulation.

post #6 of 7

Give it a year. You'll be happier with it. 6 months bare min,  Like smoking, its worth the weight!

post #7 of 7

I have a wood crib that I dry mine in. The cold dry winter air here will dry it out pretty quickly. I buy a cord that's quarter split in fall put it in the crib for the winter and I can use it the following summer.

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