Re: drying woodHey, Todd! You pose a very interesting question based on a very popular misconception. Here goes;
"Kiln Dried" lumber is actually "dried" by a hot steam process. The hot steam keeps the capillaries of the wood open as it forces out the sugar and starch (converted sugar) bearing sap from the wood.
The sap wants to stay in the wood to ensure its survival. A non dried stick placed into the ground will have food (sap) to energize root development and sustain it until leaves are formed and food is once again being produced by photosynthesis.
By attempting to dry wood, especially spring cut wood, with heat only you are trapping the wood's food supply inside and this will lead to creosote formation and off tasting smoke. Do it the long slow way or suffer the result!
The best way to dry fresh cut wood for smoking would be as follows. Let's say you have a maple tree to dry. Process the smaller limbs first into usable pieces. Stack so that air can circulate around them. Then cut the larger limbs and trunk pieces. Cut all pieces into the length you will be using. Most maple, though some can be gnarley, is pretty straight grained and can be easily split. And again, stack with plenty of air circulation available.
BTW Most of the maple I process is for warmth. But the creosote thingy is just as important to me! Only for different reasons.
Hope this info helps!