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was given some crab apple and cherry

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
a friend came across a guy cutting down a crab apple and a cherry tree. Knowing that I have gotten into smoking, he asked if he could have the wood. The guy gladly gave it away to get it out of his way.

So now I have 6 18" logs about 10" across of cherry and the same in crab apple.

I have a chargriller w/SFB. I have gotten into a good system using natural lump charcoal for heat and putting the wood chucks just outside the fire to smolder. Gives me a nice thin blue smoke.

With this wood being freshly cut, I know that it has to be dried/seasoned before use.

So my question is, if I cut it down to chunk size (little bigger than fist size) Do I still need to let it dry for 6-12 months? Or do you think being smaller and having more surface area exposed, the drying/seasoning time would be much shorter?
post #2 of 8
I'd say much shorter. Keep'em warm and dry, bet they'd be Ok in 3 months at the outside. Do the "Spit' test. Toss one on some coals and look for moisture at the end.
post #3 of 8
I would say that the amount of time should be shorter. You are basically letting the sap and internal moisture dry out. If you keep it out of the direct weather it should be ready in about 3 months give or take.

You may be able to artificially season the wood by placing near your fire box while smoking... be very careful of not getting embers on it and causing an unexpected fire.

I'm sure someone else has some input on it.
post #4 of 8
The smaller the pieces the faster it dries - obviously. It seems to dry faster cut in slices across the grain than in splts with the grain if your in a hurry. Then break it up into usable pieces.
post #5 of 8
This is a secret method that I have used on many occasions and I will spill the beans if you keep it in-house and don't tell my wife..


Cut it up into small pieces 3 inches in diameter and no more than 1 inch thick and place on a cookie sheet..

Place in the oven at about 225 for 6 to 8 hours and it will artificially season the wood.. it will have the spider cracks running from the middle outward just like regular seasoned wood and best of all..

I have never had a creosote problem using it this way.

Be sure to pick a day to do this when the boss is not home and be sure to clean up your mess and remove all evidence.

Keep a close eye on the wood and if it starts to smoke you may need to turn down the heat a little.
post #6 of 8
'Cause that's the way the capillaries run/used to run in the wood, Debi- lengthwise. Across the grain shortens the distance.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
sweet! slow cookin the smokin wood! :-D

Thanks all!
post #8 of 8
And I thought I was the only one that did this. Someone has been talking about our secret. I have used this method for years ,but if you tell some people they think you've lost it and want to commit you. Keep in mind this only works in small chunks,not log sized wood.
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