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not too young to smoke

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hey, y'all,

Stoney is a chubby little white terrier who loves REAL barbecue as much as his mama and daddy do.

Here in the mid-south, I've been grillin for years, whenever it's not too hot, too cold, or too windy (it doesn't rain enough to mention).

But now I am ready to start smokin with my new SMOKER! I'm getting a Brinkmann Smoke King Deluxe, which I hope should be fine for our needs.

Here's my first question -- I have a good supply of hickory wood, but it was only cut about a month ago. Is that too green?

Husband says he has some that's older, but I don't know how old.

Can't tell you how exciting this all is!
post #2 of 12
Welcome to SMF! Glad you joined us!
Yes! It's too green. You'll have to wait for it to season some more. If not you'll get creosote!
post #3 of 12
Welcome aboard the SMF.
post #4 of 12


I would let it season at least 6 months. Oh yea welcome to smf.
post #5 of 12
Hey, Stoneysmama!

Welcome to the SMF!

Any fresh cut wood should be seasoned under cover for at least six months to a year depending on your local climate.

The best way to test wood that is ready for the smoker is to look at the end of the piece. It should look cracked and with definite cracks running from the center to the edges. This is called "checking".

Also, wood minus sap is much lighter than fresh cut wood. Bang a couple of dry pieces of wood together and you get a note or a ring. Whack a wet piece of wood and you get a thud.

Hope all this helps you on your way to smoking perfection and the Thin Blue!

post #6 of 12
Welcome to SMF! Sounds like yer all geared up and ready, but dont push the wood. It'll suck. Almost any hardwood or fruitwood is good to use too... as to the new hickory, cut it into 2" thick discs and split into fist or smaller size. Heep inside in a warm environment for a couple months. Do a burn test... toss a chunk on coals and look for moisture "weeping" from the end grain. If ya dont see any, and it coals up fairly quick, it's ready.

preburning is always a good idea anyway. I use my turkey fryer and cook the stuff black before I start a session, and add only a chunk or two fresh during,about every hour.
post #7 of 12
Welcome aboard!

Yup, that wood needs to sit up off the ground and dry for at least 6 months, a year if you can stand it.

In the meantime, check out the "older" wood your husband has. Take the known fresher wood and rap two pieces together... then take two pieces of the older wood and do the same thing.

Comparison: "clink"= dry, "thud"= wet. If they both "thud", then they're too young. Also, you can tell by the weight of the pieces... a properly seasoned piece will be much lighter than a recently cut piece.

Hope this helps some...
post #8 of 12
Welcome to the SMF! What they all said. Let that wood dry out alot more.Very good advise given so far. You may find some deadfall in the woods to use until yours dries out a bit. You can speed it up if you cut the wood down to fist size and put it in the oven at 150 degrees for about four hours to get the moisture out. Keep an eye on it....don't put it in the oven and go to bed. JMHO.
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 


Just realized my tag line was not original!

Thanks to everyone for the prompt and friendly advice -- I will definitely age my wood and look for something dryer to start with.
post #10 of 12
SM -

You can buy chunks from WalMart, Lowes, Home Depot and some sport and hunting places.
post #11 of 12
Welcome to SMF! Looks like you've already discovered how helpful the folks are around here. Don't be shy about asking whatever questions you might have.
post #12 of 12
Hello and welcome to the SMF. Stick around, as it only gets better with time. Make your choice for seasoned wood, it's a lot safer. Good Luck on the road to smokwesville!
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