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When is wood (mesquite) seasoned enough?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Got a small truck load today, and I'm getting another load tomorrow. Actually cut the tree down myself, seeing as how it was at my job, and basicly just an eye sore where it was located. My boss gave me the green light, so I figured free wood? Hell yeah.

Pretty large mesquite tree, and 1/3 of one side was already completly dead.

So how long will the rest have to season? The bottom of the tree was about 4 Ft. in circumference, if that helps.

Alot of the smaller branches, even the ones that I didn't think were dead snapped in half easily, with no twisting or turning.

Any advice?
post #2 of 9
Here is what I do BBQ, no matter what type of tree I cut down, and I do most of my own cutting as we have the land for it. Once it is cut, I split each cut into what will fit in my pit. Then I stack and let it sit a minimum of 6 months before I use it.

This may be hard for me to explain but I will try. If you look at the end of a split log, you will start to see little cracks in the wood. When you start seeing these the wood is dry enough to smoke with.

Maybe somebody else has a better idea, this is just the way my dad and grandad taught me and I have done good so far.

I will try to get a pic of the end of a good seasoned stick tonight when I get home.

Good Luck
post #3 of 9
My rule is, when you split it and bang the to pieces together; if it sounds like a broken bat, it's perfect.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replys guys.

Yeah, I had planned on the bigger sections not being ready till around mid July.

I was mainly concerned about whether or not I could get away with using the smaller stuff for a little while. Makes me sick to buy mesquite at the store when the stuff is everywhere around here. I just never have known specific owners of land so as to get permission to go out and cut it, and hopefully avoid getting shot.

Then I noticed this mesquite tree around to the side of my work place. I had seen it before, but honestly I just never put 2 and 2 together. PDT_Armataz_01_15.gif

So I guess it's safe to assume that splitting the 4 ft. stump sections will speed up the process, thus assuring that it's ready by mid July?
post #5 of 9
Yes sir you are correct
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ok, how bout this?

I read some old posts from a couple years ago here, and saw that it was said to be ok to use small chunks or chips of unseasoned wood.

What if I went bat**** crazy with the old chainsaw on some of this stuff?

It would be time consuming, but would hockey puck size chunks, or chips for that matter... be ready for use immediatly?

I'm guessing that no matter how small you chop it up, the sap is still in there. But very small chunks should dry MUCH quicker, and be ready in say... a month?

Is my logic correct?
post #7 of 9
Out of curiosity and because I live in Wyoming (we don't have mesquite trees. heck we don't have many trees) what is wrong with using green mesquite to smoke with?
post #8 of 9
you could always dry some out "Richtee-style"....I recall seeing a post where he dried/cured some wood chunks in his smoker....and got rid of some crappy Cowboy lump charcoal at the same time.

Best advice I can give you is to get it split to sizes you want to use and stack it so it will get plenty of air flow....if you can stack it inside and put a fan or two on it......even better!!! Heat and airflow will cure it much faster than just sitting around outside in a pile. smaller pieces and good airflow might get it to a cured state in around 4 months instead of 6 or more.

Geek does have a good point....dry wood definitely has a very distinct sound....wink.gif

post #9 of 9
I think 6 months about does it, sometimes longer. If you cover it to keep the weather off, just be sure to do it loosely so air can get to it. Otherwise you'll get mold and.or wood rot. Must be rough to get free mesquite. It is one of my favorite three woods.
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