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Drying wood

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I just got some wood from an apple tree cut down this week. Can I set my smoker temp to 250 and dry the chunks in the smoker without having a creasole problem? I don't want to have to wait 6 months if possible.
post #2 of 11

Very good question.

That is a very good question and I look froward to hearing what some of our more seasoned memebers have to say on this subject but thanks for bringing it up as I would be interested in knowing the answer to this question as well.
post #3 of 11
I am not sure that it is a good idea, but I have done this. I split the wood into the chunk sizes I wanted, placed into the gosm and fired it up. Let it run for about 5 hrs or so. The larger pieces were not totally dry but was good enought for me. I set temp for 275. Some of the lower pieces had started to pre burn during this. I just moved the chunks aroung about half way though.

Hope this helps.
post #4 of 11
The only way to tell if wood is "dry" is to test with a moisture meter. If you can get your hands on one it might be cool to see if you are actually drying out the wood or not.
post #5 of 11
I cut some limbs from a cherry tree. They were no larger in diameter than my thumb. I was going to store them in the garage for a few months and then try using them.
post #6 of 11

Have used my dehydrater

I once used my dehydrator on some green plum tree chunks (1-2") and they were dry enough for me to use without any problem. I let them dehydrate
for about 24 hrs.
My assumption would be that you would be doing something very similar.
Mine did not show any checks or cracks but the weight was significantly less.
Keep in mind these were small cylindrical branches that I had cut for chunks.
I have an apple tree down that has been drying since this past October and
am using alot of it already. Just not the big stuff yet.

post #7 of 11
I was going to do the same thing, try drying some chunks in the smoker. Then walking through my yard looking at the small greenhouse we have and I'm like....DUH! So I chopped up a little hickory, apple and cherry. Put them in bins in the greenhouse for a week, and they are already seasoned to the point of showing little splits and checks.

So I'm thinking if you have a lot of wood to season, it would be easy to build a little cold frame in a real sunny area. Wrap it in some cheap plastic, leave the ends open for circulation and just keep moving your wood through it. Rain can't get at it and the heat radiating through the plastic will dry your wood in no time.

The cherry I had was already good to go, but the apple and hickory were only a few months old.

Here's the first batch I'm drying.




Hickory after a week, there was no signs of splits or checks when I put it in there.

The new drying station :)

post #8 of 11
Another thing to try is put the wood up in your attic for a while. Nice and warm up there and won't use any fuel either.
post #9 of 11

Hi All,

I'm new to these forums, just not new to spending all night at the smoker.


I'd like to comment on the concept of speed drying. I have an older Oklahoma Joe With the big side chamber. I have been using the side and main smoking chamber for seasoning fresh wood now since last year. I had to repaint my smoker 2 years ago and chose Black because of surface rust issues, and because of its color now on a good hot summer day it will be 120F+. in both chambers, without any fire. I keep the firebox vent and exhaust wide open and the rest of my OJ filled with whatever wood needs drying. I have discovered that in 2 weeks I have excellent wood at near 20% moisture.


As far as creosote goes, I have a friend who is a Forestry professor at Purdue University, he "unofficially" told me that so long as the word was around 20% it maters not how the wood got there.


Have fun, and smoke away!

KC Baby Back ribs







post #10 of 11

I would split it for sure then let it sit in the sun where it can get as much wind as possible. It should dry really good before you use it.  Much like firewood the longer you let it dry, the better. I would buy some and let it dry naturally. My opinion only of course.........It's 5 p.m. somewhere..........cheers.gif

post #11 of 11

I like to get it below 20% myself. Split and air dry, cover it in rainy, wet weather.

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