How long to wait to use wood

Discussion in 'Woods for Smoking' started by hilltoppernole, Aug 20, 2017.

  1. Had some oak and cherry trees cut down in my yard. Going to split into pieace for smoking. How long should I wait until it is good to use?
  2. mowin

    mowin Master of the Pit

    Assuming these were live trees, in my area, oak takes up to a yr to dry out. Cherry 4-6 months. Not sure how the humidity in your area would effect that.
  3. ​I'm in Florida so its pretty high
  4. bluewhisper

    bluewhisper Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm used to allowing a year for seasoning. It helps to dry faster if it's already cut to length and split.

    I still have a big bunch of maple from a tree my neighbor removed, almost a year ago. I've tried it a few times and it's mellowing with age. It's losing the harshness of flavor that it had with less seasoning time.
  5. I bought and use a moisture meter to check wood moisture.  Mine is from Harbor Freight.  It was cheap, but seems to give accurate readings.  I shoot for wood under 15% moisture content.  The duration time of curing doesn't matter, as there is a large amount of variation between pieces.  It's how dry the wood actually is.  Short small pieces dry faster than long larger pieces.  At a minimum, split the wood to expose the center, especially if the bark is still on.  A year of curing should work for most pieces less than 6" in diameter if the wood is kept out of the rain and with decent air circulation.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
  6. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Give it a year. You'll be happier with it. 6 months bare min,  Like smoking, its worth the weight!
  7. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I have a wood crib that I dry mine in. The cold dry winter air here will dry it out pretty quickly. I buy a cord that's quarter split in fall put it in the crib for the winter and I can use it the following summer.

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