Could wood chunks dried for 1 week be ok to smoke with???

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
OTBS Member
Jun 14, 2006
Hello all,

I recently bought 12 pounds of different wood chunks to smoke with off the internet.

I have received them, and they look and feel great. Not that I am an expert.

The guy selling them seems nice enough and I asked him how he gets the wood and dries it, etc.

He says he gets it right from the tree, debarks it, cuts it into chunks then lays it on a tarp in the sun to dry.

I thought ok great, but then I asked how long does it dry before you sell it and he said about 1 week.

Now honestly, this wood feels light as a feather and if he had said 6 months I would have believed him.

Anyway, what do you all think? I'm definitely going to try it, I don't see any reason to let it sit longer. Plus for all I know the chunks I received have been sitting longer than that.

Just wanted some advice from someone who knows more about this than I do.

Can the wood feel light and all but still not be ready for the smoker???

Thanks :D
Doug what kind of wodd wood did you get and where from the internet did you get it. Did it come from a wood supply company or did you hook up with a guy selling wood?

You don't really know what you are getting from the guy selling off the back of his truck, and I try to deal with companies that have a long history and a good rep to back them.

Hope it works out for you, I am still stuck with the drive to the local home depot and I can only find hickory there since I will not use mesquite to smoke with.
Hey guys,

It's a guy selling wood. He lives in WA and also builds furniture. Looks like he owns land with timber and has access to a lot of wood.

That's what it sounds to me anyway.

I bought 1lb alder, 1lb maple, 1lb plum, 3 pounds apple, 6 pounds cherry.

All chunks. Just wanted to try some different woods.

I think I'm going to ask him if he uses a smoker, what does he think, etc.
Really, I appreciate him being honest and not telling me he waited 6 months. Not like I would have known.

He cut it into nice size chunks that look like they will already fit into my smoker box, so I am thinking when they are that size in the hot sun, it could very well dry a lot faster.

Anyway, I'm definitely going to use it since it looks good and I already paid for it. If I notice creosote or something I guess I will know not to buy anymore from him.
Here are a few of my thoughts on the matter with little or no technical data to back me up

Logs will take longer to dry than splits, splits longer than chunks, chunks longer than chips, and saw dust almost instantly.

Fruit woods aren't as strong as nut woods and I've used some while still green with excellent results.

The fact that smaller pieces of wood dry faster and that fruit wood isn't as acrid as nut wood, I would recommend giving it a try and see how you like it. My guess is that the wood is fine to use as is. :D
I have a few wild cherry trees that I pruned back to allow the sun to better reach my garden. I also have alot of apple orchards nearby that let me have their prunings and older "expended" trees. I've cut the branches down to chunks by hand and have used them as soon as 3-4 days later with great results.

Hickory, maple, and oak are abundant in my area, so I generally have plenty on hand for camp fires and such. Since I use so much of it for both cooking and and fire wood, it is already split and well seasoned. I just grab a log off the pile, chunk it up, and I'm off to the races.

Mesquite is the only wood that I know that you absolutely should not use green because of its heavy oil content. Mesquite should be dried for several months before cooking with it.

Hope this helps.

Didnt you mean "before burying it in your yard"?

When Dr.BBQ, Ray Lampke, said the only place in his world for mequite was buried out in the yard, I nearly died laughing.

But I agree with Bob and Brian. Chunks should be good to go.

Throw some hot coals on one side of your kettle, then throw some chunks on there. Do they ignite, or do they hiss and steam?

Regardless, throw some chicken breasts (skinless) on the grate opposite side of the coals. Cover with lid.

After 45minutes, try the chicken. Is it good taste, or an acrid, bad smoke, taste?

If its good, enjoy! you have seasoned wood chunks

If its bad, call the dog, and leave the chunks in a cardboard box for a few weeks (I leave mine in the garage which heats up in the sun everyday.)
You're right on the money, Bill. I don't use much mesquite for low & slow either, because its just too overpowering by itself. I'll use it sparingly for direct grilling a juicy Rib steak or Porterhouse over a hot fire and that's about it.

I think I could get better flavor from a well cured piece of pine than I could mesquite.

As far as the wood goes, if its in small chunks it probably is fine.
Lets not be too harsh CS.

I'm sure there's a recipe out there that would be complemented by smoked meat, that tastes like feet.

Filet of Sole, maybe? :)
I probably am too harsh about mesquite, but it seemed like for years it was rammed down everyone's throat as the "real" way to smoke a brisket. I smoked a lot of briskets with mesquite chunks in a charcoal ECB. They always had a taste like it was smoked with creosote to me. I covered it up with sauces, but if I smoked with oak, hickory or pecan I could always enjoy my brisket strait up with no sauce.

Just my opinion on mesquite.
You missed my point on mesquite.

As you guys will learn, I have an entire yard fulled of buried stuff.

The mesquite is buried back by the fence, 20 feet to the left is the mustard, then you got the Spam out there (that hole is REALLY deep) and about 8 years worth of cole slaw is out under the bush, so as never to ruin a pulled pork sandwich.

One day, in the distant future, an archaeologist will dig down 40 feet, and finally get to the layer that is my back yard.

A petrified Bandera, a ton of mesquite, and enough Spam and mustard to feed a small village.

I think he'll say that I must have been the wise man of my village.

Petrification is the ultimate preservation.

Ever been to the petrified forest? That wood is like rock.

So after said archaeologist un-earths the bandera, he will have the king of all Bandera's, petrified rock/ceramic bandera mod.

That sucker will definitely hold temps, and 1000 years in the future, will definitely make some mighty fine smoked smergelfint with frankelberry wood (Choice cut, of course)
I gotta agree with ya Cajunsmoker about mesquite being shoved down everyones throat when it comes to brisket…however I must say that I am partial to a nice Reuben (Rachel) sangwich with a big pile of mesquite smoked turkey breast, kraut, baby swiss and homemade russian dressing with the catsup being replaced with Sirachi sauce on thick slabs of deli seeded marble rye grilled on both sides like a melted cheese sangwich! …Mommy, I think I peed myself! Sorry, Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]m just drooling… :oops: :roll:
Simple question?

Can I use kiln dried wood for smoking?

I have limited access to decent wood for smoking. In fact, we have very little hardwood growing naturly in my area. We do however have a ton of lumberyards and home depots around. What I was wondering is could I simply buy a maple plank/board from HD, cut it up and use it?

Any and all opinions appreciated...

Hey, Peter,

A piece of maple that reaches the retail shelf is very expensive. And, furthermore, there is no guarantee that it has not met up with undesireable chemical treatment. Even though kiln drying is accomplished with steam there may be a chemical treatment involved either to speed the process or to retard the return of unwanted moisture.

If you have a nearby Home Depot you can catalog order wood chunks as well as chips. I prefer chunks. You can also catalog or internet order a Great Outdoors Smokey Mountain gas smoker, a GOSM. That's where I bought mine. They normally do not stock these items in store but if you order it for in store pick up you may escape some of the shipping costs. And the parent company of the firm which produces the GOSM is now Canadian owned.

You make me feel like a very fortunate rich man. My firewood delivery this year was 85% seasoned maple, 10% seasoned cherry, and the balance of the seven cord delivery was yellow birch. Funny how we take things for granted.

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