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Curing/Aging splits

Creosote

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I am new to smoking and the forum and need info for dried wood. I cut firewood and use it at one year old for firewood but I also split it into small pieces. I just started splitting (white oak) some to cure for smoking and have the splits ranging from 3 or 4" by 6 to 10" and curious how long it actually takes to cure or age.
 

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JckDanls 07

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I would think a year is more than enough... Maybe do a test run and see how things go.. do they light quickly ?? do they put out clean smoke ??
 

Creosote

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I would think a year is more than enough... Maybe do a test run and see how things go.. do they light quickly ?? do they put out clean smoke ??
I have just gotten started smoking and actually haven't even gotten started. I am having a pit built and it looks like the it will be February before I get the new pit. I do have a smoker that was on the property when I bought the place and I can try some test runs with it but it only had a 2 inch chimney from 2 3/4 inch drill stem. I increased the height to 26 inches and got that from Feldons calculation. It has no grate in the firebox so the wood will sit directly on the box. Hopefully I can give it a test run tomorrow, depends on the wind. We have been having 15 to 20 mph the last couple of days and it's forecast for 10 to 15 tomorrow but for a test run don't guess it really matters for lighting quality, burning and smoke color.
 

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GonnaSmoke

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I just started splitting (white oak) some to cure for smoking and have the splits ranging from 3 or 4" by 6 to 10" and curious how long it actually takes to cure or age.
There is no definitive time frame for when wood is seasoned and ready to use in smoking, but I try to stay about a year ahead on mine. One way is to use a moisture meter. They're cheap to buy and my target is 15%-20% moisture. Just do an interweb search for moisture meter and you'll get a lot of options...

And that smoker that you "inherited" when you bought your place, I'd get that thing up and running again for sure...
 

Creosote

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I am having a grate made for the cooking chamber by a local welder and I need to find a heavy duty grate for the firebox and have to put a grease drain in it. It is 3/8th thick so I am gonna use it until I get my new one built and then probably sell this one. On the wood I already have split which is a little over a year old I have 3 1/2 cords on my racks, I split my wood as soon as I drop the trees and I cut it to fit a free standing fire box (which heats my entire house) so I have already cut all my wood to 17" so I will have plenty until what I have started cutting for smoking cures. I will pick up a moisture meter and should I cut a split in half so I can check the interior and not just the edge? What is a good size split to use on a 20" firebox and do you use lump charcoal along with wood or just straight wood?
 

TNJAKE

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I use 16in splits in my firebox. I light a chimney of lump charcoal pour it in when ready then add about 3 splits. From there on it's wood only
 

flatbroke

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Nice job on the wood. Lucky man on diameter. Less bark
 

1MoreFord

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You should freshly split a log and take a reading in the middle of the newly split wood.

Firewood is a situation where size matters. Small splits will dry faster than large splits. Barkless interior splits will dry faster than exterior splits; especially if the bark is left on. Round sticks will dry slower than similarly sized splits.

Living in Texas you have the advantage of warm weather to help season your wood. If you can keep it out of the rain it will dry faster but it needs to be open enough for the wind to help.

The smaller interior splits could be ready in half the time of the exterior splits.
 

GonnaSmoke

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...should I cut a split in half so I can check the interior and not just the edge? What is a good size split to use on a 20" firebox and do you use lump charcoal along with wood or just straight wood?
Yes, I'll split my already split, seasoned wood to check the interior moisture if I don't think it's dry enough, but usually after a year or at least 1 hot summer, it's good to use.

As for the length, I use whatever length will fit in my firebox so your 17" long splits will work.

As for starting the fire and then cooking, I do exactly the same as TNJAKE TNJAKE above...
 

SmokinAl

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I read an article that Aaron Franklin uses green wood because he can’t get enough dry wood. So I cut some oak from my backyard & only dried it for a month or so & put it in my Lang. It smoked a bit more than dry wood, but there was not any creosote & the flavor was just fine. I think that if you have a hot enough fire it will burn just fine.
Al
 

Creosote

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I read an article that Aaron Franklin uses green wood because he can’t get enough dry wood. So I cut some oak from my backyard & only dried it for a month or so & put it in my Lang. It smoked a bit more than dry wood, but there was not any creosote & the flavor was just fine. I think that if you have a hot enough fire it will burn just fine.
Al
That sounds good to me because as small as I cut my firewood for the free standing stove and split it immediately everything I have over a year old should be good to go. I just finished cutting, splitting and stacking enough white oak to use just for smoking to last me a couple of years once it's dried.
 

Creosote

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There is no definitive time frame for when wood is seasoned and ready to use in smoking, but I try to stay about a year ahead on mine. One way is to use a moisture meter. They're cheap to buy and my target is 15%-20% moisture. Just do an interweb search for moisture meter and you'll get a lot of options...

And that smoker that you "inherited" when you bought your place, I'd get that thing up and running again for sure...
Just picked up this moisture meter at Harbor Supply, a whopping $13.99. My 1 year old splits are reading 11 to 13% moisture level.
 

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