drying wood in the oven

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Original poster
Jan 9, 2014
tampa florida
I bought two wheel barrows of cherry this week and split a piece and it was wet. So wet you can see the mosture line where its dry i guess the guy didn't store it right. Which is fine cause the wood looks beautiful. The problem is i am competing in my first competion next week and i cant have wet wood. So i was thinking to split about half of it into smaller peices and stick it in my oven @ 200°- 250° for about an hour or 2 to dry it out. Then when i have my smoker , burning put the wet peices im the fire boxe to dry out.
what do ya'll think?
I have dried wet seasoned wood on a grill.
If the wood is seasoned and wet this should work. I would put the oven up to 325 or so turn it off then place the wood inside and close the door. Remove wood the next day.
For unseasoned wood I'm guessing g it would work as well but may take longer.

Although not directly related to your situation...
Seasoned wood has a moisture content of 12% ?
Really not sure but maybe someone else can verify the moisture content
Close on the 12% I'm sure, but I'd be cautious about drying it in my indoor oven...

Even though the wood won't smoulder, it will put off some gas, vapors, whatever you want to call it, and make the house smell like a smokehouse for a bit.  My wife wouldn't mind since I smell like a smoker most of the time, but some folks poo poo that idea...

For a comp, I would use known wood that is seasoned, I wouldn't trust new stuff that's questionable...

I am doing it now, seems like it is working. Don't have money in the buget to buy more wood. I hope it dosen't cost me the "backyard" Grand championship.
That could be very dangerous drying wood in your kitchen oven.... Dry it in your gas /charcoal grill at about 200 or so..... or in your smoker using charcoal for heat... the drying process could take days...
Just a heads up on the oven drying.
It works and I have done it and its safe I have done this for kindling as well as splits
The idea is to get the oven fairly hot then turn off. This will stay warm for hours and is the driest environment I can think of.
No off gassing occurs.
If you feel that 325 to heat the oven is unsafe try bringing the oven to 275 then TURN OFF add your wood and all is good.
Seemed to work i put the oven @ 250° for about 2, and then dropped it down to 200° for another 2 hrs quite a bit of moisture came out of the vent then i would open the doo every 20 minutes or so and let some steam out it slowed down after about 3 1/2 hrs (the steam) i think it was a sucess. I have done about 2 oven loads so far i split a peice afterwards it was a little moist but not nearly as before
Picked up some supposed seasoned alder & apple branches the other day to make some cookies  (wafers).   Sliced some apple and yes very dry, but found the alder to still be a little moist, but not too bad so I'm going to find a way to dry a couple alder cookies so I can smoke maybe next weekend.
When turning wet wood into wooden bowls, it's common to dry them in the microwave set on defrost let it cool and repeat. Continue until dry. The trick is to weigh the wood before drying. After each cycle in  the microwave weigh again. When it quits losing weight it's dry.
My buddy makes fishing lures out of cedar.  He can only find it available wet, so he dries it himself.  He says that the secret is to get air movement.  He built a box and mounted a computer fan to it.  A hot plate in the bottom, a rack in the middle and the exhaust fan on top.  Heat and move air really dry faster than high heat alone.
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