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Force drying White Oak for BBQing


Fire Starter
Joined Nov 7, 2016
Hey guys,

Hope everyone is staying safe during these crazy times.

So, with most of my city shut down (Houston, Tx), and me being an Essential Worker (Automotive Repair) and no one having $$$ to fix their cars, I have some time on my hands.

My mom and a co-worker just got their stimulus checks, and have asked me to smoke them a brisket, so i'm doing 2 of them this weekend. I can usually buy wood at Academy, but it's a long line to get in, and I don't feel like spending $20 for a bag of wood. So, i went down the street from my, job, and bought some White Oak from this tree cutting company. I've never bought wood from from someone selling it, but 25 pieces for $10 seems like a good deal.

Anyway, I have a insulated Pitmaker Safe, and when i get home today, i'm going to clean it out with my small electric pressure washer, and re-season it. So, being a noob at buying wood, I'm wonder if anyone has ever stuck a large quantity of wood in their smoker to help speed up the drying process. My Pitmaker holds temp like a mo-fo, and i was thinking of setting the temp at around 300-350 for a few hours and hopefully dry out what i got. It doesn't seem too wet, and I've watched some videos on how to tell if wood is holding too much moisture, but again....i'm a noob at this.

As an experiment, I do have a Toaster Oven here at work, and i took a few pieces and used my air hammer and a chisel to split the logs down to a more manageable size. I then used my air saw to cut up about 4 pieces of wood into 4"-6" lengths, and i set the toaster oven to 450. I got them cooking in the oven, and i'm just trying to see if the water, assuming the wood is still moist, will steam out of it.

So far, nothing. And it's been in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Anyway....let me know if you've done something like this...

Or am i just going crazy??


Smoking Fanatic
Joined Mar 5, 2019
It tends not to be worthwhile to dry out wood with heat. You'll burn more wood/charcoal or use more electricity than it's worth. You can accelerate the process of drying the wood by building a holzhausen with your splits or putting the wood inside a simple diy hotbox to sit in the sun. It will still take weeks. Basically only a fan to circulate air is economical if you want to do anything other than passive methods.


Meat Mopper
Joined Apr 30, 2016
You will burn more wood drying than you will net in dry wood. Green White oak will burn if you get it hot enough, but green oak will tend to put off some pretty bitter smoke. Best to stack your new oak in a well ventilated area for a few months of curing. Given your mom and coworker probably want their brisket sooner than later, take a look at the big box stores such as Wally World, Lowes, Home Depot, menards, etc. and see if you can get some bags of chunks delivered to your door. Combine the chunks with some lump charcoal and you will make your customers happy while your oak is dying.

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