Naturally Seasoned Hickory

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Yoder Owner

Newbie
Original poster
Feb 26, 2024
23
24
Clovis New Mexico
Purchased 1/4 cord Naturally seasoned wood this week. Splits the wood into 1-1/4” square X 9” long. The hickory has 15% moisture using my moisture meter and keep in mind that’s not all water, it contains sugars. I’ve heard many say kiln dried wood and naturally seasoned wood makes no difference. Those statements are NOT true. In the following picture was 9 sticks of hickory 1-1/4” x 9” and my temperature was 400 degrees. I’ve never been able to reach 400 degrees with kiln dried wood. I am able to maintain 250 degrees only using two 1-1/4” x 9” sticks of naturally seasoned wood. Kiln dried wood would never reach 250 degrees with only two sticks.
 

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Mad Scientist BBQ just did a video on this subject. He found the opposite, but his "kiln" dried was a bit over-dry.



I’ll watch the video in couple days. I am cutting my hickory splits using a drop down saw and it’s boggling down the saw slightly. My moisture meter is showing 15% moisture. I am splitting the cut splits using the cracker into 1-1/4” thick. The wood is burning very easily. I need to keep my torch on the wood for about 4 minutes and after that it continues to burn. I was told the hickory was harvested last fall.
 
15% is pretty low. How low is kiln dried?

A few months ago talked with a wood supplier in San Antonio Texas that is kiln drying. I asked him what the smell was coming from the kiln and he said the yard smells like Christmas time. That smell he is smelling should be in my brisket not in his yard. That’s the problem with kiln dried wood. There cooking out the lignin that’s responsible for flavor. You’ll hear Aaron Franklin telling other he is not a fan ooof kiln dried wood. Aaron harvests he own wood and guess what he has the best brisket in Texas.
 
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A few months ago talked with a wood supplier in San Antonio Texas that is kiln drying. I asked him what the smell was coming from the kiln and he said the yard smells like Christmas time. That smell he is smelling should be in my brisket not in his yard. That’s the problem with kiln dried wood. There cooking out the lignin that’s responsible for flavor. You’ll hear Aaron Franklin telling other he is not a fan ooof kiln dried wood. Aaron harvests he own wood and guess what he has the best brisket in Texas.
Oh I get it on the kiln wood, was just curious how dry it measures. I have frequently used fruit woods in the 18-20% range and love it
 
Just know handheld moisture meters are not very precise. Next kiln dry effects and moisture content are not the same thing either. IE kiln dried that has been sitting in a yard for a "while" ie next to natural dried will end up being the same moisture content. Not all kiln drying is equal either, ie most kilns basically cook the wood to dry it and this higher temp will affect the natural oils in the wood, however, if a piece is dried at a lower kiln temp then it will be very similar to the natural dried woods.

I dry woods (small pieces 1.2x1.5x6 inches) all the time in an PID controlled oven so they can be stabilized for knife handles, and the only reliable way to verify moisture content is by weight. IE my moisture meter will read 0% and but after 4-6 hours in the oven it will lose an ounce or so.....if you leave it on the scale overnight it will gain it right back to pre-oven weight...... I also dry below 200 (150 to 180) degrees, so the oils don't cook.....This can affect stabilization as well....The amount of natural oils in the wood also affect stablization..... anyway just food for thought......
 
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