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New to the forum with a question about wood seasoning.


Joined Oct 23, 2013
Hello everyone.  I'm not a complete novice when it comes to smoking but am when it comes to using large chunk wood.  Where I live, it is hard to get large chunks of wood suitable for smoking as most trees that are cut down around here in lower SC are typically pine.  Thus, I usually use lump charcoal with wood chips for flavoring that can be purchased at the store in my side fire box.  However, today, one of my neighbors cut down a large sugar maple tree as parts of it were starting to die.  He asked if I wanted any of it and I, of course, jumped on it.  The wood definitely still has a decent amount of moisture in it.  So my question is, what should I do to season it properly.  At the moment, it is stacked in large logs (some almost 2 feet in diameter) under my car port.  I'm planning on stripping off its shaggy bark and cutting them down into smaller chunks.  Does anyone have any advice or suggestions on what I should do and how I might speed up the drying process?  I assume the cutting it into smaller chunks will help.
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RIP. Gone but never forgotten.
OTBS Member
Joined Apr 4, 2013
Wood needs 6 months to a year to season. Cut it to your specific length when stacking, shorter is always better than longer if estimating. Stack off the ground by cribing the first layer. Thats it. Don't worry about the bark. BTW if you have a large enough piece save it for whittling down kindling.

When the wood is seasoned (depending upon its size you will split it then), for the most part the bark will fall off. Just a suggestion, check the local equipment rental store for a hydraulic spliter. Paul Bunion wasn't a once a year spliter.

If you want it to season faster, keep it dry, keep it warm, keep air circulating. Best to always cover wood, if you don't have a wood bin, cover with a tarp or plywood or sheet metal, that will help just to keep the weather out if in a hurry.

Also remember that stacked wood does draw critters, don't stack it against the house or near anywhere that they would bother. Bugs, snakes, animials, all think wood cords are condos built for them, so always approach them with caution. Black widows don't kill but the do make you sick, snakes eat the rodents but can be tempermental if you try to evict them form their home..

So you've now got your own little eco system. LOL

Hope that helps

BTW don't forget to enter into your profile your locale so you will not get inundated with folks asking.
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AMNPS Test Group
Joined Sep 8, 2011
:welcome1: to SMF!!! We're happy you joined us! We have over 50,000 members now who just love to share what they know. You've come to the best place on the net to learn and share everything Q!!!


Meat Mopper
Joined Feb 7, 2009
Are you wanting logs to burn to generate heat, or chunks to generate smoke?

I'd suggest cutting both now, the chunks will probably be dry enough to use in a couple months so you can quit buying chips.

Depending on how dead/dry the wood is, yeah, it might need up to a year to dry enough for smoking.

Basic rule of thumb - the more surface area of the wood that is exposed, the faster it will dry. So I would cut it to the length you want and split it now, it will dry a lot faster.

Yes you can burn the bark, but it will dry faster if you remove the bark.

gary s

Gone but not forgotten. RIP
OTBS Member
Joined Jan 6, 2011
Hello and welcome from East Texas. This is a great site, lots of information and great people that are willing to throw in their two cents worth on about anything  ........
[/h1][h1]  [/h1][h1]Gary[/h1]


Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Joined Jun 13, 2012
to SMF!  We are so glad you joined us! Let it dry naturally and you will be good to go.

We love to see pictures of what you are cooking (or what we call q-views here at SMF).  To "upload the q-views" just follow the directions here and it will be easier. If you are using a cell phone, an IPad or a kindle, go to the main SMF page and click the Mobile button. Will make the uploads a bit faster too.

If you didn't read the "SMF User Guidelines" .....please do.  There are a few things that everyone should know about those pesky little rules before plunging into the forums and some guidelines of how to interact within the forums. Off site links are not allowed here at SMF per TulsaJeff. Not that you have done anything wrong....just a little bit of FYI for new members!

If you need any help roaming around the forums....just holler!  Happy to help out!



Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
Group Lead
Joined Feb 9, 2009
Welcome to the forums!  Glad you've joined our group.  You'll find there are lots of friendly and knowledgeable folks here who genuinely enjoy helping one another.  Looking forward to your input, and just ask when you need anything...someone here will surely have the answer.


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