Originally Posted by Williefb
That explains a lot. I understand.
Not yet necessarily.
This is a lot like the old question, do I leave the bark on the stick? There are different opinions, so let me add my $0.02's worth.
Just because it's the first cut doesn't mean you can't cook with it. If it's cheap and convenient enough I'd cook with them all the time. It's little different than the outer portion of split wood if properly seasoned. The question is whether it's properly seasoned. If you bang the cut sides of a couple of sticks together they should not make a dull thud sound. They should sound more like tapping two baseball bats together. If you hear a thud and not a ringing clack you need to season longer.
The nature of slabs do make for a couple of problems. They do have a lot of bark compared to wood. I'd split them in half so they aren't so wide. Make sure you pre-heat. Make sure you place the sticks with wood side toward the fire. Wood lights easier than bark and bark lights easier from the inside. Don't drop them flat on top of your coals. This will smother the coals. Place them to the edge of the coals or prop them over the coals so you have good air flow around them. Slabs can be used with a little forethought.