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Unread 08-01-2013, 07:18 AM   #1
scotts1919
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Default Cherry Wood - Seasoning

Good morning. My dad calls me up last week and says "hey we need to tear down the cherry tree in the backyard and do you want us to keep you any wood", i said hell yes!

So my question is, whats the process of seasoning cherry wood? Keep in mind i am in the Midwest and dont have a ton of space. could i cut it up into small chunks for smoking and season the small chunks?

How long do i season for?

Please help me out.

thanks
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Unread 08-01-2013, 07:22 AM   #2
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It will dry out faster if it is in smaller pieces. Some use it before it is dry and have good results.
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Unread 08-01-2013, 08:01 AM   #3
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if you are using a stick burner I would think that you would want to keep larger pieces; however, if using charcoal - then smaller pieces are ideal to throw onto the coals. I'd try to let it age at least 5-6 months if cut into smaller pieces. 10-12 months for logs.
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Unread 08-01-2013, 08:20 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbq.tom View Post
if you are using a stick burner I would think that you would want to keep larger pieces; ...
I'm new to the stick burner thing having just done one cook on my NBBD. Wouldn't I use cherry like I use it on my charcoal smoker (WSM?) I mix some chunks in the charcoal. Wouldn't I want to mix a few chunks in with whatever sticks (oak and maple) that I'm using for fuel?

This is probably academic for the OP since he mentions lacking space for storing wood, he's probably not using a stick burner.

And I'll offer to help him with any surplus cherry. I can offer some mulberry and black walnut in exchange if he wants some.
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Unread 08-01-2013, 08:28 AM   #5
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I use a WSM so smaller piece chunks are ideal.

I think what i will do is splt them up small and store them. should i store them outdoors under tarp or in the garage or shed in a rubbermaid bin to season them?
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Unread 08-01-2013, 08:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HankB View Post
I'm new to the stick burner thing having just done one cook on my NBBD. Wouldn't I use cherry like I use it on my charcoal smoker (WSM?) I mix some chunks in the charcoal. Wouldn't I want to mix a few chunks in with whatever sticks (oak and maple) that I'm using for fuel?
Depends on how frequently you want to feed the fire. I prefer to only open the firebox about every 2-3 hours so I want large pieces that not only provide flavored smoke but primary heat as well. If you want to feed the fire every 30-45 minutes then I'd suggest smaller chunks just for the flavored smoke factor (not primary heat source).
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Unread 08-01-2013, 09:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotts1919 View Post
I use a WSM so smaller piece chunks are ideal.

I think what i will do is splt them up small and store them. should i store them outdoors under tarp or in the garage or shed in a rubbermaid bin to season them?
You need to keep them dry so they don't grow mushrooms and otherwise deteriorate. I also dust my wood storage with diatomaceous earth to keep bugs out of it. I had some mulberry that was riddled with worm holes when I went to use it. I also have problems with mice nesting in my wood storage.
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Unread 08-01-2013, 09:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
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You need to keep them dry so they don't grow mushrooms and otherwise deteriorate. I also dust my wood storage with diatomaceous earth to keep bugs out of it. I had some mulberry that was riddled with worm holes when I went to use it. I also have problems with mice nesting in my wood storage.
So would you suggest keeping it in rubbermaid containers in shed covered with diatomoaceous earth sprinkled on it? something like below?

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Unread 08-01-2013, 09:47 AM   #9
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I recently got to stock pile some cherry for the first time. Mine is in wood rack outside but only been drying for a couple weeks. I have already started using it(just couldnt wait).. it was great green, but pretty strong, dosent take much mixed in with oak.
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Unread 08-01-2013, 09:54 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbq.tom View Post
I'd try to let it age at least 5-6 months if cut into smaller pieces. 10-12 months for logs.
This is my experience.

Got some 3 month old large logs in January of this year. It was way too moist still. Cut it into small splits and put it in the furnace room up high. It was burning clean a couple months ago.
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Unread 08-01-2013, 11:21 AM   #11
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If i do put in in a Rubbermaid bin and put it in the shed, do i cover it to hold moisture in or leave it uncovered? or do i add some sort of drying agent to bin and cover it?

thanks
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Unread 08-01-2013, 11:24 AM   #12
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you need good air flow around the wood for it to season properly. I would not store it in rubbermaid bins for chance of mold forming.
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Unread 08-01-2013, 11:35 AM   #13
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And yes, use some right away. You will never be able to add that natural moisture back to that wood again.
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Unread 08-02-2013, 01:28 AM   #14
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I put my cherry up on 2x4's which are on top of brick. Each of my areas for smoking is 4'x4', with t-post for ends. The wood is normally 2-3" in diameter, is outside and uncovered. Like a mini fire wood rack. Also since I get cherry in my fire wood, I have much cherry chunked up and dry.
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