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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 08-08-2004, 05:25 AM   #1
thillin
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Default How long to season wood?

How long do I need to season wood for the smoker? Mainly pecan.
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Unread 08-08-2004, 09:00 AM   #2
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Lot of variables including:
  • Where in Tejas you is
    (If you got pecan, I assume relatively wet/humid central Texas)
    Size of pieces
    (The smaller the quicker)
    Bark on or off
    In or out of the rain

Ideally, chunked/split and stored it could be ready in about 3 months, Easy enough to check by starting a test fire. If you get thin blue, may as well throw some meat in.
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Unread 08-08-2004, 09:04 AM   #3
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thillin, I have no specific knowledge of pecan but 6-8 months is kinda the general area for wood to be ready. After wood has been dry too long I'm told it becomes less effective for flavoring. I think this depends a lot on the wood, I've used some 3 or 4 year old cherry that still made darn good Q. If you split the wood now and keep it in an area where it will recieve good air circulation with minimum rain exposure it'll be ready a bit faster.
Start trying it at about 6 months and see if it gives you white smoke, when it doesn't its ready.
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Unread 08-08-2004, 07:23 PM   #4
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I'm in North TX. The pecan will likely be stored either next to the house, or in the garage. Likely with the bark on and in small logs. Most will be about 8-10 inches long, about as thick as your forearm.
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Unread 08-08-2004, 09:41 PM   #5
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Whack two pieces together pretty hard. If it goes "clunk" it ain't dry enough, when it goes "chink" its good to go. Six months in the dry is about the ultimate.
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Unread 08-09-2004, 12:51 AM   #6
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I will agree with a minamum of 6 months. I cut whatever in the fall and figure that it is ready come spring.
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Unread 08-09-2004, 08:02 AM   #7
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the biggest variable in drying speed is surface area exposed over weight. I've properly seasoned wood in less than 3 months by debarking and cutting into relatively small chunks; like half a beer can.

Limbs the size of firepalce logs can easily take twice as long
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Unread 08-09-2004, 09:47 AM   #8
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I use oak about the size you are talking about. When I get a chance I split the "logs" no matter the size - it exposes more surface (as others have said) for quicker seasoning and it also starts burning easier -- definately take the bark off. If the bark is really "stuck" I just wait until I'm ready to use it and it's usually dried enough to take the bark off easily.

Another thing, don't forget to pre-heat the wook on the top of the firebox. This makes a huge difference in how quickly and cleanly the "new" wood starts burning.
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