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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 09-01-2010, 08:05 PM   #1
energyzer
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Default Green wood vs. dried wood

how much of a difference is there between green and dried wood? I can get apple, apricot, cherry, and probably peach wood from pruning and broken branches, but is it best to let it dry before using? What is the best thing to do with branches that I get from local trees? Any size recommendations for the chunks of wood? Is it just better to purchase dried wood?
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Unread 09-01-2010, 08:08 PM   #2
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I should point out that I'm preparing to use it in an UDS.
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Unread 09-01-2010, 08:14 PM   #3
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Wish I could get that variety from locally grown trees. If the branches are small enough you can use them green. Miron Mixon talks about using green peach all the time. I've used small pieces of green apple but nothing else. That being said, I don't have an UDS. I don't think people burn sticks in them, chuncks only, about fist sized should be good.
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Unread 09-01-2010, 09:16 PM   #4
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Most people prefer dried wood over green wood, but there have been some very successful BBQ'ers who use green (as mentioned, Myron Mixon being one). I'm just guessing here, but I'd say a good 90 plus percent of people use dried. Personally I'd try to season it for 6 months before using it, but it's not like your food will taste horrible if you use green wood, as long as you have good air flow.

As far as size, when using charcoal with wood chunks most people use wood chunks about the size of your fist, maybe a little smaller. If you have branches, just cut up the branches into fist size chunks with a chain saw. For larger diameter cuts of wood, cut "disks" of wood about the same thickness of your fist, then use an axe to split the disks into chunks. Or you could just buy chunks from places such as Home Depot, DoItBest Hardware ship to store option, or ebay.

Here is a pic of some wild cherry branches I cut up for my WSM, which is the same size you would use for a UDS:
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Unread 09-01-2010, 10:05 PM   #5
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What do you consider "seasoning the wood"? Do you mean just letting it sit and dry for 6 months, or do you have to do anything to it?
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Unread 09-01-2010, 10:43 PM   #6
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Just elevate it off the ground and stack it up for good air circulation.
Saiko has it nailed.
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Unread 09-02-2010, 09:35 AM   #7
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I prefer green fruitwood in my wsm or uds, and seasoned in my char-griller stickburner.
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Unread 09-02-2010, 02:30 PM   #8
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I use bits of green wood apple oak or almond on top of an oak base usually. I like the hint of green and it gives the bark a little edgyness in my view. http://ow.ly/2yG2a
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Unread 09-02-2010, 02:49 PM   #9
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Can wood be TOO seasoned? Like, if I know someone who has a huge amount of walnut that's been stored for 2 or 3 years, is there any reason I shouldn't use it?(I'm talking aside from the possibility that creatures of some kind of have taken up residence inside the wood) It's not that far from where I am, and if there's no reason not to use 3-year-old wood then I might ask him if he wants to drive up there.
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Unread 09-02-2010, 02:57 PM   #10
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3 yr wood is fine as long as it isn't moldy or buggy. I have some 5 year old hickory that is great.
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Unread 09-02-2010, 02:59 PM   #11
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my understanding is that walnut is not a good choice.
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Unread 09-02-2010, 03:02 PM   #12
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^^
I've read that it can be...bitter when used alone. So maybe I just won't use it alone? The price is right for giving it a try I think, at least.
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Unread 09-02-2010, 03:13 PM   #13
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Never been a problem for me. In the beginning I only used old wood until someone said hey, no need to wait.
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Unread 09-02-2010, 03:47 PM   #14
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I prefer dry wood. I find it is a lot more predictable in terms of burning temps and times. After 6 months to a year it won't dry out any more, and should be good to use forever as long as it is stored somewhere dry and bug free. I've used wood that was close to 10 years old with good results.

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Originally Posted by smooookin View Post
my understanding is that walnut is not a good choice.
Walnut can definitely be very strong. Use it sparingly at first to get a feel for it. The first time I used it I ended up with a pork shoulder that tasted like diesel.
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Unread 09-02-2010, 03:48 PM   #15
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Great news, hopefully I'll be going tonight or tomorrow to check the wood out and make sure it's pest-free.
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