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Schubox
11-22-2014, 02:54 PM
Good afternoon Brethren! First time poster, been lurking for a while and learning a lot from all the BBQ wisdom available here. Thanks to all of you for this amazing resource.

So my folks live in the woods and have a ton of scrub oak on their property that we have been slowly clearing out for fire mitigation. Can I use it for smoking? I thought I would make some chunks out of the bigger branches and use them in my WSM. Good or bad idea?

IamMadMan
11-22-2014, 02:58 PM
Yes you can....

phil c
11-22-2014, 03:33 PM
Just make sure it's well seasoned.

FatCoyote
11-22-2014, 03:52 PM
Season it for a few years and you should be good to go. I prefer a more robust smoke, therefore due to its hardness I use oak to form a bed of coals and add flavor from there. However, Oak in and of itself is very nice.

Schubox
11-22-2014, 05:05 PM
A few years? OK, guess I'll cut some up and store it for a good while! Thanks guys.

BigBobBQ
11-22-2014, 06:48 PM
Give it at least a few months if using in a WSM, greener wood can smoke a little more than seasoned wood because of the moisture.

Mo-Dave
11-22-2014, 08:19 PM
A few years? OK, guess I'll cut some up and store it for a good while! Thanks guys.

Unless the wood has been inside and handled right, never us wood that is a FEW yeas old, unless its for your fireplace. 6 months is plenty, but really I prefer it as green as I can get it. You do need to know how to use that fresh wood so learn good fire control habits.
Dave

Friedturkeyspam
11-22-2014, 08:23 PM
I would think if you're using small pieces you should be able to cut the wood split it into the size you are looking for and expect it to be seasoned in a couple of months or so in Colorado where it's pretty low humidity in the winter time.

The smaller the pieces you make the quicker it should dry. Do you have a wood stove or some kind of place you could put a batch of wood chunks next to to speed things up a bit?

Mike

Schubox
11-22-2014, 09:54 PM
I would think if you're using small pieces you should be able to cut the wood split it into the size you are looking for and expect it to be seasoned in a couple of months or so in Colorado where it's pretty low humidity in the winter time.

The smaller the pieces you make the quicker it should dry. Do you have a wood stove or some kind of place you could put a batch of wood chunks next to to speed things up a bit?

Mike


This is more what I was hoping. With the drought conditions out here the branches we are cutting are already quite dry, like deadfall almost. So I'm not dealing with "green" wood really. No wood stove unfortunately - my plan is to cut it into chunks and store it in the garage until spring and I'll be ready to go when the weather gets warm again!

jimithing78
11-23-2014, 01:00 AM
I'd say 6 months is plenty for use on a WSM. If you're sure it's oak you should be fine. You can take a picture of a tree and close up of a leaf and post it here if you want. People around here are pretty good at identifying types of oaks.

IamMadMan
11-23-2014, 07:07 AM
I would think if you're using small pieces you should be able to cut the wood split it into the size you are looking for and expect it to be seasoned in a couple of months or so in Colorado where it's pretty low humidity in the winter time.

The smaller the pieces you make the quicker it should dry. Do you have a wood stove or some kind of place you could put a batch of wood chunks next to to speed things up a bit?



^ +1 ... I agree......

As you know scrub oak is much smaller in diameter than regular oak, therefore the time it takes to dry will also be reduced in proportion to the diameter. To get green wood to about 20% moisture takes about six months, but could be much less with smaller or shorter pieces of wood.

When cooking you can place a couple pieces on top of the cooker to aid in rapid drying for use in your next cook.

The simplest way to make sure your wood is dry, is to look for checks (cracks) in the end grain. As wood dries the ends will usually show splits or cracks across the grain. Although these may not be large cracks with smaller scrub oak.

Seasoned wood also has a distinct sound: knock two pieces of wood together and you'll get a crisp, solid sound. Green wood will make a duller, muffled sound. Over time, you'll gain a confidence for telling seasoned (dry) wood.

Schubox
11-23-2014, 09:56 AM
Thanks again for all the great info, much appreciated. It is for sure scrub oak, the stuff is everywhere in the foothills around here. I've only used the store bought bags of mesquite, hickory & apple thus far so oak is something I've been wanting to try. I'll basically have an unlimited supply so I hope we like it!