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Beentown
03-10-2018, 09:41 AM
I see it over and over again people recommending wood that is green for stick burning. What feeds into this? Why?

I see it ALL the time on the Lang FB page. Saying 6 month seasoned oak is "perfect". I realize that some areas it seasons faster but oak to get seasoned around here is 2 years, stacked for where I want it. 15%ish

I know that they want green for many propane burners but confounded by that advice for stickburning.

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wahoowad
03-10-2018, 09:52 AM
Wood for wood stoves usually needs to be seasoned 2 years to get the moisture content down to minimize steam that can effect burn in a closed stove environment where you are actually looking for gasification to occur for your most efficient combustion.

But wood in a stick burner is meant to burn faster with more oxygen supply and you aren't as susceptible to moisture impacting your combustion.

I'm basically making that up but feel there is something like that. Of course wood sellers are generally (I said generally) chronic liars too so '6 months' may not even be 6 months. Look for the checking on the ends of the splits.

SirPorkaLot
03-10-2018, 10:40 AM
Interesting topic.
After 40+ years of stick burning, I offer these tidbits.

The old hands back home use green hickory (3-6 months after cutting), but they pre-burn it first in a burn barrel.

Green fruitwood is far better than dry fruit wood.

Wood that is too dry is as bad as wood that is too green. IMHO.

I like using wood that is +\- 3-6 months old.

I don’t care for kiln dried wood (too dry)

YMMV

SmoothBoarBBQ
03-10-2018, 10:43 AM
I do well with ~3-6 month seasoned pecan just because I've gotten used to it. If it seasons too long and catches on fire immediately you're not going to get much flavor from the wood. Take a piece of green wood and cut a chip off and chew on it for a second... you'll get a ton of flavor. Do that to kiln-dried or 2+ year seasoned wood and you won't taste much at all. If you remove all the moisture from the wood you're losing a lot of fragrance and flavor.

To each their own but this is my experience.

Westx
03-10-2018, 11:51 AM
Around these parts of Texas lots of BBQ shacks use wood that is "3/4" seasoned. I use a mix of that and Oak that is about 12 months seasoned. The restaurant I worked in during my high school years the wood we used was green 3-4 months seasoned, any older and our pit produce a bitter taste on the que.

Beentown
03-10-2018, 01:58 PM
The restaurant I worked in during my high school years the wood we used was green 3-4 months seasoned, any older and our pit produce a bitter taste on the que.

Older produces a cleaner burn so I don't know how it could get bitter. Interesting.

Too old does make you burn through it faster though.

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Monkey Uncle
03-10-2018, 01:58 PM
Wood for wood stoves usually needs to be seasoned 2 years to get the moisture content down to minimize steam that can effect burn in a closed stove environment where you are actually looking for gasification to occur for your most efficient combustion.

But wood in a stick burner is meant to burn faster with more oxygen supply and you aren't as susceptible to moisture impacting your combustion.

I'm basically making that up but feel there is something like that. Of course wood sellers are generally (I said generally) chronic liars too so '6 months' may not even be 6 months. Look for the checking on the ends of the splits.


Even wood for a wood stove does not need to be seasoned for 2 years. I've heated with wood for 15 years, and I've never let green wood sit that long before using it. If you split it down to size shortly after cutting, and you stack it neatly in a place where it gets sun and good air circulation, even green oak will be ready for the wood stove in less than a year. (I cut all my own wood, so I've removed the chronic liars from the equation.)

Wood for a stick burner should season a little faster because the splits are a lot smaller than stove wood splits. That said, 6 months is probably pushing it unless you are storing it in full sun through the summer months.

If you season your wood in a shed or under a roof, it will take longer because it is not getting exposed to the sun. You don't need to worry about keeping the rain off of it, as long as the wood isn't touching the ground and is stacked neatly so that it dries quickly once the sun comes out. Rain water does not really penetrate wood very far. But of course, you'll want to store your seasoned wood covered in case it rains the night before your cook.

SirPorkaLot
03-10-2018, 02:03 PM
Older produces a cleaner burn so I don't know how it could get bitter. Interesting.

Too old does make you burn through it faster though.

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Cleaner burn does not necessarily make for better bbq (yea I know “they” say, just trust me on this one).

You need some of the natural moisture still in the wood for a better smoking wood.

Beentown
03-10-2018, 02:05 PM
This makes me wonder how many have experimented with different wood moistures.

I have tried from green to completely grey/weathered/dry and FAR prefer 12-20% moisture content. I cut and split my own 90% of the time. To get to those numbers hickory needs 1.5 years and oak, pending species, is 2 years or more. Split and stacked.

Above 20% and I get an acrid taste, popping/fizzing and harder to control temps as too much energy is being used to burn off the extra moisture.

Below 12% it just burns to fast. I call it TALO....throw...another...log...on....

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SirPorkaLot
03-10-2018, 02:12 PM
This makes me wonder how many have experimented with different wood moistures.

I have tried from green to completely grey/weathered/dry and FAR prefer 12-20% moisture content. I cut and split my own 90% of the time. To get to those numbers hickory needs 1.5 years and oak, pending species, is 2 years or more. Split and stacked.

Above 20% and I get an acrid taste, popping/fizzing and harder to control temps as too much energy is being used to burn off the extra moisture.

Below 12% it just burns to fast. I call it TALO....throw...another...log...on....

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I’m sure the wood type matters as well. As I mentioned above, the old school bbq folks in NC use green Hickory that is pre-burnt in a burn barrel to let the wood out-gas, then they take the chunks that have burned and fallen through the grate and load the pits up with that.
Myron actually uses green peach wood. Most fruit woods are better green IMHO.

Beentown
03-10-2018, 02:14 PM
Even wood for a wood stove does not need to be seasoned for 2 years. I've heated with wood for 15 years, and I've never let green wood sit that long before using it. If you split it down to size shortly after cutting, and you stack it neatly in a place where it gets sun and good air circulation, even green oak will be ready for the wood stove in less than a year. (I cut all my own wood, so I've removed the chronic liars from the equation.)

Wood for a stick burner should season a little faster because the splits are a lot smaller than stove wood splits. That said, 6 months is probably pushing it unless you are storing it in full sun through the summer months.

If you season your wood in a shed or under a roof, it will take longer because it is not getting exposed to the sun. You don't need to worry about keeping the rain off of it, as long as the wood isn't touching the ground and is stacked neatly so that it dries quickly once the sun comes out. Rain water does not really penetrate wood very far. But of course, you'll want to store your seasoned wood covered in case it rains the night before your cook.I have cut, split and burned for over 30 years. 8 cord a year previously. I split and stack immediately. For red oak, in Ohio, it takes right around 2 years to get below 20%. Above 20% your just wasting BTU's, IMHO. Why use those BTU's/energy to burning off water especially in heating wood? Again, a bit of moisture is good. Cleaner burn does not necessarily make for better bbq (yea I know “they” say, just trust me on this one).

You need some of the natural moisture still in the wood for a better smoking wood.For sure. 12-20% is perfect for me. Cherry and apple is a 6 month season. That's what I use most of anyway as we have so many fencerows with them in it. When we log no one ever buys cherry anymore.

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SirPorkaLot
03-10-2018, 02:17 PM
I have cut, split and burned for over 30 years. 8 cord a year previously. I split and stack immediately. For red oak, in Ohio, it takes right around 2 years to get below 20%. Above 20% your just wasting BTU's, IMHO. Why use those BTU's/energy to burning off water especially in heating wood? Again, a bit of moisture is good. For sure. 12-20% is perfect for me. Cherry and apple is a 6 month season. That's what I use most of anyway as we have so many fencerows with them in it. When we log no one ever buys cherry anymore.

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Cherry is what’s in my current woodpile.
Last year is was oak.

Monkey Uncle
03-10-2018, 02:33 PM
I have cut, split and burned for over 30 years. 8 cord a year previously. I split and stack immediately. For red oak, in Ohio, it takes right around 2 years to get below 20%. Above 20% your just wasting BTU's, IMHO. Why use those BTU's/energy to burning off water especially in heating wood? Again, a bit of moisture is good. For sure. 12-20% is perfect for me. Cherry and apple is a 6 month season. That's what I use most of anyway as we have so many fencerows with them in it. When we log no one ever buys cherry anymore.

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All I can tell you is I don't burn green wood - no sputtering or hissing. I've not had an issue getting wood to season out fully within a year (including oak).

Rockinar
03-10-2018, 02:57 PM
I see it over and over again people recommending wood that is green for stick burning. What feeds into this? Why?

I see it ALL the time on the Lang FB page. Saying 6 month seasoned oak is "perfect". I realize that some areas it seasons faster but oak to get seasoned around here is 2 years, stacked for where I want it. 15%ish

I know that they want green for many propane burners but confounded by that advice for stickburning.



If you burn "6 month seasoned" wood the internet people will say "That's all wrong, it should be seasoned 2 years, you will get so much cleaner burn...it's so much nicer..."


If you burn "2 year seasoned wood" the internet people will say "That's all wrong, you should burn 6 month seasoned, it still has moisture in it, it burns so much better...."


Just do whatever you like. 98% of what people say on forums is nonsense old wives tales, flat out wrong, and nonsense they heard Aaron Franklin say.


Draw you own conclusion.

ClintHTX
03-10-2018, 03:07 PM
Enough air flow and it’ll burn regardless. Some easier than others. As long as it’s not fresh cut and super green it’s good to go.

pjtexas1
03-10-2018, 04:05 PM
My wood guy is honest. He'll stack stuff that's 2 months old separate from 2 week old stuff. He sells too much to season it any longer. Anywhere close to 6 months and it's good.

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RevZiLLa
03-10-2018, 04:29 PM
kinda makes sense

https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/life/2016/09/30/myron-mixon-offers-tips-backyard-pitmasters/91310250/

Monkey Uncle
03-11-2018, 06:03 AM
If you burn "6 month seasoned" wood the internet people will say "That's all wrong, it should be seasoned 2 years, you will get so much cleaner burn...it's so much nicer..."


If you burn "2 year seasoned wood" the internet people will say "That's all wrong, you should burn 6 month seasoned, it still has moisture in it, it burns so much better...."


Just do whatever you like. 98% of what people say on forums is nonsense old wives tales, flat out wrong, and nonsense they heard Aaron Franklin say.


Draw you own conclusion.

I wouldn't be quite so dismissive of the opinions and experience of people who have burned a lot of wood over many years. But I agree that you need to figure out what works for you, and then keep doing it.

The diversity of opinions reflects the many variables at play:

Wood species
Time between cutting and splitting
Length of the sections
Size of the splits
Storage conditions (stacked vs. piled, site exposure to sun and elements, covered vs. uncovered, etc.)
Climate
Time of year (wood cut in the spring and seasoned over the summer will dry out faster than wood cut in the fall and seasoned through the winter)
Type of cooker
Your personal preferences for fire characteristics and flavor
And probably many other things...


The experiences shared above can give you some clues about the effects of all these variables, and maybe give you a head start on figuring out what works for you. But ultimately you need to experiment and find out how you like your wood, and then learn how to recognize when it has reached that point (by look, feel, moisture meter, or whatever indicator you find to be reliable). Ultimately you're going to have to burn a lot of wood and screw up a few times to get to that point.

mike243
03-11-2018, 06:42 AM
What affects wood the most IMO is when it is cut,if the leaves are still on its still full of sap and will take much longer to dry.Leaves off a couple months is fine,the reason folks put their splits on the fire box is to drive out moisture that will not come out in normal temps.
https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/us-outdoor-design-temperature-humidity-d_296.html
no matter what you do short of heating your wood it will have a moisture content thats relative to the humidity at where its stored at.Like others have stated find what works for you and perfect that.
Also MN is correct on where the flavor comes from so the greener the wood the less of it to reach temps works better for me kind of like adding wood chunks to the charcoal use the thoroughly dried wood to reach temp and lite on the green to add flavor to as much as you like it.YMMV :thumb:

gcs
03-11-2018, 08:51 AM
And yet, if you cut trees with the leaves on, or girdle it for a while, the leaves will help transpire water out of the wood faster then cut and split right away.
Wood dealers don't stock "seasoned" wood, they'd need too much yard space and have to deal with the logistics of moving the old wood out past the new wood.
Cut, split and loose stacked, most wood is dry enough in 6 months, If you can rotate your stock you can let the older stuff go longer, but a year is more then enough.