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Wood-question

A friend trimmed branches from a peach tree. Any reason I can’t use some thin branches /twigs for flavor (once it dries )?
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Comments

  • I was a bit nervous to open this thread….  Got to be honest
    Go Gamecocks!!!
    1 XL, 1 MM
    Smoking in Aiken South Carolina
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 17,731
    After the wood has seasoned for some time, 'cue something (ribs, butt, etc. ) and drop some off for him as a thank you. Should ensure that he calls you up the next time he trims that tree. 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • loco_engrloco_engr Posts: 5,600
    nothing wrong with free smoking wood and and do what calking suggests
    aka marysvilleksegghead
    Lrg 2008
    mini 2009
    XL 2021
    Henny Youngman:
    I said to my wife, 'Where do you want to go for our anniversary?' She said, 'I want to go somewhere I've never been before.' I said, 'Try the kitchen.'
    Bob Hope: When I wake up in the morning, I don’t feel anything until noon, and then it’s time for my nap
  • BotchBotch Posts: 13,970
    Unrelated, but related, questions:  I've purchased smoking woods from (iirc) fruita.com, which bragged that the wood was not kiln-dried.  And its remarkably heavy for its size, ie not fully dried.
    Is there a point where smoking wood reaches an ideal moisture content?
    Is there a difference between "kiln-dried", and wood dried for two years?
    How much quicker do thin branches/twigs dry, vs. chunks?
     
    Confused Minds™ want to know.  
    ____________________________________________

    "People think that I must be a very strange person.  This is not correct; I have the heart of a small boy. It is in a glass jar on my desk"

    - Stephen King

     

    Ogden, Utard  

  • LegumeLegume Posts: 13,663
    Botch said:
    Unrelated, but related, questions:  I've purchased smoking woods from (iirc) fruita.com, which bragged that the wood was not kiln-dried.  And its remarkably heavy for its size, ie not fully dried.
    Is there a point where smoking wood reaches an ideal moisture content?
    Is there a difference between "kiln-dried", and wood dried for two years?
    How much quicker do thin branches/twigs dry, vs. chunks?
     
    Confused Minds™ want to know.  
    This is really starting to sound like an “airspeed-velocity of an unladen swallow” question. 
  • Langner91Langner91 Posts: 1,673
    Along those same lines, does smoking wood ever "expire"?  My Dad gave me a bag of Hickory chunks along with several Wal-Mart bags filled with trimmings from his Peach/Apple/Pear trees.  These branches are 1.5" in diameter, mostly, not twigs.

    He hasn't had a smoker for 20 years and he hasn't had fruit trees for nearly as many.

    I smiled and brought it home, figuring it would burn in a camp fire if nothing else.
    Clinton, Iowa
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 28,204
    Air dried wood reaches an equilibrium with its environment.  Here is way more than you want to know about drying wood:
    https://www.fpl.fs.usda.gov/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr117.pdf  
    Page 15 for the equilibrium moisture content of many locales in the USA.
    Bottom line-wood exposed to an air drying environment will land at an equilibrium moisture content.
    Kiln dried can get to the same place or different depending on the desired end result. There is nothing wrong with kiln dried wood.  It may have a lower moisture content than air dried but that's it.  
    In a previous life I did spend a fair amount of time dealing with air and kiln dried timber in the baseball wood bat production realm.  FWIW-

    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • You can use any wood at any time

    Doesnt need to cure or anything fancy


  • You can use any wood at any time

    Doesnt need to cure or anything fancy


    What do you like to use for tree rat?  I was thinking birch.
    "I've made a note never to piss you two off." - Stike


  • calikingcaliking Posts: 17,731
    I don’t recall the precise numbers, but “properly “ seasoned wood has about 20%ish moisture. Kiln dried is about 10%ish. 

    You can measure with something like this, if you want to get nerdy about it:

    Limited-time deal: General Tools MMD4E Digital Moisture Meter, Water Leak Detector, Moisture Tester, Pin Type, Backlit LCD Display With Audible and Visual High-Medium-Low Moisture Content Alerts, Grays https://a.co/d/6dJlluV

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 28,204
    For the record- I do have a wood moisture meter.  I have never used it to check out the content of the wood chunks that I use in the BGE's or the stick burner.  The moisture will impact the burn-rate but that is all.  
    I have not seeked out nor come across any info relating moisture content to wood consumption burn rate, never mind addressing the other fire combustible contents.
     Q cooking is analog in the finest sense.    
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • I always wondred why people dried out theyre wood and then soaked it before putting it back on the fire


  • Ozzie_IsaacOzzie_Isaac Posts: 16,473
    lousubcap said:
    Air dried wood reaches an equilibrium with its environment.  Here is way more than you want to know about drying wood:
    https://www.fpl.fs.usda.gov/documnts/fplgtr/fplgtr117.pdf  
    Page 15 for the equilibrium moisture content of many locales in the USA.
    Bottom line-wood exposed to an air drying environment will land at an equilibrium moisture content.
    Kiln dried can get to the same place or different depending on the desired end result. There is nothing wrong with kiln dried wood.  It may have a lower moisture content than air dried but that's it.  
    In a previous life I did spend a fair amount of time dealing with air and kiln dried timber in the baseball wood bat production realm.  FWIW-

    This sounds like a zoom session to me.  Would love to hear about your wood bat production experience. (Rarely happens, but I am being serious)
    If it is worth doing, it is worth overdoing.

    It amazes me, how many people do not realize how the future works.
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 4,607
    Green (live) wood fluctuates, and depends on the species, but is usually 100% moisture content.....meaning 50% of the weight of the tree is water.  

    Seasoned wood is around 20% moisture content.  This is what it naturally acclimates to, and the max you would want in firewood.  Lumber is a little less.....18% is what we looked for in the aviation world.

    "Kiln dried" for our smoking woods is about 10%.  Kilned it to 6-8%, then it will come back up to about 10%.  Anything over 12% goes back in the kiln.  Depending on your State, you may have restrictions on transporting wood across county lines this because of the bugs.  Emerald ash borer, gypsy moth, etc.  Kilning also kills the potential for mold.

    For reference, charcoal comes out of the kiln with a moisture content of next to nothing, but will then acclimate to about 5%.  At this point it adsorbs moisture though....not absorbs.....so it is super quick to get back to 0% as there is nothing holding it in there.
  • stlcharcoalstlcharcoal Posts: 4,607
    I always wondred why people dried out theyre wood and then soaked it before putting it back on the fire


    Haha....yeah all it does is delay the time it takes to start smoking.  The water evaporates, and then away it goes.  You can soak a chunk of wood for a week, cut it in half, and the water will have penetrated it by about a millimeter.

    Sometimes it helps ro just wet the wood if it's going to take you a while to get the plate setter or a multirack set up.  Then you're not in a cloud of smoke.



  • MasterCMasterC Posts: 1,039
    Legume said:
    Botch said:
    Unrelated, but related, questions:  I've purchased smoking woods from (iirc) fruita.com, which bragged that the wood was not kiln-dried.  And its remarkably heavy for its size, ie not fully dried.
    Is there a point where smoking wood reaches an ideal moisture content?
    Is there a difference between "kiln-dried", and wood dried for two years?
    How much quicker do thin branches/twigs dry, vs. chunks?
     
    Confused Minds™ want to know.  
    This is really starting to sound like an “airspeed-velocity of an unladen swallow” question. 
    African or European?
    Fort Wayne Indiana 
  • lousubcap said:
    For the record- I do have a wood moisture meter.  I have never used it to check out the content of the wood chunks that I use in the BGE's or the stick burner.  The moisture will impact the burn-rate but that is all.  
    I have not seeked out nor come across any info relating moisture content to wood consumption burn rate, never mind addressing the other fire combustible contents.
     Q cooking is analog in the finest sense.    
    My understanding is that it's not so much about the burn rate but the smoke quality that people care about when it comes to naturally seasoned wood vs kiln dried, and that this is why people generally prefer the former.  Decent discussion here:

    https://www.masterclass.com/articles/kiln-dried-vs-air-dried-wood
    "I've made a note never to piss you two off." - Stike


  • lkapigianlkapigian Posts: 9,628
    lousubcap said:
    For the record- I do have a wood moisture meter.  I have never used it to check out the content of the wood chunks that I use in the BGE's or the stick burner.  The moisture will impact the burn-rate but that is all.  
    I have not seeked out nor come across any info relating moisture content to wood consumption burn rate, never mind addressing the other fire combustible contents.
     Q cooking is analog in the finest sense.    
    My understanding is that it's not so much about the burn rate but the smoke quality that people care about when it comes to naturally seasoned wood vs kiln dried, and that this is why people generally prefer the former.  Decent discussion here:

    https://www.masterclass.com/articles/kiln-dried-vs-air-dried-wood
    tough to get a good coal bed with kiln dried wood 
    Visalia, Ca @lkapigian
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 28,204
    In the end-game it's all about the moisture content (mc) of the dried timber.  At least that was my experience working with both air and kiln dried ash and maple and an occasional run of beech and birch.  (All dried to within 2% of the same number.)   FWIW-
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • lousubcap said:
    In the end-game it's all about the moisture content (mc) of the dried timber.  At least that was my experience working with both air and kiln dried ash and maple and an occasional run of beech and birch.  (All dried to within 2% of the same number.)   FWIW-
    That makes sense to me Frank, I think in general people just aren't reporting similar moisture contents in kiln-dried vs naturally seasoned.  Folks are reporting 10% vs 20% which is quite a bit larger a difference.  

    Would be interesting to do a legit side by side comparison, with moisture meters and everything!  Hmm... 
    "I've made a note never to piss you two off." - Stike


  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 28,204
    In my youth I vaguely recall that good wood could drive anything.   =)
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • lousubcap said:
    In my youth I vaguely recall that good wood could drive anything.   =)

    "I've made a note never to piss you two off." - Stike


  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 28,204
    @JohnInCarolina - the challenge would be to find kiln dried at the same mc as air dried where you live.  I don't think "the juice is worth the squeeze" but I will send you a moisture meter if you want to get after it.   B)
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • lousubcap said:
    @JohnInCarolina - the challenge would be to find kiln dried at the same mc as air dried where you live.  I don't think "the juice is worth the squeeze" but I will send you a moisture meter if you want to get after it.   B)
    I think I would actually shoot for whatever I could find first in the way of both kiln dried and seasoned wood.  If there is a noticeable difference in moisture content, then you would expect that to be evident in the final product.  So I'd try them both and then run a blind taste test.  If people couldn't detect the difference it would render the entire argument moot.

    However, if people could tell the difference, the next step would be to try and get them both to the same mc (or at least a lot closer), and then repeat the experiment.  

    But regardless any of the above isn't something I'm terribly interested in pursuing.  This all seems like a job for someone with their own YouTube channel, at minimum! 
    "I've made a note never to piss you two off." - Stike


  • calikingcaliking Posts: 17,731
    lousubcap said:
    @JohnInCarolina - the challenge would be to find kiln dried at the same mc as air dried where you live.  I don't think "the juice is worth the squeeze" but I will send you a moisture meter if you want to get after it.   B)
    I think I would actually shoot for whatever I could find first in the way of both kiln dried and seasoned wood.  If there is a noticeable difference in moisture content, then you would expect that to be evident in the final product.  So I'd try them both and then run a blind taste test.  If people couldn't detect the difference it would render the entire argument moot.

    However, if people could tell the difference, the next step would be to try and get them both to the same mc (or at least a lot closer), and then repeat the experiment.  

    But regardless any of the above isn't something I'm terribly interested in pursuing.  This all seems like a job for someone with their own YouTube channel, at minimum! 
    Damnn you and your rational/objective thinking!

    In a long running study (n= myself), I can taste the difference between ribs done in a KBQ + seasoned wood vs. KBQ + kiln-dried wood (i.e. mine). 

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • LegumeLegume Posts: 13,663
    Link to peer reviewed paper please @caliking
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