% Wood Moisture Content for Offset Smoking

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thejsug
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% Wood Moisture Content for Offset Smoking

Postby thejsug » Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:45 am

Hi There

I recently got shipped 10 nets of Oak logs (naturally seasoned but freshly chopped).

They were delivered at about 30% moisutre content but the guy told me that was just due to being chopped and would quickly dry up after a few days.

2 weeks later after chopping them into smaller splits ready for smoking and leaving outside in a makeshift woodstore, they're now measuring at around 25 to 26%. Is that still too high or would that work fine do you think?

Thanks!
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Rambo
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Re: % Wood Moisture Content for Offset Smoking

Postby Rambo » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:13 am

I don’t know how to measure it. I’m sure it would be fine
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Re: % Wood Moisture Content for Offset Smoking

Postby thejsug » Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:56 am

I have a moisture content meter that tells me the % :)

I do know that too low (<10%) will just burn up too quick and be useless, and ideally you're wanting around 15 to 20% or so... the worry with 25% is that it just smoulders and won't light/give a clean smoke. That's certainly going to be the case with over 30% I guess... But just not sure about 25ish.
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OldUsedParts
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Re: % Wood Moisture Content for Offset Smoking

Postby OldUsedParts » Mon Dec 02, 2019 10:52 am

This Link seems to tolerate between 14 and 25% moisture. :idea: :salut:
https://bbq.tamu.edu/2016/01/07/seasone ... -barbecue/
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Re: % Wood Moisture Content for Offset Smoking

Postby Boots » Mon Dec 02, 2019 2:23 pm

Never measured myself, but can generally tell from the look, feel and smell of the splits if they look good. You'll know when you fire up. If they smell bitter and put out tons of white smoke for a long time, probably still a bit uncured. After 20-30 minutes, you should be barely seeing a thin bluish plume.
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Re: % Wood Moisture Content for Offset Smoking

Postby thejsug » Tue Dec 03, 2019 2:42 am

Boots wrote:Never measured myself, but can generally tell from the look, feel and smell of the splits if they look good. You'll know when you fire up. If they smell bitter and put out tons of white smoke for a long time, probably still a bit uncured. After 20-30 minutes, you should be barely seeing a thin bluish plume.


Thanks - the problem is it's all the wood I have so I'd rather know before I fire the thing up haha! Not sure if there's a test I can do outside of the smoker to check it? Break a bit off and use a firelighter thing maybe?
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Re: % Wood Moisture Content for Offset Smoking

Postby OldUsedParts » Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:57 am

I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country—Victory or Death. William Barret Travis - Lt. Col. comdt "The Alamo"
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Re: % Wood Moisture Content for Offset Smoking

Postby thejsug » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:29 am



haha I have that! That's my point though - so that tells me the wood is around 26/27%. But before firing up my smoker it would be great to know if that's going to work or not otherwise it's going to be a waste of coal, time, wood and meat haha!

Maybe I'll just have to do a dry run with a few splits and see how it looks. I guess I could chop up some pork belly and do some burnt ends - not the end of the world if it screws up.
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Re: % Wood Moisture Content for Offset Smoking

Postby OldUsedParts » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:57 am

I think that Stick Burning is always a trial and "see", especially if it's wood you haven't used before. :dont:
Good Luck with this :tup: :salut:
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Re: % Wood Moisture Content for Offset Smoking

Postby thejsug » Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:02 am

OldUsedParts wrote:I think that Stick Burning is always a trial and "see", especially if it's wood you haven't used before. :dont:
Good Luck with this :tup: :salut:


Thanks! Will give it a try on Thursday and see what happens!
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Re: % Wood Moisture Content for Offset Smoking

Postby k.a.m. » Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:21 pm

I don't measure anything. I split and season my own mostly but if I am using someone else's I can pretty much tell by the weight of the split and the sound it makes when knocking two together. If it sounds like two baseball bats coming together your'e golden in my book.
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Re: % Wood Moisture Content for Offset Smoking

Postby thejsug » Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:47 am

k.a.m. wrote:I don't measure anything. I split and season my own mostly but if I am using someone else's I can pretty much tell by the weight of the split and the sound it makes when knocking two together. If it sounds like two baseball bats coming together your'e golden in my book.


Ha, I'm in England! Baseball bats? ;) If it was 2 cricket bats coming together I might have more of an idea.... Haha! But I think I can have a guess :mrgreen:

Thanks for the help guys!
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Re: % Wood Moisture Content for Offset Smoking

Postby k.a.m. » Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:52 am

thejsug wrote:
k.a.m. wrote:I don't measure anything. I split and season my own mostly but if I am using someone else's I can pretty much tell by the weight of the split and the sound it makes when knocking two together. If it sounds like two baseball bats coming together your'e golden in my book.


Ha, I'm in England! Baseball bats? ;) If it was 2 cricket bats coming together I might have more of an idea.... Haha! But I think I can have a guess :mrgreen:

Thanks for the help guys!

:lol: :lol: :lol: Well if you ever make it to the states your'e golden. :D
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Re: % Wood Moisture Content for Offset Smoking

Postby Chasdev » Sun Dec 08, 2019 8:13 am

You want 14 to 20% for best burn rate and smoke flavors, in post oak that is..not an expert in other types.
Higher water content burns slower and at a lower temp UNTIL it starts to turn to coal and then the coals burn hotter which to me complicates maintaining a steady temp.
My true preference is bone dry wood, 10% or lower.. it burns up pretty fast but the smoke "flavor" is outstanding and the coals burn out quickly so more wood can added to increase smoke flavor without ending up with a large bank of coals.
Problem around Austin is that the BBQ joints suck up all the seasoned post oak which leaves very little to trickle down to the backyard cooks.
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Re: % Wood Moisture Content for Offset Smoking

Postby thejsug » Mon Dec 09, 2019 3:25 am

Chasdev wrote:You want 14 to 20% for best burn rate and smoke flavors, in post oak that is..not an expert in other types.
Higher water content burns slower and at a lower temp UNTIL it starts to turn to coal and then the coals burn hotter which to me complicates maintaining a steady temp.
My true preference is bone dry wood, 10% or lower.. it burns up pretty fast but the smoke "flavor" is outstanding and the coals burn out quickly so more wood can added to increase smoke flavor without ending up with a large bank of coals.
Problem around Austin is that the BBQ joints suck up all the seasoned post oak which leaves very little to trickle down to the backyard cooks.


Thanks for the advice! The wood I have is now around 25%, though as we're in the nice cold British winter I can't imagine it'll get any lower than that till summer. It sounds like I should be able to burn it even at 25% but may just need to be a bit more hands on trying to control the temp. The first time I tried using my smoker I was using an "open firebox" method (it's a bit of a smaller smoker, but still higher quality) so I just ended going up through a TON of wood. Going to try it the closed down method as recommended by some other posters on this thread, but wanted to make sure the wood was suitable first.

My only other option is to spend $15 on a net of a kiln dried oak from amazon prime while the stuff I've bought get's seasoned a bit more... Hmm!

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