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Author Topic: Yesterday's apple wood haul, cut and mostly split. Now what please?  (Read 1311 times)

Tallbald

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 32
Attached is a picture of the results, yesterday, of helping a friend down a smallish edible apple tree he planted in his yard 25 or so years ago. The split stack seen on the concrete pad is 6 feet long, 2 feet wide and about 16 inches tall so far. It will grow when larger pieces I cannot turn on the lathe are split and stacked. I didn't identify and diseased portions thankfully. Dark reddish heartwood, which I don't know to be normal or not though...
  Being a wood turner, a meat smoker and a long time friend to this gracious man I had volunteered to help him take down what was left of his tree after he did some trimming and put the wood to good use. After unloading at home I began splitting the limbs under 6 inches diameter. In taking the tree down I had cut the pieces to generally 6 to 12 inches. I now do need to keep the apple wood separate from the mixed hardwoods in our fire pit fuel supply, so I carefully stacked the very green apple wood on a spare concrete pad in a way that air and a breeze can circulate and dry it. I alternated bark up/bark down when stacking. I did note that the tree was leafing out and blooming, with a few scattered tiny apples forming too. Hoping I cut the wood at the right time, but really had no choice in the matter.
 So friends what from here please? As a former offset smoker stick burner man I am used to simply selecting hickory and oak from my fuel supply, tossing it in the fire box and keeping the fire stoked. But now as a happy and enthusiastic Weber Kettle smoker and griller I must approach smoking differently. Thankfully I will be using much less wood than before!
 Can I smoke with the green wood? How long should the splits dry? Cut the splits into say, three inch long chunks to use on my Slow and Sear 2.0?
 I store my charcoal in a new, rolling galvanized steel trash can next to my Weber Kettle. I'm thinking that once dry, I'll store the apple wood in another metal can, or, cost depending, a lidded plastic storage bin. I don't want mold to form but does the wood need to have some moisture content to give me the apple flavor I want when smoking?
 Please friends teach me some points I need to learn. As always, thank you each and every one for sharing with this new enthusiast!
Don
« Last Edit: May 13, 2020, 05:18:47 AM by Tallbald »

JEBIV

  • WKC Ambassador
  • Posts: 7612
here is a decent article on moisture content for smoking wood, it is important

http://www.americanwoodproducts.net/wood-guide/moisture-content.htm
Seeking a Black Sequoia I know I know, I'd settle for just the tabbed no leg grill

Tallbald

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 32
Thank you for the link. I'm bookmarking it for future reference.
It appears then that as a meat -only smoker I'm best off using the high moisture content wood. I know there's differences of opinion about soaking wood chips before use (was a frequent discussion among new smokers in a past incarnation of mine--grin).
Without a moisture meter I suppose I'm going to have to guess by wood feel.
So is wet, newly cut and split wood fine then?
Maybe it's not as big a concern as I'm making it out to be for simple home smoking pork butts, loins and chicken breasts as I spritz during cooking.
Don

SMOKE FREAK

  • WKC Ranger
  • Posts: 991
I would not use green wood. Seasoned wood will give you the best smoke.

I let mine dry for 6 months or so. After a year or so I start to notice a decline in smoke flavor.

I'm speaking strictly about live fire in my stick burner. Not 100% positive the same applies to smoldering wood in the Weber cooking situation.

Tallbald

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 32
Thank you. My stick burner, now with a new owner and enthusiast, will hold a special place in my memories. My Weber Kettle is my only grill any more. SO much to learn. Really enjoying the challenge. Don

Darko

  • WKC Performer
  • Posts: 4596
here is a decent article on moisture content for smoking wood, it is important

http://www.americanwoodproducts.net/wood-guide/moisture-content.htm
I don't know about that Joe. I've always used dried wood for all my smoking,

kettlebb

  • WKC Ambassador
  • Posts: 5920
Yesterday's apple wood haul, cut and mostly split. Now what please?
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2020, 07:04:55 PM »
here is a decent article on moisture content for smoking wood, it is important

http://www.americanwoodproducts.net/wood-guide/moisture-content.htm
I don't know about that Joe. I've always used dried wood for all my smoking,
Here’s another good read on smoke wood and combustion as it relates to BBQ.

https://amazingribs.com/more-technique-and-science/grill-and-smoker-setup-and-firing/what-you-need-know-about-wood-smoke-and


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JEBIV

  • WKC Ambassador
  • Posts: 7612
here is a decent article on moisture content for smoking wood, it is important

http://www.americanwoodproducts.net/wood-guide/moisture-content.htm
I don't know about that Joe. I've always used dried wood for all my smoking,
I did too until I started buying wood that had a controlled/guaranteed moisture content for smoking. The difference is amazing. I buy from fruita wood company online
Seeking a Black Sequoia I know I know, I'd settle for just the tabbed no leg grill

Tallbald

  • Smokey Joe
  • Posts: 32
Excellent responses and discussions for me to consider. Thank you all again.
Dug in the freezer this morning for smoked loin for a breakfast salad. What?? Thought I had some left but no I don't. So I've taken another butt and a half loin out to thaw in the refrigerator for another smoke Sunday or Monday. I'll go ahead and use some green apple wood as it's all I have right now. Will smoke at 275 degrees, which is above my past usual 225 to 250. And will wrap at 160-170 for the first time in my smoking life, to get through the stall, hopefully in less than 3 hours as it's been taking me to date.
Keeping a smoking log as the video suggests, so I can duplicate good results (and hopefully avoid the bad).
  Storing ready-to-use wood chunks, my charcoal supply, Weber chimney and some newspaper was always a bugaboo until I began making rolling galvanized cans for storage. Harbor Freight swivel casters let me roll supplies to my smoker and keep them out of the weather year around. Walmart for the cans, scrap pressure treated 2x4's with half lap joints, and a coat of boiled linseed oil to the wood just because comes to less than $30 a container.
Oh. If you've ever wondered what a carpenter bee does inside lumber look at the burrow, upper right piece of lumber in the bottom photo. I found it contained 4 very unhappy bees that I discovered with my bandsaw. I had a pressure treated 4x4 but needed 2x4's and rip sawed right through their home in the process.


Thanks again all. Don.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2020, 06:35:01 AM by Tallbald »