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How To Dry Wood For Smoking And Grilling

Whether you’re a grilling aficionado or just getting started, you’ll want to learn how to dry wood for smoking and grilling. Wood that is not properly dried can cause your food to taste bad and even be dangerous to eat. In this blog post, we’ll show you how to dry out your wood for barbecuing so you can create delicious meals every time.

Preparation Is An Important Part Of Cooking

If you’re planning on cooking using wood, it’s important to make sure that the wood is properly dried. Wet wood can produce a lot of smoke, which can ruin the flavor of your food. It can also be dangerous, as wet wood can produce more harmful byproducts.

There Are Two Ways To Dry Wood For Grilling And Smoking: Naturally And With A Kiln.

Drying some wood out naturally takes longer, but it’s the best way to preserve the sweet flavor of the wood. To dry your wood naturally, split the logs into pieces and stack them in a well-ventilated area. Cover the stack with a tarp to protect it from rain. Allow the wood to dry for at least six months.

If you’re in a hurry, you can use a kiln to dry out the wood. This method is faster, but it can affect the flavor of the wood. To dry wood in a kiln, split it up into pieces of wood and place them in the kiln. Set the temperature to between 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit and run the kiln for 24 hours.

Once the wood is dried, it’s ready to be used for cooking. Make sure to store it in a dry, protected area until you’re ready to use it.

Drying wood is an important step in the process. By taking the time to properly dry your wood, you’ll ensure that your food has the best flavor possible.

How To Dry Out Or Season Wood

Drying your own wood is a great way to ensure that you have high-quality wood for cooking. Making sure the wood is seasoned properly should add a wonderful wood flavor.

Here are a few tips on how to dry out wood:

  • Cut the wood into small pieces that are less than 2 inches in diameter.
  • Place the wood on a wire rack in a well-ventilated area.
  • Cover the wood with a cloth or tarp to protect it from moisture.
  • Allow the wood to dry for at least 2 weeks, or until it is completely dry.
  • Store the dried wood in a cool, dry place until you are ready to cook with it.

By following these tips, you can be sure that your wood has been dried and is ready to use.

The Air-Drying Method

The air-drying method is the most common way to produce wood to cook with. The process is simple: Cut the wood into pieces that will fit comfortably in your smoker or grill, then set them out in a single layer on a flat surface in a well-ventilated area and leave the wood to dry naturally for at least six weeks.

If you live in a particularly humid climate, it may take longer for the wood to fully air dry. You can speed up the process by placing a fan near the wood to circulate the air and help evaporate any moisture.

Once the wood is completely dry, it’s ready to use. Make sure that it’s stored in a cool, dry place until you’re ready to use it. Using timber that is too damp will probably cause the wood to smoke and ruin you meat!

The Kiln Method

The kiln method is the most reliable way to make wood for outdoor cooking. This method uses a heat source and humidity control to remove moisture from the wood without damaging it. The key to this method is to use low heat and slow drying times.

To dry your wood using the kiln method, you will need:

  • Kiln
  • Humidity controller
  • Temperature gauge

Here’s how to do it:

  • Set the kiln to its lowest setting and allow it to warm up for several hours.
  • Place the wood inside the kiln and close the door.
  • Monitor the humidity and temperature levels inside the kiln. Adjust the settings as needed to maintain a humidity level of 30-40% and a temperature between 120-140 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Allow the wood to dry for several days or weeks, depending on its thickness. Check the moisture levels periodically to ensure that it is drying evenly.
  • Once the wood is completely dry, remove it from the kiln and store it in a cool, dry place.

The kiln method is the safest and most reliable way of drying out wood for cooking. By using low heat and slow drying times, you can avoid damaging the wood. This method also allows you to control the moisture levels so that the wood dries evenly.

Pros and Cons of Air- and Kiln-Drying

The process of air-drying or kiln-drying lumber is a common way to prepare it. But what are the pros and cons of each method?


Air-drying is the most common and least expensive method of drying wood. It can be done with little to no equipment, making it a great option for small-scale operations. Air-drying also doesn’t require as much attention as kiln-drying, making it a good choice for those who don’t want to be constantly monitoring the drying process.

However, air-drying is a slower process than kiln-drying, and it is more susceptible to inconsistencies. This can lead to uneven drying, which can cause cracking, warping, and other issues.

Kiln Drying

Kiln drying is a faster and more consistent method of drying wood. It uses controlled heat and humidity to dry the lumber, which means that it is less likely to experience the same issues as air-drying. Kiln-drying is also more expensive than air-drying, and it requires more equipment and attention.

So, which method is right for you? It depends on your needs and preferences. If you want a faster, more consistent drying process, kiln-drying is the way to go. If you’re looking for a cheaper option that doesn’t require as much attention, air-drying might be the better choice.

How To Tell If The Wood Is Sufficiently Dried?

The easiest way to test if the wood is sufficiently dried is to use a moisture meter. You can purchase a moisture meter at most hardware stores. To use the moisture meter, simply insert the probes into the center of the log. The digital display will show you the percentage of water inside the wood.

For cooking, you’ll want the wood to have a moisture content of 20% or less. If the moisture content is higher than 20%, the wood will produce a lot of smoke wood and can make your food taste bitter.

How To Dry Wood For Smoking And Grilling: Summary

If you’re looking to dry some wood for smoking and grilling, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your seasoned wood is properly prepared and will give your food the best smoky flavor possible. Have you tried drying wood before? What methods do you use? Let us know in the comments!

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Frequently Asked Questions [FAQ]

How long does it take to air-dry some wood?

It can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to air-dry, depending on the type of wood, the thickness of the lumber, and the weather conditions.

How do I air-dry wood?

There are a few different ways to air-dry your wood. The most common method is to stack the lumber in a well-ventilated area, such as a shed or garage. You can also cover the stack with a tarp to protect it from the elements.

Another method is to build a solar kiln. A solar kiln uses the sun’s heat to dry the wood. This is a great option if you live in a sunny climate.

What is the best type of wood to use for smoking and grilling?

There are a variety of fruit woods that can be used for cooking. Some of the most popular options include hickory, mesquite, and oak. You can also experiment with other types of wood, such as cherry, apple, or pecan.

Certain types of eucalyptus can be used but avoid woods like pine.

How do I store my air-dried wood?

Once the wood is sufficiently dry, you’ll need to store it in a cool, dry place. An attic or basement is a good option. You can also season wood for smoking in a shed or garage. If you live in a humid climate, you may need to store the wood in a dehumidified space.

How long will my air-dried wood last?

Air-dried wood will last for many years if it is stored properly seasoned. However, it is important to check the moisture content of the wood periodically to make sure that it hasn’t started to absorb moisture from the air.

What are the signs that my air-dried wood is bad?

If your air-dried wood logs has started to warp or crack, it is likely that it has not been stored properly. You should also check the moisture content of the fresh wood periodically to make sure that it hasn’t started to absorb wood moisture meter from the air.

Bad air-dried wood will also have a musty smell. If your wood has this odor, it should be replaced.

Can I use kiln-dried wood for smoking and grilling?

Yes, kiln-dried wood can be used for cooking. However, it is important to choose the right type of wood. Kiln-dried wood is often used for hardwood floors and furniture, so it is not always suitable for preparing food. The best type of wood to use is air-dried wood.

Kiln-dried wood is often treated with chemicals that make it unsuitable to cook with. If you are going to use kiln-dried wood, make sure that it is untreated and that you know the source of the wood chips.

Kiln-dried wood is also more expensive than air-dried wood. If you are on a budget, air-dried wood is a better option.

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