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Oak Chunks - Green Seasoned or Kiln Dried

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I think I've finally tracked down a local supplier of Oak for smoking but was offered Green (Naturally) Seasoned wood or Kiln Dried.

What works best on a Kamado? Instinctively I think that the moisture in Green Seasoned would give a slower burn so more consistent smoke. Your thoughts / experiences / advice welcome.

Wood for this type of smoking is not readily available in the UK. Dust for cold smoking or chips are mostly what you can get. Several companies from the US are on eBay and offer to ship over here. If you buy wood chunks online who do you trust?

Thanks B

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Generally, greener woods tend to have a stronger flavor. And depending on how hot the kiln is, it can also lose some of the compounds that give smoke flavor. I'd try a bit of the naturally-seasoned wood first, see how you like it.

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Well, it's not exactly a black-or-white deal - it's not like one minute it's green and the next minute it's seasoned.

 

Here's a video of Aaron Franklin giving some of his thoughts on the matter. He uses a mix of seasoned and green.

 

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I cut my own from saplings in the fall once the sap is down.  No larger than 4" in diameter and then chop with a mitre saw into 4" lengths approx.  One centre split and I have my chunks.  They dry naturally.  Been doing that now for a few years.  Really nice mild flavour.  I love oak on beef.  I will place it in with lump.  I do not have a stick burner.

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There's lots of woods that can be used. Evergreens like pine are a no, but I think most hardwoods are OK. Pretty much any fruit or nut wood will work, or oak, or maple, or...

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I claim no authority on this matter. My thinking was that fully dry was the best. I forget which book it was in but Adam Perry Lang said that wood goes from so wet that you can wet your fingers when you split it to being almost totally dry. His advice was if you had the option was to use wood mostly dry---not wet---but still having moisture content because it gave optimum smoke. When really wet the flavor was supposed to be off but id you had the chance being ab out half dry was the sweet spot.

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Can you not get oak lump in your area?

Home smoking is not big over here and the market that exists is geared towards cold smoke or pellet type units. Hot smoking on a Kamado, Weber Bullet etc. is almost unheard of. We're starting to see celebrity chefs 'using' a BGE but as the inside is unstained terracotta you get the impression that they don't use one and it's product placement. Apologies for the long winded comment to explain why oak lump is not normally available.

The guy I've tracked down sells split logs for wood burning stoves and he's willing to sell me a bag of off its to try in my KJ. Worst case they can sit undercover until next year and then go on the living room fire.

Thanks everyone for contributing.

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Well, it's not exactly a black-or-white deal - it's not like one minute it's green and the next minute it's seasoned.

 

Here's a video of Aaron Franklin giving some of his thoughts on the matter. He uses a mix of seasoned and green.

 

Great video, really useful.

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Can you not get oak lump in your area?

Home smoking is not big over here and the market that exists is geared towards cold smoke or pellet type units. Hot smoking on a Kamado, Weber Bullet etc. is almost unheard of. We're starting to see celebrity chefs 'using' a BGE but as the inside is unstained terracotta you get the impression that they don't use one and it's product placement. Apologies for the long winded comment to explain why oak lump is not normally available.

The guy I've tracked down sells split logs for wood burning stoves and he's willing to sell me a bag of off its to try in my KJ. Worst case they can sit undercover until next year and then go on the living room fire.

Thanks everyone for contributing.

 

 

 

So are you using wood as the main fuel as well or just supplementing the charcoal with it? Reason I ask is that if you are already using a natural hardwood lump as fuel, the oak in it is probably sufficient for flavor, a lot of times I don't add any smoke wood to the Royal Oak hardwood lump I use and it's plenty smokey. I try to avoid mesquite lump as I don't care for it. I also don't burn briquettes in my kamado. From my understanding, whole wood doesn't do well in a kamado. If that is what you are using as fuel, I would recommend first burning the logs in a firepit or barrel down to charred logs and bust off pieces to use in the kamado. Sorry if I misunderstood what you were saying and went in another direction with this.

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Mr Cue,

 

No, I'm not planning to use the wood as the main fuel. As you suggested the chunks will be added to the lumpwood charcoal in the Kamado fire box.

 

Good lumpwood charcoal is also difficult to get here as BBQ is thought of as a summer only event. But as you guys know with the KJ it's possible to cook on most dry days (not that there's been many of those recently). 

 

I noticed on the maximising smoke thread that of you make your own charcoal and I may look into that at some point.

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