January 2008

Our table for the moisture and storage of wood and how best to use this in cooking to your advantage

Our table for the moisture and storage of wood and how best to use this in cooking to your advantage

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If you love to cook then you likely know that most dried herbs and spices never go bad if stored properly. You could say the same for smoking woods. Like a spice, smoking wood loses its flavor essence as it dries out. Lose the moisture and the wood becomes only a fire stick, producing heat. This results in the opposite of what you want when trying to add flavor from the wood.

Proper Storage is Key

We know that storage of wood in a cool, dry location will preserve the moisture level in the wood. Why? Wood loves to adjust to temperature and humidity to find balance. But how cool or warm does that location have to be? Is there an ideal temperature? Let’s find out by doing a simple experiment.

Time to Experiment!

How do we get started with our experiment. Wet and dry are all dependent on moisture. Fluctuate temperature and you will change moisture.

Using identical pieces of hardwood – same species, moisture level and size – one piece was placed in the refrigerator with a temperature between 40-42°F. The other piece was placed in the freezer with a temperature of 30°F. Using a timetable of three weeks, we took moisture readings each week. Let’s see how the hardwood did:

Freezer Refrigerator

Starting Level 27.1% 30.8% Moisture

Week One 18.8% 30.3%

Two 18.6% 30.0%

Three 16.9% 29.8%


Holy icicle! There are some major results here. First, log in the freezer lost nearly 50 percent of its moisture in just 3 weeks! Second, refrigerating smoking wood appears to stabilize it. If you want to make the wood happy, refrigerate it.

Lessons Learned?

  1. Wood likes cooler temperatures in the range of 45°F.
  2. Wood doesn’t mind a dark storage area.
  3. Freezer temperatures cause the free water in the wood to evaporate quickly.
  4. Wood likes as much space as it can get.
  5. Don’t store in plastic unless you want mold!

There you have it! If your cooking and smoking with food, regardless if you’re using wood chips, wood chunks, logs or smoking dust, the popular question of how to store smoking woods rests with a cool location, no direct sunlight and avoidance of plastic storage.

Just one more reason SmokinLicious® products are the best!


It seems that moisture and wood storage remain a hot topic. As more people invest in vacuum sealer devices for their food products, they question whether these are a good alternative for wood storage.

The short answer is, no. Let’s take a look at the reasons why.

Vacuum Sealing Wood is Not a Good Idea!

The purpose of vacuum sealing foods is to remove all the air or oxygen. Oxygen is what mold and bacteria thrive on. When using feezer bags, foods don’t show freezer burn which extend their life in the freezer. For refrigerated foods that are vacuum sealed, you’ll find an extended life as well. The question is, will the extended life transfer to wood stored in a vacuum sealed bag?

To answer this question, you need to understand what oxygen does. First, wood needs air. By removing all the air in a vacuum bag, stress results on wood fibers. Deprive wood of air and you have a greater risk for developing specific molds that thrive in oxygen low environments. Second, the plastic bag increases the risk for mold on the wood. Wood likes cooler temperatures but it does NOT like to be wrapped in plastic.

In the end, it is best to find a cool, dark location that has airflow for your wood. Keep it away from plastic and from porous materials like a concrete floor. Once the wood has air, space, cool temperature and darkness, it will thrive. Happy wood means flavorful foods!




More Related reading on the Moisture & Storage of Wood

More Related reading on the Moisture & Storage of Wood, check out these articles:

Wet or Dry Wood for Smoking- Does It Matter?

Cooking Wood- What You Should Know

Dr. Smoke- we provide the wood chip moisture readings on all our packages.

Dr. Smoke- Follow our guidelines on the moisture & storage of wood to keep your products fresh and producing tasty delights!



















Smokinlicious is busy developing some new products for the Backyard Barbecuer and or for competition teams!

The “Q” Can.

The Q Can

We tested this last year at various events and it worked great to carry the charcoal chimney starter, fire starters, lighters, and other items that would be flammable in transit or just next to the “Barbie”! Plus when the event is over and it’s time to clean out the cooker, the Q can becomes an ash can! Perfect for delivering “hot” ashes to the collection barrel or off the deck! Once the ashes are cooled and emptied, simply put everything back in for transit or storage.

We have left room on the other side of the can for a teams “logo” or Name of the Backyard Barbecuer! It’s a Great gift idea!

Wood storage box

Wood Storage Box

We have developed a “wood” storage box. Hold approximately 1 cubic foot of chunks or chips. The box is made of wood with a strong rope handle and can be sprayed or dunked in water to rehydrate the wood prior to use! Box comes with a wood cover. In order to maintain proper air circulation we have spaced the boards for proper air flow

These items will be available on line soon!


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