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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

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. But like a spice, smoking wood can lose its flavor essence because it dries out. Lose the moisture and the wood becomes only a fire stick, producing heat. Not exactly what you want when you are 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? Because 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 consistent 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%

Week Two 18.6% 30.0%

Week Three 16.9% 29.8%


Holy icicle! There are some major results here. Firstly, the Freezer log lost almost 50 percent of its moisture in just 3 weeks! Secondly, putting your smoking wood in the refrigerator appears to stabilize 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. Don’t store in plastic because mold will likely form.

There you have it! So in your cooking and smoking with food, regardless if you’re using wood chips, wood chunks, logs or smoking dust, the to 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!

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!