What moisture are we talking about here anyway? Clearly 10-15 minutes of burning won't lower moisture content of the wood to 0% or anything like that so it seems this must be referencing surface moisture, right? So does the time required to do this vary depending on how dry the surface is (i.e. if it was stored inside for a while vs sitting outside and rained/snowed on in the last day or two)? Besides waiting the time period, can one look at the fire and tell that it is ok to go ahead and safely engage the cat? The reason I ask is that much of my wood is VERY dry and since I have quite a bit of indoor storage - been burning less per day than last year so I have almost a week's worth in my rack next to the stove, the wood is surface dry as well as running about 15-20%mc. When I feed on top of a good bed of coals in a hot stove (surface temp in active cat range), I can have a raging inferno in the stove within 3-5 minutes with all surfaces of the wood engaged in the fire. Waiting for 10-15 minutes seems like a waste of time and fuel - by that time smaller splits near coals may already be coaling. I've reduced air to less than 2 but going down too far will reduce the inferno but result in smoke unless I engage the cat. I have gone ahead and engaged the cat after 5 minutes and it seems quite happy to glow along and burn, but am I risking steam damage here?