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New Member
Jul 9, 2019
Hey all. I posted pictures of my 1/4 cord of wood the other day to verify that it was Red Oak (I am not knowledgeable so I had to place a bit of trust in the guy delivering it). I had very helpful replies and most of them said they needed closer pictures of the wood. I noticed when taking these photos that the bark seems different on some pieces than others. Can you take a look at my updated photos and verify for me that it is Red Oak? Thank you for all the help! If it’s of any assistance, I live on the central coast of California. I learned that Red Oak from different places may look different. I briefly also wanted to ask how long the wood may take to dry out enough to burn for my bbq. It was supposed to be seasoned and though it’s grey and not extremely heavy, it took ages to finally light a few pieces (only after they were put over very hot coals but even then difficult to keep lit), a lot of smoke, and that hissing sound. My very cheap moisture meter said they were all around 20% but I did not split the already split pieces to test the inside. Thanks again for reading through this!


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The different bark appearance could be that some pieces are cut from smaller limbs and some from larger trunk rounds.

The grain looks like some sort of oak to me.

If it’s smoking and lot and hissing, it is not seasoned. Split a piece open and test the moisture content.

Oak takes at least 2 years split and stacked with good air and sun to get to 20% or less.
It is red oak. Your needs for a bbq are different for our needs for a wood stove. You don't need it as dry as we do. But in good conditions you need several months to get it dry enough.
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I have always found wet wood makes bbq taste bitter.

Agreed. I do a lot of bbq/smoking of tough big cuts of meats. That white/creamy smoke off of green wood is not what you want. It leads to black char on your cuts and a very bitter taste.

Blue”ish” smoke or even clear is my preference. Just because you can’t see the “smoke” doesn’t mean the meat isn’t “smoking”.

That said, styles of bbq can vary tremendously. Simonkenton is from N.C., my “other” home state. They like to burn their wood down to coals there and then throw it under whole hog. Or at least my friends do. If the wood is relatively seasoned, burning to coals is no big deal.

Is there BBQ thread? :)
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I barbeque a lot, but I use charcoal, and I add some pieces of mesquite that I cut in Texas near the Rio Grande.
One time I did roast a 105 pound hog and I used oak. I cut this tree up in March and let it cure under sheets of metal roofing, by October that wood was in pretty good shape and that hog meat tasted good.
I have always found wet wood makes bbq taste bitter.
The BBQ restaurant near me buys cherry, not all that well seasoned, for the reason that it smokes some as they cook the meat.