When you use cooking wood to infuse your food with flavor, you cannot use just any type of wood. The main types of timber you might use for this process are kiln-dried wood or naturally aged wood, but which is better? Keep reading this article to learn what kiln-dried wood is, become familiar with these two processes of seasoned vs. kiln-dried cooking wood, and learn which one will give you the best burn for smoking meats and foods.
What Is Kiln-Dried Wood?
Kiln drying is the process of reducing the moisture content of green timber through the use of a kiln. This can take anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks to fully prepare the wood for cooking. This artificial drying process is highly effective in removing moisture from the wood to prevent mold, mildew, and insects, so it’s very sanitary to use for cooking.
What Is Naturally Aged Wood?
Naturally drying your wood, also known as seasoning it, allows the timber to dry naturally without the help of external forces. This will take longer than kiln drying—about 3 to 12 months—although the climate you live in could speed up or slow down this process. Even though it takes longer, naturally aged wood preserves the natural flavor profile. However, this drying system could encourage the decomposition of the wood and infestations from fungi and pests if not done properly.
Should You Cook With Kiln-Dried Wood or Naturally Aged Wood?
If you’re focused on rich flavor, naturally aged wood is a better process, though it does take longer. Due to the controlled environment provided by a kiln gives, this type of drying process is efficient and effective for creating the perfect cooking wood. While it is more expensive to run a kiln than to allow the wood to dry naturally, it provides high-quality products for a grilling enthusiast. Lighting this timber is easier and will still impart all the smokey flavors into your food. Naturally aged wood can give a fuller, more robust flavor when seasoned properly under the correct conditions.
How To Tell if Your Wood Is Seasoned Properly for Cooking
If the wood you’re about to cook with is heavier and has a hard time combusting, there is likely too much moisture in the log. You want the timber to show signs of cracking on the ends because it means it was seasoned with care and will be great for smoking foods. Naturally aged wood is best, as it preserves the natural flavor profile; however, in the debate of seasoned vs. kiln-dried cooking wood, kiln-dried wood can be better than naturally aged wood in many cases because it’s easier to light and more effective in completely drying the timber for grilling.
ButlerWood has cooking wood for sale in various flavors and moisture content that are suited to our customers’ needs. Adding our wood to your smoker will provide your tastebuds with an explosion of flavor.