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Should You Grill or Smoke with Green Wood?

Can you use fresh cut fruit wood (pear tree) or do you have to let it cure (dry) before putting it on top of charcoal?

You want to have wood with the right level of moisture when adding smoke on a grill. There. That's really all you need to know.

Oho! What is the right level of moisture? Well, we'll tell you, but we feel like we should get credit for answering two separate questions.

You don't use green wood on a grill, because it tends to impart a bitter taste to the meat you are smoking. But if you use dry wood, it will just go up in flames. Many grilling experts would have you soak dry chips in water for 15 to 30 minutes (before bundling them in little foil packets with holes poked in the tops) and dry logs for 2 to 6 hours (depending on the thickness of the logs).

If the middle or second-third of your fruit-wood drying process happens to coincide with some part of your grilling season, then we'd give your pear wood a try. Otherwise we'd let it dry and use the soaking method, although it seems a little redundant.

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