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Oak, Red Oak or Post Oak please advise - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community

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Oak, Red Oak or Post Oak please advise

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  • Oak, Red Oak or Post Oak please advise

    Hello All,

    I am trying to order wood from my local (Houston) market, I decide to get a cord. My question, which of above woods will be preferred to use in WFO?

    One of the dealers told me Post Oak another just Oak, I had bought just plain firewood last time and it produce heavy smoke.

    Please Advise!!

  • #2
    Re: Oak, Red Oak or Post Oak please advise

    You can use any of these Oak varieties, or any hardwood for that matter. Post Oak is probably has the most BTU content per cord of the three you mention, it will also be the heaviest to stack.

    Make sure that you are getting "seasoned" hardwood. Moisture content should be 20% or less.

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    • #3
      Re: Oak, Red Oak or Post Oak please advise

      White oak has the highest btu trips per cord, but as mentioned any oak variety is good. Also, if you are getting smoke then it probably needs to season more. Wood should be cut in the winter when sap content is low, and dryed over the spring, summer and fall. Don't cover the wood pile unless it rains. And make sure there is no soft wood in there.
      Old World Stone & Garden

      Current WFO build - Dry Stone Base & Gothic Vault

      When we build, let us think that we build for ever.
      John Ruskin

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      • #4
        Re: Oak, Red Oak or Post Oak please advise

        Originally posted by Polo View Post
        Post Oak is probably has the most BTU content per cord of the three you mention, it will also be the heaviest to stack.
        From what Ive read you get the same btu per kilo of wood, so the heaver the wood the more btu's it will produce on burning.
        The English language was invented by people who couldnt spell.

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        • #5
          Re: Oak, Red Oak or Post Oak please advise

          Yes, pound per pound or kilo per kilo wood will produce the same amount of heat assuming that the moisture content is the same. In temperate climates it will take a year per inch to dry wood to 20% moisture content. Thus logs larger than several inches should be split to speed drying. You don't want wood larger than that for the WFO anyway. Kiln dryed lumber will be about 8%. Wood can be burned staight from the tree but it consumes a lot of heat getting rid of the moisture.

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          • #6
            Re: Oak, Red Oak or Post Oak please advise

            I had posted a btu value chart on another thread that came out of a book I own. Note the slight difference between Red and White oak

            http://www.fornobravo.com/forum/2/fa...d-19132-2.html
            Old World Stone & Garden

            Current WFO build - Dry Stone Base & Gothic Vault

            When we build, let us think that we build for ever.
            John Ruskin

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            • #7
              Re: Oak, Red Oak or Post Oak please advise

              Originally posted by brickie in oz View Post
              From what Ive read you get the same btu per kilo of wood, so the heaver the wood the more btu's it will produce on burning.
              Right, the denser the wood, the heavier the wood, the heavier the cord, the more BTU's.

              Here's a good link, don't be too caught up in exact BTU ratings. It can vary quite a bit based on moisture content. This site explains how they come up with the BTU ratings of the species.


              http://www.chimneysweeponline.com/howood.htm
              Last edited by Polo; 06-08-2013, 05:16 AM. Reason: Added link

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              • #8
                Re: Oak, Red Oak or Post Oak please advise

                They sell firewood here by the Tonne, the denser the wood the more expensive it is.
                Of course when buying it you have to make sure that you are not just paying for the moisture content.
                The English language was invented by people who couldnt spell.

                My Build.

                Books.

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                • #9
                  Re: Oak, Red Oak or Post Oak please advise

                  Here is a table of btu's for wood in our region.

                  Properties of Firewood - Department of Environment and Primary Industries
                  The English language was invented by people who couldnt spell.

                  My Build.

                  Books.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Oak, Red Oak or Post Oak please advise

                    Originally posted by brickie in oz View Post
                    They sell firewood here by the Tonne, the denser the wood the more expensive it is.
                    Of course when buying it you have to make sure that you are not just paying for the moisture content.
                    Here in Ohio firewood has to be sold by the cord or half cord.

                    I am a little surprised that a Ton of hardwood would cost more than a ton of softwood. It seems like someone would have a lot more time and work into cutting and splitting a ton of Pine than he would a ton of Oak.

                    I realized that my link didn't take in my post above so I edited it in. It is a pretty informative site.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Oak, Red Oak or Post Oak please advise

                      Originally posted by Polo View Post
                      Here in Ohio firewood has to be sold by the cord or half cord.

                      I am a little surprised that a Ton of hardwood would cost more than a ton of softwood. It seems like someone would have a lot more time and work into cutting and splitting a ton of Pine than he would a ton of Oak.

                      I realized that my link didn't take in my post above so I edited it in. It is a pretty informative site.
                      Don't you realize the hardwoods are valued more than softwood? Their growth rate, availability and demands are different. If they were cheaper, I wouldn't have a stick of pine in my house or furniture.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Oak, Red Oak or Post Oak please advise

                        Originally posted by Laurentius View Post
                        Don't you realize the hardwoods are valued more than softwood? Their growth rate, availability and demands are different. If they were cheaper, I wouldn't have a stick of pine in my house or furniture.
                        Availability may be limited where you are located, and possibly in Australia as well. In my woods the hardwood species far outnumber the softwoods.

                        As far as furniture goes I would guess that hardwood is valued more for it's durability and beauty rather than it's rarity. I also think that the comparison between furniture and firewood is a bit of a stretch on your part.

                        I would guess that the price difference has much more to do with the higher demand for hardwoods as a preferred firewood. Imagine if you were selling wood by the Ton. In some cases you could charge as much for half the amount of hardwood as for softwood, that means half the work, half the time, half the processing cost.........pretty good deal.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Oak, Red Oak or Post Oak please advise

                          I actually prefer cedar as it is called in the Hill Country (more proprly Mountain Juniper) for heating my oven. It burns fast and hot and is generally free. While it should not be used for smoking due to the resin in it, at WFO temps the bad stuff burns and it is smokeless. Switching to oak or mesquite for pizza is nice because it burns longer and makes less ash and sparks, but... I don't find oak necessary. I often just use cedar. And cedar is great for heating the oven for baking or general cooking.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Oak, Red Oak or Post Oak please advise

                            I guess it is all related to the area/location/availability. There are no juniper here that I know of. The only pines that grow where I live are heavy with resin (southern pine, loblolly pine). What we call "turkey pine" (I have been told is actually a type of spruce) is not so rich in resin when dried but, we normally leave them alone because they look great in the landscape. Our pines are valued here in the lumber and paper industries. The oaks here, are normally thought of as "something taking the space needed for the cash crop" . It may be a result of heritage, old wives tales, etc. but, no one down here would even consider cooking or heating with pine. It really doesn't matter though (in my case) because there is plenty of hardwood here for the taking .
                            This is rare down here though!

                            A friend of mine had to cut a cherry tree to make way for a fence. Today, he brought me about half of it. Now that is going to be some fine smoking wood.
                            joe watson

                            "A year from now, you will wish that you had started today "

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