How to Store Wood for Smoker

Proper storage of wood for your smoker is crucial for maintaining its quality and ensuring the best possible flavor for your smoked foods. Wood that’s been improperly stored can absorb moisture, leading to issues with lighting and an uneven burn, which can negatively affect the taste of your smoked dishes. Here’s how to store your smoking wood effectively:

How to Store Wood for Smoker

1. Keep Wood Dry

  • Avoid Moisture: Store your wood in a dry place to prevent it from absorbing moisture. Moist wood can create excessive smoke and impart an unpleasant flavor to your food.
  • Elevation: Keep the wood off the ground to avoid moisture absorption from the soil. You can use pallets or racks for elevation.

2. Covered Storage

  • Protection from Elements: Store wood under a cover or in a sheltered area to protect it from rain and snow. If you don’t have a shed or garage space, consider using a waterproof tarp. Ensure the cover allows for air circulation to prevent mold growth.
  • Do Not Seal Completely: While it’s important to protect wood from getting wet, completely sealing it in plastic can trap moisture and encourage mold and mildew. Use breathable covers.

3. Allow for Air Circulation

  • Spacing: When stacking wood, leave small gaps between the pieces to allow air to circulate freely. This helps to keep the wood dry and prevent mold and fungus growth.
  • Vertical Stacking: If space allows, stacking wood vertically can further improve air circulation and reduce the footprint of your wood storage.

4. Choose a Convenient Location

  • Accessibility: Store your wood in a location that’s easily accessible but away from direct contact with your home to minimize the risk of pest infestations.
  • Proximity to Smoker: Keep it close enough to your smoking area for convenience but far enough away to maintain safety, especially if you’re storing a large quantity.

5. Rotate Stock

  • First In, First Out: Use the oldest wood first to ensure it doesn’t sit too long and potentially degrade in quality. Marking the date of storage on the wood or stack can help you keep track.

6. Inspect Regularly

  • Check for Pests: Regularly inspect your wood for signs of pests or rot. If you find any compromised wood, remove it immediately to prevent the issue from spreading.
  • Clean the Area: Keep the storage area clean and free from debris to discourage pests.

7. Consider Wood Type

  • Different Needs: Different types of wood may have slightly different storage needs. For example, softer woods may absorb moisture more quickly than harder woods. Adjust your storage methods accordingly.


Properly storing your smoking wood ensures that it remains dry, clean, and ready to use, providing the best flavor for your smoked dishes. By following these storage tips, you can maintain the quality of your wood and enjoy delicious, smoky flavors every time you fire up your smoker.

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Bubbly Chef author