Force Drying Pecan Slabs

Don't try high heat on Pecan it can split badly even when slowly air-dried. February 3, 2011

Question
Could I use a convection powder coat oven to dry pecan slabs 2" thick at 160 degrees F?

Forum Responses
(Sawing and Drying Forum)
From contributor M:
Yes! Please let us know how that works out for you.



From contributor T:
You better cut them thicker than your desired final thickness. I think they are going to wreck big time. The water is going to leave the surface so much faster than the center, it's bound to cause huge fissures to open up.

I even bet the bound water will be leaving the surface and just below, before the free water is done leaving the deeper layers. Just a guess though - I have never tried drying slabs that way.

I let a pile of thick pecan flitches set outside unstickered and unsealed but covered (I had forgotten about them) and they opened up so bad they were totaled. I usually cover all faces of thick flitches in wax to slow the drying and it helps a great deal. If you're going to dry thick flitches fast, the only way I know to do so successfully is with a vacuum kiln, and even they have their limits as to thickness. I'd like you to try it though, cause you never know till you try.



From contributor A:

When you get done you will have some very nice wood for smoking meat. It is going to bust and honeycomb so bad that you will find it hard to use. You can not force some things.


From contributor G:
Our local pecan mill stickers and air dries pecan for a year before they even think about a kiln.


From contributor B:
My experience with pecan is the same, plus if you have any large knots, the wood will deform even worse there. I for the most part don't even bother with pecan anymore.