How to Dry Wood in an Oven – Your Simple Guide

May 31, 2023

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How to Dry Wood in an Oven - Drying wood in an oven is EASY!

If you’ve ever gotten low on firewood you would know the problem of sourcing dry wood for your fireplace.

Wondering if, and how to dry wood in an oven?

Drying out wood the normal way involves lots and lots of time, and patience, along with a storage area that will allow things to passively dry out. Weeks and months are required for to dry wood out that way.

What if there was a way to speed up the process, and make your dry wood available much, much sooner?

I’m sure you’ve heard of Drying Kilns that are often used to dry out wood quickly. They are a great option, but they come at a cost that is well out of reach of most people.

This is where your kitchen can come to the rescue!

You’ve probably found yourself wondering ‘what if I can dry the wood in my kitchen oven?’ more than once.

Well, I have good news.

This article is written to teach you how to dry wood in an oven. Read on to learn the 4 critical steps in drying wood in an oven safely.

NOTE: Do not attempt this procedure without some form of fire extinguisher available in case of emergency. If you choose to follow this procedure below, you do so at your own risk – will not take any liability.

Can you use a Kitchen Oven to Dry Wood?

YES! You totally can.

Although there are some restrictions – mostly the size of your oven and the size of the wood you are trying to dry out, it’s really not that hard. Don’t expect a ‘cooking firewood mode’ on the dial though, it’s not that common – lol!

Some Advantages of Drying wood in your Kitchen Oven

Drying wood is a big job. using an oven can be really useful, here are a few reasons why:

  • You can reduce the gradient of moisture between the core and edges because in an oven – it is dried both evenly and quickly.
  • Mould formation is drasticly (if not totally) prevented by using this method
  • It can take days to dry the wood in the summer, and if you live in a damp climate, it can take months to dry – drying wood in an oven can substantially reduce this time from weeks or months down to just a couple of hours.
  • Any pests or eggs that are on (or in) the wood are very quickly exterminated, so you can be sure the wood is safe to store in your house.

How to Dry Wood in an Oven

Step #1 – Set up your oven

  1. Make a space in your oven to fit the wood. Locate any racks to encourage air flow around the wood.
  2. Preheat your oven to between 200 and 215 degrees F (95 to 101 degrees Celsius).
  3. If your oven has a convection fan – turn it on.
  4. Place a tray with 1cm of water at the bottom of your oven
  5. Wait 10-15 minutes for the oven to be warm enough

Step #2 – Load-in your wood

  1. Load each piece of wood on the oven racks being sure they are not touching.
  2. If you find that your wood is slightly too large, you can use an axe or a wood splitter to reduce the length.
  3. Ensure all wood is configured so that it is not going to fall thorugh an spaces in the rack – particularly if they are small.

Step #3 – Drying the wood

  1. Allow the wood to dry in the oven for about 1 hour – checking on it every 10-15 minutes. The layer of water in the bottom of the oven will equalize the moisture content of the wood.
  2. Use oven gloves to remove 1 piece of wood from the oven to inspect its moisture level. If you have a moisture meter available, use it to check to see if moisture is at the desired level.
  3. If the wood is still too moist, place back into the oven and allow the drying process to continue for a further 15 minutes – repeat this as necessary.

Step #4 – Safely Rest the Dry Wood

  1. Using oven gloves – remove each piece of wood one at a time
  2. Place in a dry and safe place for the wood to cool. Do not leave the wood unattended for at least 10 minutes to ensure it does not catch fire.
  3. After wood has cooled, check the moisture content again to ensure it is as dry as you want it.
  4. If the wood is not as dry as you would like, place it back in the oven for 15 minutes at a time until you are happy with the result.

This process is ideal – particularly if you just need dry wood FAST! If you are trying to dry out a large volume of wood I would just recommend using the conventional methods – however, drying wood in an oven could get you out of a spot of bother.

Safety Reminders when Drying Wood in an Oven

It’s important to make sure you are being safe when drying wood in the oven because there are a few things that could potentially go wrong. Things like:

  • Burns
    • Always make sure you use oven gloves when handling the hot racks and the dried wood that have been in the oven.
    • Make sure you monitor the wood carefully – when it is both in the oven, and when you have placed it on the bench. The last thing you want is it to catch alight.
    • When you remove the water from the pan at the bottom of the oven, wait for it to cool before moving.
  • Fire
    • If smoke becomes visible – immediately turn off the oven keep the oven door closed and keep an eye out for any flames.
    • If flames are visible – Immediately turn off the oven, keep the door closed so it can burn itself out. If it does not go out on its own – evacuate the and call emergency services immediately.
    • If you have a fire extinguisher – put out the flames using the directions on the fire extinguisher.

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