Wooden crates of Kiln dried logs were stacked 5-6 high forming narrow "streets" where I expected some space craft to swoosh around the corner any minute. The bright July sun is used to preliminarily dry the logs which are sorted according to tree species, Oak, Ash, Beech and Birch
My first visit was a real eye opener. I was introduced to Nick because he offered to give us some bags of Kiln dried wood for our Kotlich Cooking Competition on July 13th. When I arrived at the very busy yard where all the sorting, chopping, stacking, drying, moving and sorting again takes place, nothing was too difficult for him. Nick gave me a half hour tour and I was so impressed with the set up. When the wood is loaded into the kilns in metal crates, it is taken from over 56% humidity to below 20% in 40hrs. The kilns themselves are powered by waste wood, solar panels and varius other renewables. For all the technical details go to Certainly Wood.
After a very impressive tour I drove off with 15 bags of kiln dried logs, several boxes of kindling and some boxes of flamers. The flamers look rather like shredded wheat and are dipped in wax. This means there are no petrolly smells at all when you light up. One flamer, one fire.
So we allocated two sacks per person, plus some kindling and a couple of flamers. I was seriously afraid that we might not have enough wood. What would happen if it all burnt so quickly and hot that all the food was burnt. We have a good supply of wind dried wood that we cook with at home and I was fearful that Certainly Wood might surprise us. Well it did. It burnt hot but not too fast. All the cooks at the Kotlich Competition had a pretty good idea how to manage their fires and so there was even some left over. We had lots of kindling left over and several bags of wood. So thank you very much certainly wood. No one had any problems lighting up and all were so pleased with how their fires went.
It was a really good experience cooking over and open fire with kiln dried wood. I would do it again if I felt in danger of my own wood not being dry enough. It is a lesson to me the importance of really dry wood. So all you keen outdoor cooks need to be collecting wood now for next summer, or the year after. Two years seasoning are in order if you try to do it yourself.