How to Dry Wood Chips

Written by steve smith
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How to Dry Wood Chips
Wood chips should be dried before use. (wood shavings image by David MacFarlane from

Wood chips are more flammable when they are dried before use. If you are ordering wood chips direct from a lumber site, they may not be kiln-dried. If not, drying them will help their combustion rate. Wood is usually dried inside of a large kiln, however this process is a little too involved for the average person. There are safe, reliable ways to dry wood chips for home use which do not require additional fuel resources.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Scale
  • Tarp
  • Dehumidifier

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  1. 1

    Fill a container with wood chips and weigh the container. Write down the weight.

  2. 2

    Lay down a plastic tarp or barrier on the floor of your garage or basement. Any room that has direct access and enough room for the wood chips will do.

  3. 3

    Store the wood chips on the tarp in a thin layer 1 to 2 inches deep. Cover the entire tarp with wood chips.

  4. 4

    Seal the room by closing windows and doors leading into the room and keep them closed during drying.

  5. 5

    Set up a portable dehumidifier in the room near the wood chips and operate it for three to four days.

  6. 6

    Fill the same container with some of the dry wood chips again, and weigh the container. The total weight after drying should be between 40 and 150 per cent less than before drying. This shows a release of moisture content in the wood and proves that drying has occurred.

  7. 7

    Continue to dry until there is no longer a significant decrease in weight.

Tips and warnings

  • Dry wood chips pose a risk of fire. Do not store near furnaces, flammable fluids or open flames. Do not store large piles of wood chips indoors.

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